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Pay type

Freelance video editing rates can vary by type.

 
  • Per hour: Hourly rates vary depending on experience, project scope, and more. Tesson Facilities categorizes freelance pay scales into beginner, intermediate, and professional.
    • Beginners: ₪70–₪160
    • Intermediate/advanced: ₪160–₪360
    • Professional editors and producers: ₪220–₪360

According to Salary.com, the median hourly rate is ₪70, with rates between ₪100 and ₪220. 

  • Per day: Per diem rates are often used for short projects but may cause timing issues for larger projects.
  • Fixed rate: Fixed rates usually entail exchanging a lump sum upon completion of the project. This pay type is often used for larger and longer projects.

Experience

Although even a beginner editor may be talented, most clients want to see previous client work and recommendations. Without these, it’s hard to justify a higher pay rate. For clients with a smaller budget and project, such as a short YouTube video, a video editor with less experience can work.

Editors with more experience often have more advanced skills—and charge higher rates. Those who need more in-depth video editing should look for video editors with a robust client list and professional portfolio of work.

Ability

What sets a good editor apart from a great editor is their ability to take raw footage and create an amazing end product. Whether it’s an emotional story or a hilarious advertisement, a great editor understands that timing is key. For the best end product, clients should look for editors whose work aligns with their needs. For example, if your video requires animation editing, look for an editor with extensive experience editing animated videos.

Size and type of project

Across video types, knowing the scope of raw footage and the desired finished product is extremely important. A client might have 200 hours of footage that they want distilled into a 20-minute video, meaning a lot of time just sifting through footage to see what’s usable. Knowing the size and type of project helps dictate its pay scale. Here are some of the more popular projects and their usual rates:

 
  • Weddings and events: People crave beautifully edited video footage of all sorts of milestone events. The starting pay rate for wedding and event video editors is around ₪70/hour but can go up to ₪730/hour or more depending on the editor’s experience and abilities.
  • Commercials and branded storytelling: According to the Blue Collar Post Collective (BCPC), the breakdown of pay rates for freelance commercial and branded storytelling editors is:
    • Hourly rate: ₪70–$₪1800; average hourly rate: ₪300
    • Day rate: ₪630–₪7200; average day rate: ₪2800
  • Documentaries: Documentaries pay rates vary greatly. Some editors may work at a much lower rate for documentaries they see as passion projects or that focus on topics they value deeply. The BCPC shows documentary video editing rates as:
    • Hourly rate: ₪200–₪550; average hourly rate: ₪320
    • Day rate: ₪1200–₪5500; average day rate: ₪2500
    • Weekly rate: ₪1850–₪18,500; average weekly rate: ₪13,300
  • Episodic programs: Rates for TV show editing are more standardized due to union regulations. General rates according to the BCPC are:
    • Hourly rate: $42–$150; average hourly rate: $89 
    • Day rate: $475–$1,100; average day rate: $763
    • Weekly rate: $2,000–$7,000; average weekly rate: $4,250
  • Scripted features: Editors working on scripted features will likely be part of the Motion Pictures Editors Guild, which regulates contracts and rates. According to ZipRecruiter, as of December 2022, the average annual pay for a film video editor in the United States is $54,055 a year. As per the BCPC, editing rates for scripted features are:
    • Hourly rate: $32–$75; average hourly rate: $52 
    • Day rate: $600–$3,000; average day rate: $1,160
    • Weekly rate: $900–$20,000; average rate: $4,728

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