A video operator is a professional who may be responsible for duties such as filming live events, producing video broadcasts, conducting video playback, and editing video footage. A professional in this field may work closely with video technicians and producers. Video operators work in a number of media fields, such as advertising, film, and television. To become a video operator, it first can be helpful to get an education that prepares you to use necessary technology. It can also be a good idea to get as much experience as possible, which can include entry level positions and internships.
In most cases, no specific certification or degree is required to become a video operator. Many employers, however, do choose to hire individuals who have had formal academic training since it can be evidence of an individual's proficiency. An education in a field related to video operation can also help you to meet contacts who can help you get jobs and who later may write reference letters.
A trade school can be a good option for an individual who would like to get the education necessary to become a video operator but who does not want to deal with the time and money required to complete a four year program. You may be required to earn a high school diploma prior to enrollment in a trade school. These programs normally last for one to two years and can provide students with valuable hands-on experience operating video cameras, editing tools, and other related equipment.
Aspiring video operators who are interested in learning about theory and principles regarding video may choose to earn undergraduate degrees. These programs require students to take courses in a broad range of different disciplines and may encourage them to draw connections between video and other fields. An undergraduate program is necessary for students who would like to purse graduate degrees in video.
Many experts believe that experience can be just as valuable as academic preparation for a person who would like to become a video operator. Experience in an entry level position can introduce an aspiring video operator to the real world practices that guide video operation. Some employers may value experience on a job applicant's resume over academic engagement.
Even entry level positions may require some formal training, however. Many academic programs give students opportunities to participate in internships. These positions are often unpaid, though they allow students to learn from established professionals. It is common for interns to later move into paid video operator positions in the same organizations where they interned.