068 Video editor : Turn your passion into a lucrative income

Among all the creative sectors, video editing is certainly one of the most dynamic at the moment. And for good reason, particularly social media such as Tik Tok and Instagram which have become the “place to be” for all those who want to gain visibility. So, if you are interested, let’s see how to become a video editor and also how to find your first clients and earn money quickly.

What is a video editor?

If you like movies, series, documentaries, etc., and sometimes wonder how they are made, how the images are put together, how the sound and music are added, or how the special effects are created, then you are probably interested in becoming a video editor. As you probably already know, this is the person responsible for working with raw audio-visual content (video, sound, images) to make a finished product that is coherent and, as much as possible, captivating.

The video editor can work for different types of clients: television stations, film studios, communication agencies, companies, individuals, etc. Depending on his or her specialization, he or she may have to edit a feature film, an advertising film, or even a rap video for a group of hip-hop grannies.

In film or TV, they can be involved in different stages of the process of various types of productions: from the cutting of the script to post-production, including the choice of shots, the rhythm, the narration, etc. But many editors also work exclusively on videos that are just a few minutes or even a few dozen seconds long, intended to be published on social media or as “vignettes” on television or the web.

When you start out in this business, it’s likely that most of your clients will entrust you with short video edits, so rest assured, you won’t be asked to edit Star Wars XX or any other Hollywood blockbuster right away.

And to finish this description, know that the job of video editor is really exciting, creative, and varied, but it requires technical, artistic, and relational skills, as well as a strong sense of rhythm and movement, to have a good cinematographic culture and to know the various narrative schemes used in the audio-visual world or social networks.

Are AI tools a danger for the video editing profession?

With the evolution of technologies, there are now more and more tools that allow anyone to do video editing. Some are even boosted with artificial intelligence (AI) in order to automate certain tasks and also to offer solutions adapted to the more specific needs of users. For example, there are platforms that allow you to create videos from text or images, or software that analyzes the content of a video and cuts it into short sequences to be published as a “story” or “short”.

These tools can be useful for simple and quick editing, but they cannot replace the work of a human video editor, or at least not yet, on more complex edits. Indeed, AI cannot compete with the talent, creativity and experience of a video editor who knows how to tell a story, capture attention, generate emotions, respect genre or format codes, etc.

Video editing is a profession that requires an artistic vision, a personal sensitivity, and an ability to adapt that cannot be reproduced by a machine. So on this particular subject, I doubt that AIs will ever manage to match us, and if it were to happen, it probably won’t be (in my humble opinion) for several decades (I know, I can hear you calling me massively naive 😏!).

What are the different areas of application of video editing?

Video editing is used in different contexts, depending on the purpose and audience. There are several areas of application for video editing, the three main ones being home video editing, corporate video editing and film and television video editing. Each has its own characteristics and requirements, and video editing must be adapted accordingly to meet the specific needs of each project.

  • Personal video editing: This involves assembling images and sounds to create a memory or testimony of a moment in life. You may be asked to work on family events (weddings, birthdays, anniversaries…), travels (vacations, expeditions, minitrips…), childhood memories (photo albums, school videos, family stories…), etc.

    You may be solicited by individuals who wish to immortalize these moments or share them with their loved ones. You will have to respect their style, their tastes and their emotions, while bringing your personal and creative touch. Editing personal videos can be done with simple and accessible software, but it also requires time, patience and a certain sensitivity.

  • Editing for businesses: This involves assembling images and sounds to create a video for professional use. You work on promotional videos (advertisements, customer testimonials, product or service presentations…), training videos (tutorials, online courses, webinars…), corporate event videos (conferences, seminars, trade shows…), etc.

    In this case, you will generally be solicited by companies that wish to communicate, inform, or train their target audience. You must then respect the specifications, the message, and the image of the company while bringing your added value and your expertise. Editing for companies can be done with more complex and powerful software, but it also requires technical, artistic, and relational skills.

  • Video editing for film and television: This one requires a particularly high level of talent and experience compared to the other two and is therefore aimed at editors who have already been working for a few years. This field of application consists of assembling images and sounds to create audiovisual works such as fiction films (long or short films, series, web-series…), documentary films (reports, investigations, portraits…), animation films (cartoons, stop motion, computer generated images…), etc.

    This is the kind of highly motivating (and also well-paid) artistic or cultural project that you may not come across right away when you first start out in the business. But when you do, your role will be to respect the script, vision, and style of the director while bringing your creativity and sense of rhythm. You will also need specific skills, such as a broad film culture, knowledge of narrative codes, and a great ability to adapt.

So that’s the main areas of application. There are others, but they are less common or less defined than the three I mentioned. For example, there is experimental video editing, which consists of assembling images and sounds to create an original and innovative work, without worrying about rules or conventions. There is also participatory video editing, where images and sounds from different sources or contributors are assembled to create a collective and collaborative work. Finally, there is interactive video editing, where images and sounds are used to create a work that adapts to the viewer’s choices or reactions. But anyway, you will see all this in more detail during your training.

Content Creators

There is a category that is a bit of a hybrid between personal and professional videos that has been particularly popular in recent years: video content creators. Indeed, more and more people start producing videos for the web, whether for blogs, YouTube channels, social networks, or online training.

However, these creators are not necessarily comfortable with video editing, or simply don’t have the time or inclination to do it. That’s why many of them prefer to entrust this task to a professional who will create a video edit according to the guidelines given to him, but also by integrating all his artistic talent.

As a freelance video editor, you can therefore offer your services to these content creators, showing them the benefits you can bring them: time savings, better brand image, increased engagement, and conversions of their audience, etc.

How to learn video editing quickly and efficiently?

Video editing is a field that requires quite a variety of technical knowledge and skills. You need to master editing software, cutting techniques, transitions, synchronization, special effects, etc. So how do you learn video editing quickly and efficiently? There are several methods to train you, depending on your level, your budget, and your availability. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Online training: These are video courses that you can take at your own pace, from home or anywhere. You have access to theoretical and practical lessons, exercises, quizzes, projects, etc. You can also interact with the instructor or other students via forums or chats.

    There are many platforms that offer online video editing courses, such as Udemy or SkillShare. You will find courses adapted to your level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced), on different software (Adobe Premiere Pro, DaVinci Resolve, Camtasia, Filmora, etc.), and according to your objectives (personal, professional, social video editing, etc.).

    The advantages of online training are numerous, and the main ones are flexibility, diversity, and low cost. The disadvantages are the lack of guidance, feedback and sometimes motivation.

  • Face-to-face training: Here, courses are given by a trainer in a classroom or studio. You benefit from personalized and interactive teaching, with demonstrations, exercises and evaluations. You can also take advantage of the hardware and software provided by the training center.

    There are many organizations that offer face-to-face training on video editing, such as film schools, professional training centers, or cultural associations. You can find courses adapted to your level (initiation, improvement, or specialization), to your software (Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer, Vegas Pro, etc.), or to your field (fiction editing, documentary, reportage, etc.).

    The advantages of face-to-face training are the quality of the learning, the follow-up, and the certification. The disadvantages are the often high cost, rigidity, and availability.

  • Self-study: Many beginners start with this approach, which is also very flexible. This means learning video editing on your own, using resources available on the internet or elsewhere. You can check out free or paid tutorials on YouTube, Vimeo, or other online video platforms. You can also read books, articles, or blogs on the subject.

    Finally, you can practice video editing by making your own projects or taking on those of your friends or family, or by participating in online contests or challenges. Self-study allows you to learn video editing “à la carte” and at your own pace, according to your desires and needs.

    The advantages of self-training are autonomy, creativity and free access. The disadvantages are the lack of method, feedback, and recognition.

So, what to choose? It may seem like an obvious choice if you are going to freelance and find your own clients, but if you were to apply for a job as a video editor with a company, you will probably be asked what education or training you have completed. If you’ve gone the self-taught route, that could potentially be a problem. So it’s up to you to think about it.

A Loupedeck video editing console This is the kind of toy you can have fun with when you become a video editing pro.
Source: loupedeck.com

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Video editing has several advantages but also some disadvantages. So before you start any training, it would be best to make sure that this is what you want to do. Start with small projects, which you can edit on Canva or free software, and then tackle more professional software if you feel you really like it. This will give you a more objective idea of the reality of the job. Here are a few pros and cons that might help you get a clearer picture.


  • You can express your creativity and sensitivity through your videos.
  • You can work on various and stimulating projects in different fields.
  • You can choose your status, your rhythm, and your place of work, according to your needs and desires (especially in freelance).
  • You can reach a large audience and have a positive impact on people.


  • You face stiff competition and a rapidly changing industry.
  • You have to invest in powerful and therefore expensive hardware and software.
  • You have to meet deadlines and sometimes frustrating requirements from your clients.
  • You must manage the stress, fatigue, and isolation associated with video editing.

Which video editing tools should you use?

As we will see here, there are many tools for video editing, and you will have to choose the one that will be the most suitable for you. This choice will depend mainly on the type of project you want to do, but also on the level of comfort and affinity with which you will use one or the other. Here is a list of the most famous software, classified by category.

1Professional software

These are generally used for more complex projects that require greater flexibility and more advanced features. These are common options for video editing professionals, but they may require a certain learning period and a larger financial investment.

2Mobile video editing apps

These are more suited for shorter, simpler video projects, such as videos for social networks. They offer basic functionality to assemble and edit videos on your cell phone, without the need for a computer. Here are a few of them, but be aware that there are many more on the Apple and Google Stores.

3Online video editing tools

These are also an option for relatively basic projects, but they tend to offer fewer features than professional software and mobile apps. They are generally easy to use and require no download.

In summary, for complex professional projects, professional software is the best option. For simple projects or short videos for social networks, mobile video editing apps are a good choice. And for even simpler projects, online tools can be a convenient and accessible option.

Adobe Premiere Pro Adobe Premiere Pro

What are the steps to create a video montage?

As with any job, it’s all about being organized in order to be efficient. When you’re doing an amateur edit, you probably import all the rushes into the editing software, sort them out as you go, and then see what you can do with them. But for a professional, it’s different.

For them, video editing is a process that requires rigor and method, and usually involves three main steps: preparation, editing, and finishing. Here’s what you need to know about each of these steps:

  • Preparation: This involves gathering and organizing the content you will use for your video editing. You need to choose the videos and photos you want to include, based on the theme, message, and audience of your video. You also need to sort and arrange these elements in chronological, thematic, or logical order.

    Next, you need to write a script that will define the structure, rhythm, and narrative of your video. The script should include shots, transitions, dialogue, voice-overs, etc. The preparation is an essential step to have a clear and coherent vision of your project. This is especially true for medium and long videos.

  • Editing: This phase consists of assembling and editing the content you have prepared. You must use a video editing software that will allow you to cut, paste, move, and modify elements on a timeline. You must select the best moments of your videos and photos, according to their quality, relevance, and interest.

    You must also choose the music that will accompany your video, depending on the mood, tone, and genre you want to give. Finally, you must add transitions and effects that will make your video more fluid, dynamic, and attractive. Editing is a creative step that requires attention to detail, a sense of narrative rhythm, and above all, a certain amount of originality.

  • Finalization: In this last step, you must refine and export your video editing. You need to add titles and subtitles that will introduce your video, introduce topics or speakers, summarize key points, or translate foreign languages.

    You also need to balance the audio of your video, adjusting the volume, mixing and equalizing the sounds. Finally, you need to export your video in the right format and resolution for your distribution medium (YouTube, Instagram, DVD, etc.). Finalization is a technical step that requires precision, attention, and mastery.

How to get started and find your first clients?

You’ve taken a video editing course and you feel ready to get started in the business? Good for you! But before you get your first contracts, you still need to go through a few steps. Nothing too complicated—don’t worry—and we’ll see that together now.

1The first step is to define your professional status, and here you have a choice between 3 possibilities: salaried employment, intermittent work or freelance. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your needs and desires. Salaried employment offers you financial and social security, but limits your choice of projects and your autonomy. Intermittence allows you to work on various projects, but exposes you to a certain precariousness. Freelancing gives you total freedom and great flexibility, but also requires a lot of rigor and a good ability to manage your business (accounting, organizing your work days, finding clients…).

2The second thing to do is to create your portfolio. It is a showcase of your skills and achievements, which will allow you to convince your potential clients or employers. To do this, you need to select the best clips of your video editing work, making sure to show the diversity of your styles and fields. You must also take care of the presentation of your portfolio, by choosing an adapted support (website, YouTube channel, specialized platform…), by writing clear and catchy descriptions, and by choosing a clean and modern design.

3The third step depends on the status you have chosen. If you have chosen the salary route, you can start by writing your CV and then answering all the ads you find on job boards. There are a few international sites such as Indeed, Monster or Talent (make sure to select your country) that offer offers for all professional sectors, but I advise you to search on local or national sites that you will find via a quick Google search, and also to search on LinkedIn which is full of job offers. But the competition in this sector is quite high, so don’t hesitate to send a few unsolicited applications in parallel.

In the case of freelancing, it will be up to you to find your clients, but here again, you have several options. You can start by using social networks, ad sites, forums, blogs, newsletters… to spread your portfolio and get in touch with people who might be interested in your services. You can participate in events related to video editing (festivals, competitions, workshops…), to meet professionals in the sector and expand your network. You can also solicit your entourage (family, friends, former colleagues or teachers…), to tell them about your activity and ask them to recommend you.

But the most efficient way, often when you are starting out, is to use freelance platforms such as Fiverr, UpWork, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, etc. I’ve written an article explaining how to use Fiverr, but you’ll find valuable tips there, no matter which platform you choose.

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Also, don’t hesitate to run small ad campaigns on social networks such as Facebook/Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, etc., and on Google Ads as well. Of course, this will be in the form of short and dynamic videos, where you will express all your talent and creativity. I wrote a whole article about marketing and the different ways to promote a product or service, you can read it here.

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How much can you earn as a video editor?

The amount of money you can expect to receive for your work will depend on many factors such as your level of education, experience, professional status and the country where you live. It is difficult to give a general average, as there are large differences between sectors and regions. Nevertheless, here are some indications to give you an idea of the possible incomes for a video editor, which I found on sites such as Indeed, Talent or elsewhere, and which vary according to the status, the position and the service:

  • In the USA, the average salary is $50,000 per year or $24.04 per hour. It varies between $25,000 and $90,000 per year.
  • In the UK, the average salary is £28,000 per year or £13.46 per hour. It varies between £15,000 and £45,000 per year.
  • In Canada, the average salary is $54,000 per year or $27.69 per hour. It varies between $30,000 and $90,000 per year.
  • In Australia, the average salary is $69,000 per year or $35.38 per hour. It varies between $40,000 and $100,000 per year.
  • In India, the average salary is ₹ 3.6 lakhs per year or ₹ 300 per hour. It varies between ₹ 1.5 lakhs and ₹ 7 lakhs per year.

As you can see, the salary of a video editor can vary by as much as three times depending on the country and the working conditions. You also have to take into account the social charges, taxes, cost of living and purchasing power that can influence the standard of living of a video editor.

Finally, it is important to know that the profession of video editor is often exercised as a freelance, which implies a certain precariousness and irregularity of income.

8 tips to start your career as a video editor

Let’s end this article with a few tips that will be very useful to achieve the success you are looking for, and that are especially addressed to those who have chosen the freelance option.

  • Define your service offer: what kind of video editing do you offer? What are your rates? What are your deadlines? What are your conditions?
  • Create your visual identity: choose a name, a logo, a graphic charter, which reflect your personality and your professionalism.
  • Develop your online presence: create a website, a Facebook page, an Instagram, TikTok and Behance account, a LinkedIn profile, which allow you to present your portfolio, your references, your client testimonials, and communicate with your audience.
  • Network: join groups, associations, clubs, related to video editing or your chosen field. Participate in events, trainings, webinars. Network with other editors, experts and other industry professionals. Get to know and befriend the most interesting people.
  • Actively prospect: don’t sit back and wait for clients to come to you. Look for opportunities on job boards, social networks, forums. Contact directly the people or companies that might need your services. Offer them a personalized and attractive proposal.
  • Take care of your customer relationship: listen to the needs and expectations of your customers. Respect the deadlines and the budget agreed upon. Provide quality work that meets the specifications. Ask for feedback and recommendations at the end of the project.
  • Continuously learn: don’t rest on your laurels. Stay on top of trends and innovations in video editing. Learn new techniques, new software, new styles. Enrich your culture and your creativity.
  • Take care of yourself: don’t neglect your physical and mental health. Take breaks, relax, and have fun. Balance your professional and personal life. Surround yourself with positive and caring people.


There you go, I think you now have all the keys (the main ones at least) to get started as a video editor. We have seen in this article that there are different types of video editing, depending on the purpose and the audience, how to train in video editing, by choosing a training adapted to your level and your objectives, how to start as a video editor, by defining your status, by creating your portfolio and by prospecting clients or employers, and finally, we have seen how to succeed in the profession of video editor, by following some practical advice.

Don’t forget that video editing is an exciting but demanding job that requires creativity, rigor and perseverance. Don’t be discouraged by difficulties or criticism, but learn from your mistakes and keep progressing. And above all, have fun creating videos that look like you and that make others dream!

When you start out, take whatever you can get your hands on: personal, corporate, advertising, artistic, educational, documentary, sports, wedding, etc. All of this will allow you to improve and broaden your skills, learn editing software in greater depth, in short, to gain experience and thus become a true professional.

Videos are definitely the means of expression and communication of this XXIst century, and even if the various tools available and notably doped with artificial intelligence do not cease to flourish on the Web, there will always be work for talented and creative people like you.


Environmental and climate change issues are more than ever at the heart of the concerns of this 21st century, which is why I am proposing a few ideas that will enable you to limit the negative impact that the implementation of this idea could have.

These solutions that I suggest are sometimes largely insufficient to compensate for these negative impacts, such as carbon offsetting. Unfortunately, there is not always an ideal and 100% efficient solution, far from it. And if you have others, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments below.

The negative effects of being a video editor revolve around two main axes.

  • 1The equipment needed for video editing: To work on a video edit without the system lagging or crashing every 10 minutes, you first need power, especially when the rushes are in 4k. This means a more powerful CPU (processor), more RAM (memory), a fast graphics card… and all these options consume more energy than conventional hardware. In addition, to work more comfortably, the editor needs two or three high quality and quite large screens, which further increases the power consumption.
  • 2Servers for sharing and storing rushes and final edits: Cloud and video hosting services are usually datacenters that require a huge amount of energy to run, but also to cool. Some services use renewable energy in part or in full to provide this energy, but they are far from the majority and most still rely on fossil fuels.

If you want to limit your professional ecological footprint, you can opt for eco-responsible or energy-efficient equipment. It won’t be easy, but try to find the right balance between performance and energy consumption for each piece of equipment you buy.

Also try to limit the use of cloud storage as much as you can and prefer local storage on external drives. And if you post a lot of content on social networks, especially on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, maybe it’s not essential to keep some videos older than 1, 2 or 3 years? All the space you can free up on the web and social networks in particular will be welcome. Finally, you should know that there are some cloud services that are more virtuous than others, as explained in this article.


  • A creative job where you can express all your talent
  • Varied and stimulating projects in different fields of application
  • For freelancers, a great flexibility and the possibility to choose the projects


  • High competition and rapid evolution of the sector
  • Investment in expensive hardware and software
  • Clients with sometimes restrictive deadlines and requirements
  • Stress, fatigue and isolation related to video editing

Disclaimer, please read this Legal and administrative aspects of the ideas you'll find on Sweekr are rarely discussed because they vary greatly depending on the country you live in. I would advise you to check with your local government before starting any business. Keep in mind that if you make money, the state will ask for "its share" in order to guarantee the proper functioning of schools, hospitals and other public services. Therefore, you will probably have to acquire a micro-entrepreneur status, or any other similar.
Also, be aware that this post may contain affiliate links, and I may get compensated a commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the affiliate links and subsequently make a purchase. This will help maintain the site, so thank you.

This article could be completed or improved with your help. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question, a relevant remark, a feedback, additional information or spotted any error.Go to comments


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