The average salary of a cameraman

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The average salary of a cameraman
A camerman shoots a news anchor on location. (DreamPictures/Photodisc/Getty Images)

The next time you watch a TV show or movie, know that a cameraman controlled each shot. Being a good cameraman takes a sharp eye and a steady hand. A cameraman operates television, video or motion picture cameras. Cameramen are also known as television, video and motion picture camera operators, according to O*Net, a website sponsored by the Department of Labor.

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National Salary

The mean hourly wage for television, video and motion picture camera operators was £15.50 and the mean annual wage, or average annual salary, was £32,233, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Median annual wages for television, video and motion picture camera operators ranged from approximately £13,591 to £53,690. The lowest 10 per cent of employees earn less than £13,591 and the top 10 per cent of employees earn more than £53,690.

Experience

The PayScale website lists the median hourly rate of television, video and motion picture camera operators according to the years of experience. In October 2010, television, video and motion picture camera operators with one to four years of experience earned £6.30 to £11.3; five to nine years, £7.90 to £20.9; and 10 to 19 years, £8.90 to £23.9.

High Employment

The radio and television broadcasting industry employed the largest number of television, video and motion picture camera operators with an average annual salary of £28,684, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other industries that employed large numbers were: motion picture and video industries, £34,086; cable and other subscription programming, £38,408; other professional, scientific and technical services, £30,082; and the Federal Executive Branch, £41,561.

Top-Paying Industries

The Federal Executive Branch was not only counted as an industry that employed large numbers of camera operators, they were also the top-paying industry with an average annual salary of £41,561, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other industries that offered high pay were: accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services, £38,441; cable and other subscription programming, £38,408; computer systems design and related services, £37,277; and museums, historical sites, and similar institutions, £35,386.

Top-Paying Locations

Oregon paid the highest average annual salary above all other locations to television, video and motion picture camera operators, with £48,028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2009. Other places that offered high pay were: New Mexico, £42,581; the District of Columbia, £41,015; California, £40,924; and Washington, £37,687.

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