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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Durham, North Carolina

Camera operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Durham, North Carolina area. The national trend for camera operators 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.

Income for camera operators is about $17 per hour or $36,250 per year on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $20 per hour or $41,670 per year. Incomes for camera operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Media Technical in North Carolina, and better than the overall Media Technical category nationally. Camera operators work in a variety of jobs, including: production manager, television news photographer, and news videographer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Durham where you can study to be a camera operator, among twenty-six schools of higher education total in the Durham area. 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.


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 Durham 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.


School of Communication Arts - Raleigh, NC

School of Communication Arts, 3000 Wakefield Crossing Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614-7076. School of Communication Arts is a small school located in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 313 students. School of Communication Arts has 2 areas of study related to Camera Operator. They are:

  • Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, one to two year and two to four year which graduated twenty-five and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, one to two year and two to four year which graduated ten and three students respectively in 2008.

Piedmont Community College - Roxboro, NC

Piedmont Community College, 1715 College Dr, Roxboro, NC 27573. Piedmont Community College is a small college located in Roxboro, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,590 students. Piedmont Community College has an associate's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated six 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Durham, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina
Durham, North Carolina photo by Specious

Durham is situated in Durham County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 223,284, which has grown by 19.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Durham, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Durham are valued at $187,200 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,082 new homes were built in Durham, down from 1,574 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Durham are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 41.8% of Durham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 18.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Durham is 7.3%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Durham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.3%, is less than both the national and state average. Laymans Church, Holy Infant Church and Homestead Heights Church are among the churches located in Durham. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Durham is home to the Hope Valley Country Club and the Union Building as well as Durham County Stadium and Northgate Park. Shopping centers in the area include South Square Mall, Lakewood Shopping Center and Kings Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Durham can choose from Brownestone Inn, Durham-Days Inn ) and Hilton Durham for temporary stays in the area.