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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in St. Louis, Missouri

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for camera operators in the St. Louis, Missouri area. There are currently 650 jobs for camera operators in Missouri and this is projected to grow 2% to about 660 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for camera operators, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.2% over the next eight years. 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.

A person working as a camera operator can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $32,430 yearly on average in Missouri and about $20 hourly or $41,670 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Media Technical, people working as camera operators in Missouri earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Media Technical nationally. Camera operators work in a variety of jobs, including: newscast director, technical director, and director of photography.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be a camera operator, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. Camera operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be 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 St. Louis 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.
  • 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.


Saint Louis Community College-Meramec - Kirkwood, MO

Saint Louis Community College-Meramec, 11333 Big Bend Blvd, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec is a large college located in Kirkwood, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,217 students. Saint Louis Community College-Meramec has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated zero, one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Webster University - Saint Louis, MO

Webster University, 470 E Lockwood Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194. Webster University is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 18,237 students and an admission rate of 57%. Webster University has 2 areas of study related to Camera Operator. They are:

  • Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 59 students 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.


St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.