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Camera Operator

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A camera operator operates 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:

Pay

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 freelance you will earn more but pay will be less regular.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
2656
2 %
RISE
2024
2709
  United Kingdom
2019
45353
1.7 %
RISE
2024
46120

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What Does it Take?

You would need:

You should also have:

Training

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. The closing date for applications is usually sometime in April or May. The one-year apprenticeship is based in Glasgow and pays £14,250 a year. 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. The selection process includes an assessment day and tests in English and Maths. For any questions and updates by following @BBCGetin on Twitter. See the BBC Trainee Schemes website for more details.

Video

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Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

British Film Institute
Website: http://www.bfi.org.uk/
Twitter: @BFI
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BritishFilmInstitute

Edinburgh TV Festival
Tel: 020 7278 9515
E-mail: info@thetvfestival.com
Website: http://www.thetvfestival.com
Twitter: @EdinburghTVFest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsEdinburghTVFestival

National Film and Television School
Tel: 01494 671234
E-mail: info@nfts.co.uk
Website: http://nfts.co.uk
Twitter: @NFTSFilmTV
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NFTSFilmTV

Scottish Drama Training Network
Tel: 0141 270 8349
Website: http://sdtn.org/
Twitter: @SDTNtweets
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sdtnofficial/

ScreenSkills
E-mail: info@screenskills.com
Website: https://www.ScreenSkills.com
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/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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