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Camera Operator

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A camera operator operates digital, electronic and film 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
2017
2514
0.2 %
RISE
2022
2518
  United Kingdom
2017
45993
0.7 %
FALL
2022
45695

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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 January 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 £12,500 a year. Training takes place at Glasgow Kelvin College, BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay and on the job in various departments. It leads to a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media. Applicants must 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. There are usually only around ten places available, so entry is very competitive. The selection process includes an assessment day and tests in English and Maths. See the BBC Trainee Schemes website for more details.

Video

Courtesy of Creative Skillset

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Tel: 0141 314 0060
E-mail: info@bectu.org.uk
Website: http://www.bectu.org.uk
Twitter: @bectu
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

British Film Institute
Tel: 020 7255 1444
Website: http://www.bfi.org.uk/
Twitter: @BFI
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BECTUOfficial

Creative Skillset Scotland
Tel: 020 7713 9800
E-mail: info@creativeskillset.org
Website: http://creativeskillset.org/
Twitter: @SkillsetSSC
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creativeskillset

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

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

Guild of British Camera Technicians
Tel: 020 8813 1999
E-mail: admin@gbct.org
Website: http://www.gbct.org
Twitter: @TheGBCT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegbct

International Moving Image Society
Tel: 01753 656 656
E-mail: info@societyinmotion.com
Website: https://www.societyinmotion.com/
Twitter: @JoinIMIS

Formerly the BKSTS (British Kinematograph Sound and Television Society).

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/

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