There are currently an estimated 25,100 camera operators in the United States. The camera operator job market is expected to grow by 7.2% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are camera operators?

CareerExplorer rates camera operators with a F employability rating, meaning this career should provide poor employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 8,100 camera operators. That number is based on 1,800 additional camera operators, and the retirement of 6,300 existing camera operators.

Are camera operators in demand?

While an increase in productions and broadcasts for the internet will provide some demand and employment opportunities for camera operators, the overall occupational outlook is projected to be poor, due largely to greater use of automated camera systems in broadcasting. As many camera operators are employed in the television and motion picture industries in large metropolitan areas, particularly strong competition for job openings is expected in this sector. While camera operators do not require any specific certifications or licenses, many employers prefer to hire candidates with a Bachelor’s Degree in film or media production, broadcasting, or a related discipline. The transition to digital cameras has increased the importance of computer skills for job seekers in this field. In addition, hand-eye coordination, creativity, and sharp communication skills are considered crucial for aspiring camera operators. Most successful applicants begin their careers as a production assistant and become a camera assistant before eventually securing a job as a camera operator. Self-employed operators may encounter opportunities to contract their services, often at a daily rate, to television networks, independent filmmakers, advertising agencies, or trade show and convention sponsors.

What’s the supply of camera operators?

The camera operator industry is concentrated in California, New York, Texas

Camera Operator job market by state

State Name Employed Camera Operators
California 5,750
New York 1,680
Texas 1,200
Georgia 840
Pennsylvania 820
Florida 760
Illinois 660
District of Columbia 610
Massachusetts 530
Nevada 460
Colorado 460
Ohio 460
Tennessee 430
Connecticut 390
Indiana 360
New Jersey 340
Virginia 330
North Carolina 320
Maryland 320
Washington 310
Louisiana 310
Arizona 280
Kentucky 250
Utah 230
Oklahoma 230
Michigan 230
Wisconsin 180
Puerto Rico 170
Alabama 170
Missouri 150
Hawaii 150
Minnesota 150
Oregon 150
South Carolina 140
New Hampshire 130
Kansas 120
Maine 120
Nebraska 100
Arkansas 90
Idaho 90
Montana 90
Vermont 80
South Dakota 70
Wyoming 60
West Virginia 50
New Mexico 50
Iowa 50
North Dakota 40
Mississippi 40
Rhode Island 30