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Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Grand Prairie, Texas

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for camera operators in the Grand Prairie, Texas area. There are currently 820 jobs for camera operators in Texas and this is projected to grow 15% to 940 jobs 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 approximately $15 hourly or $32,210 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $20 hourly or $41,670 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Media Technical, people working as camera operators in Texas earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Media Technical nationally. Jobs in this field include: media technician, animation camera operator, and production manager.

The Grand Prairie area is home to seventy-four schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Grand Prairie where you can get a degree as a camera operator. Given that the most common education level for camera operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying 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 Grand Prairie 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

The Art Institute of Dallas - Dallas, TX

The Art Institute of Dallas, 8080 Park Lane #100, Dallas, TX 75231-5993. The Art Institute of Dallas is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,891 students and an admission rate of 45%. The Art Institute of Dallas has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated thirteen and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

Cedar Valley College - Lancaster, TX

Cedar Valley College, 3030 N Dallas Ave, Lancaster, TX 75134-3799. Cedar Valley College is a medium sized college located in Lancaster, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,223 students. Cedar Valley College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated twenty-three and six students respectively in 2008.

Southern Methodist University - Dallas, TX

Southern Methodist University, 6425 Boaz St, Dallas, TX 75275-0221. Southern Methodist University is a large university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,965 students and an admission rate of 50%. Southern Methodist University has a master's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated two students in 2008.

North Lake College - Irving, TX

North Lake College, 5001 N MacArthur Blvd, Irving, TX 75038-3899. North Lake College is a large college located in Irving, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,174 students. North Lake College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated five and eight 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: Grand Prairie, Texas

Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie, Texas photo by Lothar1976

Grand Prairie is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 160,641, which has grown by 26.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Prairie, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Prairie are priced at $174,200 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-four new homes were built in Grand Prairie, down from 1,058 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Grand Prairie are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 19.3% of Grand Prairie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Prairie is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Grand Prairie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Celestial Church of Christ and Saint Andrew Church are some of the churches located in Grand Prairie. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Grand Prairie is home to Kennedy Middle School Football Stadium and Hendrix Park. Visitors to Grand Prairie can choose from Blue Sky Hospitality, Amerisuites and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.