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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Atlanta, Georgia

Camera operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Atlanta, Georgia area. About 900 people are currently employed as camera operators in Georgia. By 2016, this is expected to grow 14% to about 1,030 people employed. 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.

The income of a camera operator is about $23 hourly or $48,700 per year on average in Georgia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $20 per hour or $41,670 per year on average. Camera operators earn more than people working in the category of Media Technical generally in Georgia and more than people in the Media Technical category nationally. Jobs in this field include: camera person, animation camera operator, and broadcast engineer.

There are ninety-one schools of higher education in the Atlanta area, including three within twenty-five miles of Atlanta where you can get a degree to start your career 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.


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 Atlanta include:

  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • 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.
  • Sound Engineer. Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions.


Chattahoochee Technical College - Marietta, GA

Chattahoochee Technical College, 980 S Cobb Drive Dr SE, Marietta, GA 30060-3300. Chattahoochee Technical College is a medium sized college located in Marietta, Georgia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,616 students. Chattahoochee Technical College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated forty-six and twenty-six students respectively in 2008.

American InterContinental University - Atlanta, GA

American InterContinental University, 3330 Peachtree Rd., NE, Atlanta, GA 30326-1001. American InterContinental University is a small university located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,132 students and an admission rate of 40%. American InterContinental University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated seven and thirty-eight students respectively in 2008.

The Art Institute of Atlanta - Atlanta, GA

The Art Institute of Atlanta, 6600 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., 100 Embassy Row, Atlanta, GA 30328-1635. The Art Institute of Atlanta is a small school located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,671 students and an admission rate of 48%. The Art Institute of Atlanta has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated thirty and forty-one students respectively in 2008.


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.


Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia photo by Evilarry

Atlanta is located in Fulton County, Georgia. It has a population of over 537,958, which has grown by 29.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Atlanta, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Atlanta cost $173,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, five hundred two new homes were constructed in Atlanta, down from 1,247 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Atlanta are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 28 minutes. More than 34.6% of Atlanta residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Atlanta is 11.1%, which is greater than Georgia's average of 10.1%.

The percentage of Atlanta residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Aarons Tabernacle Church, Welcome Home Baptist Church and Adair Park Church are some of the churches located in Atlanta. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Junior Community Center and the Diuid Hills Golf Club as well as Alexander Park and Wesley Avenue Park. Shopping malls in the area include Rio Mall Shopping Center, Collier Heights Plaza Shopping Center and Northside Parkway Shopping Center. Visitors to Atlanta can choose from Country Inn-Stes Atl Dwntwn S, Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn Buckhead North for temporary stays in the area.