How Much Does Becoming a Videographer Cost?

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$ Associate's Degree: $3,000+ Per Year $ $ Bachelor's Degree: $8,200-$28,000+ Per Year

The job of the videographers is to film or videotape private ceremonies and special events, including weddings, corporate and business content, as well as how-to videos.

Most videographers then edit their material.

Typical Costs

The technical nature of videography covers many tasks, from the filming process to the editing process, and thus requires a four-year college degree.

For example, in 2012, the average annual cost of earning a four-year bachelor’s degree from a public college is $8,244 for in-state students and $20,770 for out-of-state students, according to the College Board.

In the same year 2012, the average annual cost of earning a four-year bachelor’s degree from a private college is $14,487 for a profit-based university to $28,500 for a nonprofit university; however, it can run much higher.

The University of California, Los Angeles, for example, offers a four-year film and video degree for $12,686 annually.

To earn a two-year associate’s degree in videography, one should pay approx. $6,000, according to the College Board.

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The Blue Ridge Community College in North Carolina, for instance, costs approx. $2,200 annually for state residents or $8,200 for non-residents.

The videographers usually buy their professional-grade video camera.

The professional-quality video cameras cost from $600 to several thousand dollars; yet students typically start with a camcorder that costs about $1,000 -$1,500.

The reviews website CamcorderInfo.com provides The Student Filmmaker’s Buying Guide to Consumer Camcorders, which covers the Canon HF S21 ($1,399), the Panasonic HDC-TM300 ($1,299), the JVC GZ-HM400 (less than $1,000) and the Canon HV40 ($999).

What Is Included

  • The classes for earning a degree in video production teach the technical aspects of the film, covering lighting and audio for both studio and location filming.
  • Some related courses usually include high-definition television; as well as film, digital video and television processes and equipment; 3D animation and further advanced audio production.
  • A videographer for the movie and broadcast television industries should expect to start as a production assistant in the camera department, whose task would be to run errands and perform other tasks for operators.
  • The commercial videographers for weddings and corporations, usually work on a freelance basis or operate as a small business of one person.
  • A videographer can start one’s career as an apprentice to an established videographer; or can solicit work through classifieds, friends or networking to build a customer base.

Additional Costs

  • A tripod to steady the camcorder can be found at the price of about $70-$190.
  • The video editing software costs from $50-$800; where the less expensive software could be better for beginners or simple edits; and the pricier software such as the Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 tends to be the industry standard.
  • Miscellaneous other purchases that the videographer could require include microphones ($20-$2,000), lighting equipment ($100-$3,000) and equipment bags and cases ($50-$400).
  • The independent commercial videographers could want to take continuing education courses in business to learn skills such as accounting, marketing, and networking.
  • The courses specific to videography can be found through trade organizations such as the Wedding and Event Videographers Association, where the membership costs $250 per year.

Shopping For Becoming A Videographer

  • CNET presents a camcorder buying guide with specifications for the business videographer.
  • The Princeton Review provides an overview of degrees in a video production which includes a list of schools that are offering the major.
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ on film and video editors and camera operators presents information on the career’s outlook and the working conditions.

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