Camera Operator

Job Profile Image

Camera operators use film or digital camera equipment to record, or broadcast live, for film, TV and internet. You would usually work under the instructions of the director, and the director of photography.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

If you are employed your starting salary might be around £12,000 rising with experience to around £34,000 a year. Senior camera operators can earn £40,000 a year.

Freelance rates are listed on the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) website. The rate for camera operators is between £418 and £600 for a 10-hour day, depending on the production budget.

There are few salaried camera jobs in TV. As a freelancer you will earn more but pay will be less regular.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

What Does it Take?

You would need:

You should also have:


Getting On

More Information

If you are aged 18 or over you may be interested in The Network. The Network is held each year alongside the TV Festival in Edinburgh. If selected you would attend for four free days of masterclasses and workshops which will provide you with the skills, knowledge and contacts to start a career in TV. You can usually apply from February to April.

BBC Scotland runs an apprenticeship scheme for people who are keen to get into a career in the media industry. As well as learning on the job at BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in various departments, you will study towards a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at a Glasgow college. Ideally applicants will have National 5 English and Maths, good IT skills and a keen interest in media. You must be at least 18 at the start date of the apprenticeship. Entry is very competitive as places are limited. For any questions and updates by following @BBCGetin on Twitter. See the BBC Trainee Schemes website for more details.



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Twitter: @bectu

British Film Institute
Twitter: @BFI

National Film and Television School
Tel: 01494 671234
Twitter: @NFTSFilmTV

Tel: 020 7713 9800
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills

ScreenSkills (formerly Creative Skillset) works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

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