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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Phoenix, Arizona

If you want to be a camera operator, the Phoenix, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 300 working camera operators in Arizona; this should grow by 20% to about 360 working camera operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for camera operators are expected to grow by about 9.2%. Camera operators generally operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.

Income for camera operators is about $20 hourly or $43,210 yearly on average in Arizona. Nationally, their income is about $20 hourly or $41,670 yearly. Camera operators earn more than people working in the category of Media Technical generally in Arizona and more than people in the Media Technical category nationally. People working as camera operators can fill a number of jobs, such as: videographer, video photographer, and media technician.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Phoenix area, including six within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can get a degree to start your career as a camera operator. Camera operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a camera operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Camera Operator

Camera Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, camera operators operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.

Camera operators use cameras in any of several different camera mounts such as stationary, track-mounted, or crane-mounted. They also operate zoom lenses, changing images according to given requirements and rehearsal instructions. Finally, camera operators operate television or motion picture cameras to record scenes for television broadcasts or motion pictures.

Every day, camera operators are expected to be able to understand events and object details at a distance. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for camera operators to adjust positions and controls of cameras and related apparatus to change focus and lighting. They are often called upon to gather and edit raw footage on location to send to television affiliates for broadcast, using electronic news-gathering or film-production equipment. They also observe sets or locations for potential problems and to establish filming and lighting requirements. They are sometimes expected to test and maintain apparatus to insure proper working condition. Somewhat less frequently, camera operators are also expected to view films to deal with problems of exposure control, subject and camera movement, changes in subject distance, and related variables.

Camera operators sometimes are asked to label and record contents of exposed film, and note details on report forms. They also have to be able to download exposed film for shipment to processing labs and read charts and compute ratios to establish variables such as lighting and camera distances. And finally, they sometimes have to ready slates that describe the scenes being filmed.

Like many other jobs, camera operators must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:

  • Broadcast Technician. Set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs. Control audio equipment to regulate volume level and quality of sound during radio and television broadcasts. Operate radio transmitter to broadcast radio and television programs.
  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Graphic Designer. Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.
  • Music Composer. Write and transcribe musical scores.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Camera Operator Training

South Mountain Community College - Phoenix, AZ

South Mountain Community College, 7050 S 24th St, Phoenix, AZ 85040. South Mountain Community College is a medium sized college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,138 students. South Mountain Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ

Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Collins College - Tempe, AZ

Collins College, 1140 S Priest Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281-5206. Collins College is a small college located in Tempe, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,519 students. Collins College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated sixty-three and thirty-five students respectively in 2008.

Scottsdale Community College - Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Scottsdale Community College is a large college located in Scottsdale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,077 students. Scottsdale Community College has 2 areas of study related to Camera Operator. They are:

  • Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated one, zero, and fifty-eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, one to two year which graduated 39 students in 2008.

East Valley Institute of Technology - Mesa, AZ

East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201. East Valley Institute of Technology is a small school located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 203 students. East Valley Institute of Technology has a one to two year program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Phoenix - Phoenix, AZ

The Art Institute of Phoenix, 2233 W Dunlap Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85021-2859. The Art Institute of Phoenix is a small school located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,144 students and an admission rate of 52%. The Art Institute of Phoenix has a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated seven students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Legal Video Specialist: The use of video in the legal environment is growing fast.

For more information, see the National Court Reporters Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.