How To Become A Video Editor?

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.
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Digital media has allowed us to achieve dreams more easily. For instance, you can learn a new skill just by watching a few YouTube videos. In the past, you had to buy a book or go to a lecture. As a result, many industries are adopting this new trend to increase their work efficiency.

The increasing digitalization requires new content daily. Lucky for you, this raises the demand for professional video editors.

And this article covers all the basics you need to know about becoming a video editor.

How Much Does a Video Editor Make?

Video editing is a growing niche with a constant need for new talent. The video editor’s salary depends on several factors. It’s based on the project’s budget and duration, the technology involved, and the editor’s expertise. According to the US Bureau of Labor, a pro video editor earns $61,900 annually. However, this is just an estimate. Usually, an experienced video editor can earn up to $80,000/year. And freshers earn up to $49,000/year.

Similarly, the YouTube video editors’ salary depends on the channel’s popularity. YouTubers earn a lot more than some film producers. For example, PewDiePie has more subscribers than the Indian music producer T-series and has a net worth of $64 Million. So, the expected salary of his video editor is around $100,000 per year. Overall, expert video editing is a skill in demand. And the editors earn a handsome salary compared to other fields.

How To Become a Video Editor Quickly?

Step 1: Learn the basics of video editing software.

To become a video editor, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the software that is used in the industry. Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro are two of the most widely used video editing software programs, and mastering one of these will give you a solid foundation for editing videos.

There are many resources available to help you learn the software, such as online tutorials, video courses, and training programs. You can also find many beginner-friendly guides and books that will help you understand the basics of the software and its key features.

Some of the key concepts and skills you should focus on learning include:

  • The interface and layout of the software
  • Importing and organizing footage
  • Basic editing techniques such as cutting, trimming, and splicing
  • Adding transitions and effects
  • Color correction and color grading
  • Exporting and delivering the final video.

It’s important to practice regularly and get comfortable with the software by experimenting and working on personal projects. This will help you gain a deeper understanding of the software and develop your editing skills.

Step 2: Gain experience by working on personal projects or assisting more experienced editors.

This can involve experimenting with different software, editing techniques, and styles to develop your own unique approach. Some ways to gain experience include:

  • Creating your own short films, music videos, or other video content.
  • Volunteering to edit videos for friends, family, or local organizations.
  • Joining a film club or group in your local community.
  • Finding internships or assistant editor positions at production companies, advertising agencies, or other organizations that produce video content.
  • Participating in online editing communities, forums, and workshops to learn from other editors and share your own work.

Working on personal projects will allow you to experiment and make mistakes without pressure, it’s a great opportunity to practice your skills and build a reel of work to showcase your ability to potential employers. The experience of working with other professionals and seeing how they work will give you a great understanding of the industry and what is expected of you in a professional setting.

Step 3: Build a portfolio of your work to showcase your skills to potential employers.

A portfolio is a collection of your best and most relevant work, which you can present to potential clients or employers to demonstrate your abilities and experience.

Building a portfolio can be done by selecting some of your best work from personal projects, school assignments, or any other work you have done. If you haven’t worked on professional projects yet, you can create your own personal projects to build your portfolio. As you gain more experience, you can update your portfolio with new and more advanced work.

When choosing what to include in your portfolio, consider the following:

  • Showcase a variety of different types of videos, such as music videos, short films, commercials, etc.
  • Showcase a range of different editing styles and techniques.
  • Showcase your ability to work with different types of footage, such as video shot on different cameras and in different lighting conditions.
  • Showcase your ability to work with different types of audio.
  • Showcase any other relevant skills you have, such as color correction, visual effects, or animation.

Your portfolio should be easy to navigate, well-organized, and polished. You can create an online portfolio, which is accessible to potential employers and clients, or you can have a physical portfolio which you can take to interviews.

Make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and relevant, and your work is presented in the best possible light. Remember that your portfolio is your first impression and can make or break your chances of getting a job.

Step 4: Get a formal education

If you want to get above all your competition, consider obtaining a formal education in video production or film studies. This can include pursuing a degree or certificate program at a college or university.

There are many different types of programs available, such as associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees in film and television production or digital media. These programs can provide a comprehensive education in video production’s technical and creative aspects, including lighting, sound, camera operation, editing, and post-production.

Degree: Pursuing a degree in film studies can give you a broader understanding of the history of film and the cultural context of visual storytelling. It also can allow you to learn from experienced professionals in the field and make industry contacts that will be useful in your future career.

Courses: If you cannot enroll in a full-time program, you can also consider taking online classes or workshops to learn the necessary skills. Many software companies, such as Adobe and Apple, provide free tutorials and classes on their software, which can be a great way to get started.

5. Network and look for entry-level or freelance opportunities

This is an important step in gaining your first professional experience in video editing and networking within the industry. Here are some concrete steps that can assist you with this step:

  • Attend industry events and conferences: Look for video production, film, or media-related events and conferences in your area. This will allow you to network with other industry professionals and learn about new trends and technologies.
  • Join professional organizations: Organizations such as the American Cinema Editors and the International Association of Film and Television Professionals can help you network with other editors and find job opportunities.
  • Reach out to other video editors you admire and ask if they would be willing to talk about the industry with you, share advice, or even let you shadow them on a project.
  • Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with other professionals in the industry, share your work, and learn about job opportunities.
  • Look for entry-level positions, internships, or freelance opportunities that will allow you to gain experience and build your portfolio.
  • Start small and work your way up: Starting small and working your way up is a great way to gain experience and build a portfolio. Even if it’s a non-paying opportunity, use it to build your portfolio and gain experience.

Step 6: Improve your skills and stay current with industry trends and technological advancements.

As a video editor, it is important to continuously improve your skills and stay up to date with industry trends and technological advancements. This will help you to stay competitive in the job market and to produce high-quality work.

Here are some actionable steps to take in order to improve your skills and stay current with industry trends continuously:

  1. Practice editing regularly: The more you edit, the better you will become. Set aside time each week to work on personal projects or to experiment with new techniques and software.
  2. Learn new software: The video editing industry is constantly evolving, and new software and tools are constantly being developed. Make sure to learn new software to keep up with the industry.
  3. Take online courses or workshops: Take online courses or workshops to learn new skills and techniques. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning offer a wide range of video editing-related courses.
  4. Attend industry events: Attend film festivals, conferences, and other industry events to learn about new trends, techniques, and software.
  5. Follow industry leaders: Follow industry leaders and experts on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in the industry.
  6. Network: Network with editors, directors, and other industry professionals to learn about new job opportunities and trends in the industry.
  7. Stay organized: Keep your work organized, and maintain a backup and archive of all your work and projects, it will be very useful when you want to show your work to a potential employer.

How To Become a YouTube Video Editor?

YouTube is the largest video platform in the world. Billions of users worldwide watch YouTube videos daily for education and entertainment. So, new YouTubers join the platform to get a piece of the pie. They hire professional video editors and pay them hefty salaries along with other benefits. So, if you are thinking about switching your career and becoming a YouTube editor, now is a perfect time.

YouTube videos

YouTube video editing is quite different from typical Go Pro or tourism editing. You must tell the whole story in just a few minutes. And weaving in a sponsor promotion without angering the viewers. However, you can quickly become a successful YouTube editor by following these tips:

Understand your job

YouTube video editing is a tricky job. It requires absolute precision at trimming and joining clips. Even a slight delay in the frame can make a video look disengaged and sloppy. Ergo, it is best to use high-quality video editing software. In addition, you need to pay attention to every frame and frequently check that everything is okay.

Catch the audience

Pro video marketers suggest that an eye-catching thumbnail is a key to success. It is your job as a video editor to select the most exciting part of the video and use it as the thumbnail.

Control the flow

Once the viewer clicks on the thumbnail, the real magic of the video editor comes into play. A video editor’s job is to ensure that the audience remains engaged throughout the video. Usually, videos edited by pros perform best. You can use many techniques like enhancing the video and audio, polishing the frames, and adding filters. If you’ve got time, you can also add subtitles to the video.

Use a proper platform

Most YouTubers hire their video editors from freelancing websites like Freelancers, Fiverr, and Upwork. Once you are an expert YouTube video editor, it is time to enlist in one of these websites. Additionally, you can check Facebook pages to find jobs. I recommend that you save your best work to send as a sample to future employers. If you remain consistent, you’ll find a job in no time.

The Most Important Video Editor Skills

Video editing is a field where you never stop learning. Syncing with new skills can help you outgrow your competitors, thus making you successful in the field. However, these 7 skills are a must. They will help you stand out from the crowd and output excellent results.

You might notice that you already have some of these skills, so you are already halfway there. You can learn the rest with experience or while studying. The 7 essential skills every video editor should know are:

  • Paying attention to details
  • Flexibility
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Active listening
  • Teamwork
  • Good memory

1. Attention to details

Always keep in mind that your audience provides the best feedback. If you manage to filter through worthless trolling, you’ll find helpful criticism. People are always on the lookout for minor detail errors in videos. So, attention to detail is a must-have skill for every video editor.

For example, pay attention to details like the POV, motion continuity, audio & video sync, and special effects. Any flaw in these elements will not go unnoticed. And that might affect the integrity of your project.

Pay attention to detail

2. Flexibility

The filmmaking isn’t over until the final cut. You may come across various unplanned changes in the project. For example, the director may ask at the last moment to cut or add a scene, add dubs, or adjust the lighting.

So, you should remain flexible and quickly adapt to the new demands. Doing so will earn you a positive reputation in the market, thus opening doors to better jobs.


3. Communication skills

Communication skills are the key to success in every field of life. Every successful video editor should know how to talk to clients. Similarly, a lack of communication at the start of a project may lead to problems later on. Knowing it’s important, how do you improve it?

A surefire way to improve your communication skills is to ask for feedback at the end of every meeting. Similarly, you can improve your writing by practising the 7C’s of communication.

Communication skills

4. Creativity

Video editing is all about your vision and creativity. But there’s a fine line between doing nonsense and being innovative. An expert video editor looks at the world through their mind’s eye. Studying what other video editors do, is the best way to improve your creativity and find new ideas.

Furthermore, using your creativity adds a unique touch to your videos. If you are not creative, you’re going to have a hard time finding success in video editing.


5. Active listening

Listening to the idea and understanding the director’s view is a crucial part of every video editor’s job. Sometimes, a new idea is discussed while you’re not paying attention. This can result in being on a different page than your team.

So, how can you solve that? Listen. Active listening ensures that you don’t miss an important part of the discussion. You can also ask a teammate to share their thoughts or notes.

Taking notes

6. Teamwork

Video editing isn’t necessarily a one-person job. In fact, as the name suggests, it entails the entire team. Reputed firms often hire a team of specialists for different parts of video editing. So, you’ll likely work with a team consisting of sound specialists, cinematographers, and special effect artists.

Improving teamwork ensures the timely delivery of high-quality videos without any problems. Therefore, you must acquire this skill before starting your job as a video editor.


7. Good memory

Films and videos are often shot out of sequence. For example, the ending scene may be shot in the middle of production because of a suitable climate. So, the data you receive is often unorganized.

It’s your job as the video editor to keep track of the story. Rest assured, that there’s the main script you can rely on. But having an idea of what’s going on will make your life so much easier. For example, remembering scene arrangement and the planned ideas for a specific frame. Thus, a sharp memory combined with sticky notes ensures that you always stay on track.

Good memory

8. Qualifications a video editor needs

Skills matter more than qualifications in the world of video editing. When you enlist for a job, the employer will judge you based on your experience and portfolio. However, having a degree increases your worth and hence the chance of getting hired. So, how do you get a degree?

Many colleges offer videography courses, including digital media, film study, and media production. You can enroll in any of these programs while actively practicing your skills to make a good first impression.

Similarly, employers prefer certified pros to amateurs because they have the required technical knowledge. Usually, software firms offer certifications by conducting exams. You can choose your field for certification in major video editors like Avid, Filmora, and Adobe apps.


What is the Best Video Editing Software?

To become a successful video editor, you should select editing tools carefully. Your video editor is the most critical element of your equipment. You can choose among tons of video editors, but not every app is suitable for your work. Moreover, sometimes you have to work on multiple apps simultaneously because each provides unique features.

Understandably, app choices are different for beginners and pros. In my opinion, the best video editors are:

For beginners: Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Adobe Premiere Pro CC is the best video editing software for people with little to no experience. It features an easy-to-use graphical interface with several valuable features. You can use Adobe Premiere for multi-camera rendering, visual effects, track sync, and colour matching. And you can always download plugins for more features.


  • Beginner-friendly
  • Advanced features
  • System optimization
  • Pre-rendering graphics
  • Low system requirements
  • Cheap license


  • You need experience with other Adobe products to use this program efficiently.
  • It is not suitable for pro film editing.

For pros: Final Cut Pro

You have very limited options when it comes to expert video editing software. It is because, as a pro, you need advanced tools. And not many programs provide such options. You could use powerful software like Final Cut Pro for all projects, including films, television series, and YouTube videos. Final Cut Pro’s features include multi-camera editing, HDR, 369 degrees virtual reality, and an infinite plugin library.


  • Advanced tools
  • Huge plugins library
  • Pre- and post-rendering
  • HDR
  • Widely used by filmmakers
  • Optimized rendering speed
  • Color correction
  • 360 degrees VR
  • Works on Windows & Mac


  • The license is comparatively expensive.
  • You need a powerful workstation to run Final Cut Pro.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a video editor make good money?

Yes, video editors earn a lot more than an average office job. However, the salary depends on several factors like project budget, experience, skills, and your services. In any case, you should expect at least $40,000 per year if you work full-time as a video editor.

How much does a beginner video editor make?

Expert video editors earn a pretty handsome salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor, an average video editor earns $61,900 per year. The salary greatly depends on your skills and work experience. For instance, experienced video editors earn as much as $80,000 per year, freshers around $40,000, and freelancers earn up to $55,000 per year.

Is a video editor a good career?

Yes, video editing is a skill in demand due to global steps towards digitalization. Choosing it as a career opens a whole universe of opportunities for you. Moreover, you can quickly grow in the field by working on a genre that you like. Video editors are heavily paid when compared to other staff members.

Are video editors in demand?

The world is gradually moving towards digitalization. Several firms are shifting their data to video format to increase outreach and work efficiency. Therefore, video editing is currently one of the most in-demand skills worldwide. In short, now is the perfect time to start your video editing career.


Video editor is a skill in great demand due to global digitalization. Several reputed brands are shifting towards digital media, especially during the great pandemic. The need for pro video editors has steeply risen in the market. Therefore, in this article, I have discussed how to become a video editor and everything else you need to know.


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