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May 14, 2014
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IndustryVideo Editing

10 Highest (and Lowest) Paying States for Video Editors

Are you a video editor in one of the highest or lowest paying states? See how your local area stacks up.

Video editing is a super competitive field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, between now and 2022 the industry is only projected to add 200 jobs. The post production field will only get more competitive in the years to come. So we thought it’d be helpful to see the places where demand is still high and video editors are paid well.

We’ve examined all 50 states to determine the top 10 highest/lowest paying states for video editors. All the amounts are displayed as yearly salaries before tax.

10 Highest Paying States

1. New York $60,000

With an endless supply of shooting locations New York is a filmmakers dream. Home to dozens of national TV networks, New York tops our list as the state where video editors can expect to make the most money. New York also ranks as the second best place to be a filmmaker in 2014 according to Moviemaker.com.

2. Massachusetts $59,000

Driven by the Boston area, Massachusetts comes in at the second best place for film editors. Massachusetts has claim to over 60 academy award nominated films. On top of it’s rich history, productions in Massachusetts have increased 150% in the last few years.

3. Georgia $56,000

Home to such projects as The Walking Dead, X-Men: First Class, and Mean Girls 2, Georgia is an emerging giant in the filmmaking community. Production companies invested over $3.3 billion in the Georgia film industry in 2013 alone. Qualifying productions also receive a 30% tax credit so you can be sure that the film industry will continue to grow in Georgia.

4. Illinois $56,000

In line with Georgia, Illinois offers a 30% tax credit for all qualifying productions. Illinois also pays 30% of your salary back if you make over $100,000 a year as an editor. So if you live in Chicago you might want to ask your boss for a raise!

5. New Jersey $53,000

New Jersey may come as a shock, but the Garden State is no stranger to film. Serving as home to such classic movies as Friday the Thirteenth and the Amityville Horror, New Jersey has a long history with the film industry. Spillover from New York also accounts for a lot of editing jobs in New Jersey.

6. California – $53,000
7. Maryland –  $51,000
8. Mississippi –  $51,000
9. Washington – $50,000
10. Alabama – $50,000

10 Lowest Paying States

50. Hawaii $31,000

Serving as the location for Jurassic Park and Lost, Hawaii bottoms our list due to it’s expensive location mixed with a lack of jobs. In fact, our quick research found that there isn’t even one video editing job open in Hawaii. A $500 one-way flight from LA also makes it a pretty expensive place to visit and shoot.

49. Idaho $33,000


Idaho offers beautiful countryside but little production and post-production jobs. Idaho offers no tax credit to filmmakers making it fiscally irresponsible for many productions to shoot here.

48. Nebraska $36,000

Nebraska is not a good place for film and a quick glance at their film commission website tells you everything you need to know. Although this state was home to the recent Alexander Payne film Nebraska it still has an embarrassingly small filmography.

47. Alaska $37,000

It’s not easy living in Alaska, especially if you’re a video editor. The Last Frontier offers some of the most beautiful landscape on earth. However, due to cost most editing work is outsourced to other states.

46. South Dakota $37,000

South Dakota is home to Mount Rushmore and perhaps the worst film commission website in history. What South Dakota lacks in filmmaking history it makes up for in picturesque landscape. In fact a 20% tax credit makes South Dakota an appealing state for filmmakers to look at.

45. Nevada – $38,000
44. Utah –  $38,000
43. Arizona – $41,000
42. Wyoming – $41,000
41. Kentucky – $42,000

You’re state not in the top or bottom 10? Check out the full list of salaries from all 50 states:

Video Editing Salaries by State

Alabama $50,000
Alaska $37,000
Arizona $41,000
Arkansas $49,000
California $53,000
Colorado $44,000
Connecticut $49,000
Florida $46,000
Georgia $56,000
Hawaii $31,000
Idaho $33,000
Illinois $56,000
Indiana $47,000
Iowa $48,000
Kansas $45,000
Kentucky $42,000
Louisiana $43,000
Maine $44,000
Maryland $51,000
Massachusetts $59,000
Michigan $50,000
Minnesota $43,000
Mississippi $51,000
Missouri $48,000
Montana $44,000
Nebraska $36,000
Nevada $38,000
New Hampshire $49,000
New Jersey $53,000
New Mexico $43,000
New York $60,000
North Carolina $47,000
North Dakota $44,000
Ohio $47,000
Oklahoma $45,000
Oregon $47,000
Pennsylvania $47,000
Rhode Island $45,000
South Carolina $48,000
South Dakota $37,000
Tennessee $45,000
Texas $48,000
Utah $38,000
Vermont $44,000
Virginia $49,000
Washington $50,000
West Virginia $46,000
Wisconsin $44,000
Wyoming $41,000

Of course these results don’t factor in the cost of living and buying power, but they do show where demand for video editors is still high. The national average salary for video editors is $49,000.

All salary information is courtesy of Indeed.com.

Where does your state fall? Share in the comments below.

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  • Eric

    the problem i’m having is getting any kind of job!

    • Caleb Ward

      Yeah it’s a rough industry…

  • Rob Bannister

    Wow that seems very low. How much experienceate we talking here?

  • watcher_skys

    curious where you are getting this info. Is it based on an average? I have worked in NY, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida and have consistently made between $75K and $85 a year cutting everything from commercials to corporate videos to network TV

  • doodlehead

    your numbers are way off. the average day rate for a freelance editor in Los Angles on the low end is $600 a day. I know commercial editors in LA and NY making well into 6 figures

    • John V. Knowles

      Is that for TV/Film/Union jobs? There’s a lot of industrial/web work that pays $300+

  • Braden Storrs

    One issue with this list, though it is interesting to see, is that the areas that pay more also have a much higher cost of living (though Hawaii is high cost for being in the bottom list) . It’d be interesting to see the same list when compared with cost of living.

  • Matt

    I agree these numbers seem way off for LA… Unless this is an average of all types of editors combined including AE’s, wedding video editors, straight out of film school guys, etc. Any experienced editor worth their salt and working on even a low end reality show should be making $2000-$3000/week. The big guys editing blockbuster features are making up to $20k a week.

  • Tony Gay

    Seems really low to me, experienced Australian editors are all earning more, I would like to know where these figures came from and what they are based on, jobs advertised perhaps. Jobs advertised for an editor, not many and all at the low end, all the jobs with experience are through the network as most people want to work with someone who has experience and who’s work they know.

  • John Dangle

    Wow, this is some of the most fact free reporting I’ve read in a long time.

  • elRey

    this is a total JOKE!!! What type of video editors are you talking about ?!?!
    I am a Local 700 video editor in California and I make over $170,000 and I only work 10 months out of the year, and I have worked in NY too and the pay in NY is CONSIDERABLY LESS than California.

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