How to become a video editor 

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How to become a video editor 

Video editing is an occupation that has become quite popular these days, thanks to the overabundance of video content that we see on a daily basis. 

Even before there was this content boom, people still required video editors to edit their movies, films, short videos, clips, etc. 

It is a really important task, and not a lot of people understand just how much it takes to become a video editor. 

You have to know your skills to the highest level, and only then you can be considered as a professional video editor who can be hired by other people for the job. The benefits of video editing are endless for anyone who wants to make a living out of it.

In this article, I will go through some of the steps that you can take to achieve your goal of becoming a video editor. 

Who is a video editor?

First of all, let’s start with discussing who actually is a video editor. A lot of people confuse video editing softwares with the word ‘video editor’, but in actuality, a video editor is a person who uses these softwares to edit various different videos. 

His/her job is to manage to assemble a number of different shots that are provided by the client or the other person for whom the editor is working and stitch all the clips together to make one cohesive video.

It sounds like a simple job, but it is actually a lot more complicated than that. The bigger the project you have on hand, the more complicated the process of video editing becomes for someone.

What skills are required to become a video editor 

A lot of the websites would name a number of different skills that can be required by a video editor, and while they are all true to some extent, the only basic skill that is required by a video editor is patience. 

Video editing is a long and grueling process; you have to sit on a chair and stare at a screen for a long time while adjusting minute little details till the overall outcome of the video is desirable. 

That being said, it is not that you don’t need some technical skills to become a good video editor; without those technical skills, such as the 321 rule, 180 Degree rule, etc., you wouldn’t be a good editor. 

But at the end of the day, it all boils down to the person being patient with this craft because you can truly make a wonderful video or an awful video if you have a terrible video editor on hand. 

Qualifications required to become a video editor

Professional video editors who go on to edit feature films do join certain film societies such as A.C.E, which translates to American Cinema Editors society. A.C.E is an honorary society and not a union group.

You can choose to join this honorary group if you are serious about video editing and want to edit feature films for Hollywood, but as such, there is no specific degree or qualification that you have to get to become a video editor. 

Video editing is a skill that you can very easily learn from your home by just practicing over and over on a particular video editing software. 

You can choose to opt for some online courses on the way to becoming a professional video editor, but as such, you don’t need a designated degree that you need to prove that you are a video editor.

Steps to become a video editor 

Here are some of the steps that you can try out to become a video editor.

Step 1 – Find the right software

First and foremost, the most important part that you really have to pin down is the video editing software that you decide to use. 

You will find tons of different types of video editing software present right now, and all of them are catered to different groups of people. They are all available at different price ranges as well.

You have to decide which editing software you need to use and which one suits you the best in terms of the skills that you currently have. 

If you have trouble finding the right video editing software, I have written separate articles where I discuss in-depth about the type of software that is best available in different fields.

Finding and choosing the right software is not very easy hence we have written in detail on How to choose the right video editing software.

Users now have endless options to choose from and there are hundreds of video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Inshot, iMovie, Filmora, Final Cut Pro, Power Director etc

Step 2 – Learn video editing from different courses

The second step you should take after selecting the right video editing software for yourself is to go through some online courses that are available for the particular video editing software that you chose. 

Most video editing software work more or less the same way, so you can also opt to choose a different course that is not using the exact version of the software that you are using. 

The point of choosing an online course is to help you better understand the overall usage of the software and all tips and tricks that you can use to edit your videos faster than before.

If you don’t want to opt for an online course, then you can easily choose to visit YouTube and learn for free from thousands of people who have uploaded videos on how to use a particular video editing software.

Also read: How to improve your video editing skills

Step 3 – Take internships or freelance works

Once you have got the hang of the particular software and are able to export quality videos from it, then you should hunt for some internships or freelance work regarding video editing.

This would allow you to see the exposure to the real world, and what all are the needs of the clients for a specific video. It will allow you to work a lot more on your skills and earn some side income through it all as well.

Nowadays, you have many different web portals available that offer freelance work and internships; you just have to apply your details and set your level of skills and how much you would charge for work. 

After that, if you are lucky, people will approach you to edit their videos.

Step 4 – Build some contacts

After completing some internships for production houses or doing some freelance work, you should also build your set of contacts with the people who are working in the industry.

Building contacts is the most important task that you have to achieve in this field because, as I said, you don’t need some degree or certain qualifications to prove that you are a video editor. 

You need to prove you are a video editor through your work and showing your work to these contacts. Only then might they hire you for their projects that require a professional video editor.

Step 5 – Become a professional video editor 

After you have built yourself a solid base of contacts, then you should be pretty lucky enough to get hired for some big projects. Those big projects would have eyes on some other people working in the industry. 

If they find your work to be great, then they might ask you to work for them, and you may also have to sign a set of contracts with them, and hence you begin your journey as a professional video editor. 

All these steps might seem easy, and believe me, this is more or less the track that all individuals go through who are looking to work in this creative field. 

It’s a fun field, and if you are someone who is interested in the world of video editing, then you will have a good time while you are at it.


Let’s discuss some of the common questions that are asked regarding this subject.

Is it hard to become a video editor?

If you just want to become a video editor, then no, it is not difficult to become a video editor. You just have to learn how to use the right video editing app, and then you can technically be called a video editor. 

If you want to have a career in this field and want to be recognized as a professional video editor, then it might be a little difficult because there are a lot of people in this field. 

The great thing about this field is that there is a genuine demand for video editors, and people are required to edit videos as we see a surge in the world of content creation.

Whether it be for making proper web series or just making small reels on Instagram, there is a demand for video editors, and you can fill that gap.

How do I start a career in video editing?

By simply building contacts. That is the only way you are able to start a career in this field of work. 

You need a dedicated set of videos that you are proud of, and show it to the world by creating a showreel of those videos. 

This is why I suggested getting some internships and freelance work for production houses or people who are hiring video editors for their YouTube channel or some other work. 

Once you get in contact with the people who are working in the industry and for whom you have worked before, they will approach you if they have a bigger project in their mind, as they have already seen your work.

Building contacts is the only way to becoming a professional video editor.

How long does it take to become a video editor?

As long as you wish for. There is no specific time and duration you have to fill in to qualify as a video editor. It is not a course like engineering or doctory that you fill the time and practice, and you are a video editor. 

It is a craft that takes a certain amount of time, and software designers add more and more features to their video editing software, so you are constantly learning new skills about this art form.

Usually, people spend years and years qualifying as professional video editors, but if you just want to be a novice editor, then you can choose a simple video editing app. 

On it, you can learn to be a video editor in some months, but there is a huge difference between these editors and the editors who are working professionally in this business. 

How much do video editors make?

I have actually written a separate article where I discuss exactly how much a video editor makes yearly. The number varies from country to country and also on the type of job you have. 

If you are working as a freelancer, then you should earn about $100 – $500 Dollars per video you edit, based on the price that you have set for yourself.

If you have signed a certain contract with a particular company, then your payment would be accordingly that much. 

Usually, professional editors, who have made it in this career, earn somewhere around $45k – $60k/year and even that number varies a lot.


Well, there you have it. An article dedicated to helping you become a professional video editor. Video editing is a skill that does take a lot of time and patience. 

You are dealing with so many different types of inputs and video clips, and it can become a circus very quickly.

You really need to know what you are doing with video editing software; otherwise, if you don’t make a lot of sense out of it, chances are that people wouldn’t hire you again, which is the last thing that you would want for your career. 

Luckily we are living in a time where content creation is at its highest, and people are genuinely looking out for video editors as they want to mass-produce videos for their channels or other mediums. 

If there was a better time to become a video editor, it is now. But, as always, these have been my thoughts about how one can become a video editor.

What about you? Do you agree with my steps? Or do you think there are some other better options that one can use for becoming a video editor?

Whatever your thoughts are, do let us know about them in the comments section down below!

Sanjit Mansingh

Sanjit Mansingh

Sanjit Mansingh is a Journalism and Mass Communication graduate. While studying in this field he quickly realized what he wants to do in his life: Filmmaking. His interest in writing scripts is what made him give a try in the world of content writing. Sanjit's an avid Movie Geek and is an award winning Director as well.

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