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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:14 PM   #1
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Hourly salary for a video editor?

I have an interview for a job with a company that is not in the TV, film or video business (I'd rather not give out too many details), but they need a video editor for a contract position for a few months. I'm a freelance videographer, and my hourly rate is $50, but I doubt a company would pay me that much for a 40 hour a week job, even if it's not permanent.

But since they will ask me what are my salary expectations, I'm not sure what could be a number I could give them that wouldn't seem to pretentious, but at the same time not small enough that would make them think I don't value my services. I want to get the job, but all my previous office jobs haven't been in anything related to video, I worked as a videographer extensively but always as a freelancer, so I have no idea what a video editor that works full time for a company gets paid.

Does anybody know?
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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

How much do you want to make a year?? 50 X 40 X 52= 104,000 a year. Just do the math and figure what you want and what you can live with...
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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

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Originally Posted by Jerry Porter View Post
How much do you want to make a year?? 50 X 40 X 52= 104,000 a year. Just do the math and figure what you want and what you can live with...
Well it's not a matter of what I want. The purpose of my question was to get an idea of what a video editor normally makes as an employee of a company as opposed to freelance. I know it probably varies a lot, but I want to have a general idea.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:49 PM   #4
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

I know the guys down at Time Warner production get about 25 to 30K a year and it shows. I know a guy at SAS that is deep into the six figures and it shows. What can you live with??
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Old October 10th, 2011, 06:56 PM   #5
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

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I know the guys down at Time Warner production get about 25 to 30K a year and it shows. I know a guy at SAS that is deep into the six figures and it shows. What can you live with??
Are you talking about the editors for News 14 Carolina? Those make 25 to 30k a year? I was making 30k as a coordinator for a non-profit organization.

I can live with 30 k a year, but it's not only a matter of what I can live with, it's a matter of what is a normal salary for a video editor. I don't want to ask for too much or too little, that's what I'm trying to gauge here.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

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Old October 11th, 2011, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

Sebastian, if it is a contract position for a short term you need to calculate it based on what your worth is. $50 per hour for a contract employee is not very high if they won't be paying you any benefits, Typically overhead for each employee cost a company about 1.5 to 1.7 multiplier then you have to add the mark up on whatever their profit would be. The overhead includes the cost for the work space, workers comp, payroll taxes, holidays, sick leave, etc. Assuming that the company makes 10% ROI (return on investment) then a $50 per hour contact employee is equivalent to a full time employee being payed about $18 per hour. That's roughly about a $38,000 per year job (at 2080 hours per year). I would imagine if the company could get a full time editor for that amount they'd jump at it.

If your normal rate is $50 per hour and this is a long term position you might cut your rate a little but I wouldn't cut it to the same level as one of their full time employees unless they are going to be paying you benefits.

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Old October 11th, 2011, 03:37 AM   #8
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

Two or three months, certainly here in the UK is the half-way house between normal monthly pay as a salary and freelance day rate. Here, for these kind of jobs, you will invoice for the complete contract value, and then they may simply divide this by a weekly or monthly proportion, so by the end, the invoice is cleared. Obviously, you remain freelance, are not an employee - which with UK law means no tax, and no National Insurance payments (which is what we pay as an extra 'tax' to fund our National Health Service and old age pension benefits. So I'm doing 11 weeks - which is a total contract payment of 9K - not editing, but a similarly paid production job. I have to look after the tax/NI myself - and of course, no benefits from the employer of any kind. If you do the maths and scale this up to a full year - the amount doesn't work, it would be too much. For a short term job, it's fine - and not a problem.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 05:05 AM   #9
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
I have an interview for a job with a company that is not in the TV, film or video business (I'd rather not give out too many details), but they need a video editor for a contract position for a few months. I'm a freelance videographer, and my hourly rate is $50, but I doubt a company would pay me that much for a 40 hour a week job, even if it's not permanent.

But since they will ask me what are my salary expectations, I'm not sure what could be a number I could give them that wouldn't seem to pretentious, but at the same time not small enough that would make them think I don't value my services. I want to get the job, but all my previous office jobs haven't been in anything related to video, I worked as a videographer extensively but always as a freelancer, so I have no idea what a video editor that works full time for a company gets paid.

Does anybody know?
When figuring your rate as a contractor you need to look beyond just comparable salary. When a regular employee is earning $X per hour, there are a lot of additional amounts the employer has to pay on top of that - employer contribution to social security tax, retirment costs, allowance for lost time for sick leave, health insurance costs, training costs, tools and materials, etc, etc As a contractor you have to cover all those amounts over and above the base salary out of your own pocket so for that reason alone, a contractor will typically have to bill an hourly rate 30% to 50% higher than the salaried employee just to stay even with him.
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Old October 11th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #10
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

My expectations of a $50 per hour editor, even a contract one, would be different than my expectations of a $15 per hour editor.

Before the backlash, let me explain.

At $15 an hour, I would expect some level of competence. Knowledge of the tool, good storytelling technique, efficient use of the interface including keyboard shortcuts where applicable.

At $50 per hour, I would expect someone that understands the big picture and makes suggestions around ways to streamline the process for efficiency, both of time and quality. I would expect that editor to know when to edit natively and when to use an intermediate. Codec selection with thought to source material and final deliverables... that sort of thing. An expert consultant, if you will.

Really, the edit shouldn't cost MORE if using a higher paid editor. It should either:
- cost the same through efficiencies
- cost less through efficiencies
- cost the same with a greater end product
- or cost marginally more for a markedly increased higher end product.

It's up to you to evaluate where on the continuum of editing you fit and value yourself properly both for proper compensation to you and for value to the client.

My 2 cents.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:50 AM   #11
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
My expectations of a $50 per hour editor, even a contract one, would be different than my expectations of a $15 per hour editor.

Before the backlash, let me explain.

At $15 an hour, I would expect some level of competence. Knowledge of the tool, good storytelling technique, efficient use of the interface including keyboard shortcuts where applicable.

At $50 per hour, I would expect someone that understands the big picture and makes suggestions around ways to streamline the process for efficiency, both of time and quality. I would expect that editor to know when to edit natively and when to use an intermediate. Codec selection with thought to source material and final deliverables... that sort of thing. An expert consultant, if you will.

Really, the edit shouldn't cost MORE if using a higher paid editor. It should either:
- cost the same through efficiencies
- cost less through efficiencies
- cost the same with a greater end product
- or cost marginally more for a markedly increased higher end product.

It's up to you to evaluate where on the continuum of editing you fit and value yourself properly both for proper compensation to you and for value to the client.

My 2 cents.
I totally agree.

Sebastian said that the company isn't in the video production industry. That (to me) sounds like they don't need a high end product. I don't see a reason giving a high pay for a simple product to a non experienced editor (I'm assuming this because Sebastian sad that he is a videographer).

50 an hour to me sounds a lot. It's what editors in the news make on A DAYs work here in Slovenia. And that's without any benefits (if you get sick you don't get paid). 50 dollars an hour to me sounds like a dream. But then again it's apples to oranges.

Anyway if you ask me the editor should be paid accordingly to the requirements of the job. If it's a simple editing position that 15 an hour seems for your country ok I guess (here you would get 8 to 12 bucks an hour). 50 an hour that's Hollywood isn't it:)?
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Old October 13th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #12
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

Sebastian,

you need to clarify what is it exactly that you are applying for. One the one hand you say you're a freelancer, on the other hand you say you're applying for a job. Is this job coming with any benefits? A contract job can come with anything from no benefits at all to full benefits - makes for big differences.

As detailed above, there are huge differences between the two. $50/hr as freelancer is totally fine, it is the going rate. But if this company wants to hire you as employee (even if it's for a pre-determined period of time), they take over all of your overhead and government payments, so if they pay you $30/hr, you come out about the same.

[Sanjin, you are correct, Hollywood union editors make about $40-50/hr, but that's for big name, accomplished editors working on big titles. The average Hollywood editor makes about the same as TV editors, $25-30/hr. All these are salaries, not freelance rates].
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Old October 14th, 2011, 10:15 AM   #13
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

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Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Sebastian,

you need to clarify what is it exactly that you are applying for. One the one hand you say you're a freelancer, on the other hand you say you're applying for a job. Is this job coming with any benefits? A contract job can come with anything from no benefits at all to full benefits - makes for big differences.
Thanks Ervin. I'd rather not go into detail about the job description in case anyone there sees this, but basically I learned that it's not so much a video editor position, but rather a video consultant position for a company to make their video workflow more efficient, and I got the job, but since this thread is public I can't divulge any more details.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #14
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Re: Hourly salary for a video editor?

Congrats Sebastian!

Good to see another local guy getting some work.
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