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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Denver, Colorado

There are many career and education opportunities for camera operators in the Denver, Colorado area. Currently, 340 people work as camera operators in Colorado. This is expected to grow 21% to 420 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for camera operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.2% over the next eight years. 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 earn about $17 per hour or $36,370 per year on average in Colorado and about $20 per hour or $41,670 annually on average nationally. Incomes for camera operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Media Technical in Colorado, and better than the overall Media Technical category nationally. Camera operators work in a variety of jobs, including: motion picture photographer, photographer, and television production assistant.

The Denver area is home to sixty-four schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Denver where you can get a degree as a camera operator. The most common level of education for camera operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Denver 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

Ohio Center for Broadcasting-Colorado Campus - Lakewood, CO

Ohio Center for Broadcasting-Colorado Campus, 1310 Wadsworth Blvd. Suite 100, Lakewood, CO 80214. Ohio Center for Broadcasting-Colorado Campus is a small school located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 166 students and an admission rate of 71%. Ohio Center for Broadcasting-Colorado Campus has a less than one year program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated 111 students in 2008.

Red Rocks Community College - Lakewood, CO

Red Rocks Community College, 13300 W Sixth Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228-1255. Red Rocks Community College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,432 students. Red Rocks Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated seven, seven, and eight students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Colorado - Denver, CO

The Art Institute of Colorado, 1200 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO 80203-2983. The Art Institute of Colorado is a small school located in Denver, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,069 students and an admission rate of 45%. The Art Institute of Colorado has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated fourteen and twenty students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Aurora - Aurora, CO

Community College of Aurora, 16000 E CentreTech Pky, Aurora, CO 80011-9036. Community College of Aurora is a medium sized college located in Aurora, Colorado. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,217 students. Community College of Aurora has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated four and six students respectively 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: Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado photo by David Shankbone

Denver is located in Denver County, Colorado. It has a population of over 598,707, which has grown by 7.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Denver, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Denver are priced at $223,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, eight hundred thirty-seven new homes were constructed in Denver, down from 1,215 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Denver are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 34.5% of Denver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Denver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.0%, is more than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Episcopal Church.

Denver is home to the J F Kennedy Municipal Golf Course and the North Marston Filtration Plant as well as Cheesman Park and Bear Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alameda Square Shopping Center, Boulevard Shopping Center and Brentwood Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Denver can choose from Embassy Suites Hotel Denver Downtown, Intown Suites Aurora and Denver Marriott City Center for temporary stays in the area.