Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Houston, Texas
If you want to be a camera operator, the Houston, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 820 jobs for camera operators in Texas and this is projected to grow by 15% to about 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.
A person working as a camera operator can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $32,210 annually on average in Texas and about $20 per hour or $41,670 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for camera operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Media Technical in Texas and better than general Media Technical category earnings nationally. People working as camera operators can fill a number of jobs, such as: media technician, newscast director, and motion picture photographer.
There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including two within twenty-five miles of Houston 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 studying to be a camera operator if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Camera Operator
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 Houston 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.
- 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.
- 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Camera Operator Training
San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX
San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated six, nine, and eight students respectively in 2008.
Houston Community College System - Houston, TX
Houston Community College System, 3100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77266-7517. Houston Community College System is a large college located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 48,087 students. Houston Community College System has 2 areas of study related to Camera Operator. They are:
- Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated five, eight, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
- Cinematography and Film/Video Production, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated zero and twelve 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.