How to become a Video Editor.

One of the appeals of becoming a video editor is that there’s no “right” way to do it. Whether the technical training comes from a video editing certification program, online tutorials, or a formal college degree, video and film editors ultimately have the creative freedom to prove themselves through their final products and portfolio clips.

If you’re thinking about a career in video editing or you just want to incorporate video editing skills into your current job, Adobe Certified Professional can pave the way. The program has all the resources you need to validate your knowledge of Adobe Premiere Pro, our industry-leading video editing app for all media platforms. Read on to discover what it takes to get certified and become a video editor.

What’s a video editor?

Video editors’ responsibilities range from pre-production to post-production of visual media. They assemble, cut, splice, and manipulate footage for films, broadcasts, TV shows, commercials, online videos, and more using computer software. They also add and align voiceovers, music, sounds, graphics, and special effects to help tell stories effectively.

Video sequencing and editing are crucial to creating an engaging experience for the audience. A good video editor considers viewers’ emotions and works to promote relevant calls to action. Employing a combination of technical skills and keen creative judgment, video editors hold significant authority over the artistic direction of projects.

Video editors typically work in-house for companies or on freelance video projects for various clients. And some video editors have titles such as content developer, social media marketer, or multimedia specialist, as they can apply their diverse editing skills to different areas of digital media.

Type of video editing projects.

We’re living in a golden age of visual media and video content — whether audiences watch to be entertained, informed, or persuaded. In turn, there are seemingly endless elements to keep in mind as a video editor, depending on a project’s needs. Types of video content vary greatly in form and length. Today’s video editors commonly take on the following kinds of projects:

  • YouTube videos for organizations or personal channels
  • Social media videos to build brand awareness (including vlogs, educational videos, and compelling short videos for multiple platforms
  • Interviews
  • Movies and films, including shorts, documentaries, and feature-length productions
  • TV shows
  • Commercials and ads for TV or the web
  • Corporate/company presentation videos
  • Promotional videos
  • Testimonials or marketing videos
  • How-to explainer videos or product explanations
  • Virtual reality (VR) videos to create simulated, immersive experiences

Six core skills every video editor should have.

Although the role might seem highly specialized, a successful video editor has a range of skill sets.

1. Communication skills

Clear, proactive communication and active listening are essential for video editors. Honing these skills helps ensure they stay on top of a project’s relevant discussions and moving parts. Communication is key to working effectively and efficiently with external clients or internal teams. Also, editors can eliminate mistakes, confusion, and delays by continually asking for feedback on a video’s progress.

2. Visual skills

Video editors should have a natural eye for the visual elements that make a quality media piece. To take creative ownership of the editing process, they need visual skills. For instance, this could include knowing the best way to color-correct video clips based on a video's overall look and mood.

3. Attention to detail

A video editor should constantly look for errors and be aware of every last detail onscreen, including point of view (POV), motion continuity, special effects, and audio and video synchronization.

4. Flexibility

Adaptability and patience are other must-have traits. A successful video editor will always be able to adjust quickly to changes, feedback, and new project demands.

5. Ability to work under pressure

When it comes to project timelines and budgets, the stakes are often high. Therefore, time management skills are essential.

6. Storytelling

No matter how brief, videos are both an art and a science of visual storytelling. Video editors play a significant role in deciding how to capture the audience’s attention while creating an emotional connection, so maintaining a sense of empathy and emotional depth is important.

How to become a video editor.

Depending on individual career goals, the road to becoming a video editor usually looks different for each person. However, whether you’re interested in freelance gigs or full-time positions, social media content or full-length movies, achieving your goals as a video editor will involve working your way up with hands-on experience and professional connections.

Practical steps to becoming a video editor include:
  • Staying aware of current trends, genres,aesthetics, and professional tools
  • Building a strong video editing portfolio
  • Gaining experience through an internship or entry-level job
  • Working and making connections with peers, instructors, and mentors
  • Immersing yourself in videos by studying movies, film, and editing techniques
  • Practicing by editing stock footage
  • Exploring helpful video tips to help power your portfolio
  • Mastering video editing software
One of the most reliable ways to showcase your video editing knowledge and training is through certification and specialty credentials. At Adobe, we work hand in hand with industry experts and test specialists at Certiport to validate all the most critical video editing skills.

Becoming an Adobe Certified Professional in digital video using Premiere Pro proves that you’ve put in the hours of hands-on work and preparation to call yourself a true video editor. Start working toward your future goals today and get your video editing certification in Premiere Pro, or pursue a specialty credential in Video Design by adding an additional certification in Adobe Photoshop or After Effects.

Frequently asked questions

Summary – This section will answer frequently asked questions about “How to become a Video Editor.”

What type of education is required to become a video editor?

Formal education or degrees are not a prerequisite to becoming a video editor. Some programs offer specialized video editing degrees, which can help immerse you in the craft while showing your dedication.

However, an official certification program for video editing software, such as Premiere Pro, can go just as far in showcasing your commitment and creative knowledge within the video editing profession. Online video editing classes that offer hands-on practice are a great way to build and solidify your skills, confidence, and portfolio.

Do I need a camera?

Video editors sometimes need cameras for particular projects. But if you’re just starting out, it’s more than feasible to simply capture your footage with a high-quality smartphone camera.

Or, you can use free stock footage to practice video editing. Some websites offering royalty-free clips include Pexels and Vidsplay. (Double-check that you can use the footage before publishing your video.)

More questions?

Become an Adobe Certified Professional.

Certification is more accessible than ever before. Schedule an online exam or visit a Certiport Authorized Testing Center to showcase your skills.