Career and Education Opportunities for Camera Operators in Arlington, Virginia
Arlington, Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for camera operators. 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.
A person working as a camera operator can expect to earn about $26 hourly or $54,100 per year on average in Virginia and about $20 per hour or $41,670 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for camera operators are better than earnings in the general category of Media Technical in Virginia and better than general Media Technical category earnings nationally. People working as camera operators can fill a number of jobs, such as: technical director, studio camera operator, and media technician.
There are eighty-seven schools of higher education in the Arlington area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Arlington where you can get a degree to start your career 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 training to become 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 Arlington 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.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Camera Operator Training
Montgomery College - Rockville, MD
Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has 2 areas of study related to Camera Operator. They are:
- Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.
- Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 16 students in 2008.
American University - Washington, DC
American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated one and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.
Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA
Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.
The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA
The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated two and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
Bowie State University - Bowie, MD
Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Rd, Bowie, MD 20715-9465. Bowie State University is a medium sized university located in Bowie, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,541 students and an admission rate of 85%. Bowie State University has a bachelor's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated seventy-two students in 2008.
George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated four students in 2008.
Gallaudet University - Washington, DC
Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties.
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: Arlington, Virginia
Arlington is located in Arlington County, Virginia. It has a population of over 209,969, which has grown by 10.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arlington, 126, is far greater than the national average.
The top three industries for women in Arlington are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 60.2% of Arlington residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 30.6%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of Arlington residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 29.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Church of the Convenant Presbyterian, Abundant Life United Holy Church and Advent Lutheran Church are among the churches located in Arlington. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church.
Arlington is home to the Clarendon Metro Station and the Virginia Square-GMU Metro Station as well as Arlington House-Robert E Lee Memorial and Doctors Branch Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, Ballston Common Shopping Center and Lucas Market Shopping Center. Visitors to Arlington can choose from Econo Lodge National Airport, Crystal Gateway Marriott and Hilton Arlington & Towers for temporary stays in the area.