Cinematographer Salary

Cinematographers in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $44K per year. The pay spectrum stretches from $30K to $176K per year. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Two in five enjoy medical while just under one in three get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a little less than a fifth. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$28,177 - $96,644

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$20.39 - $98.87

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$60K$120K$180K
Salary
$28,177 - $96,644  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,933  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$29,590 - $176,396  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 52
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$20.39 - $98.87  
   
Overtime
$14.17 - $132.13  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,933  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$29,590 - $176,396  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 34
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Job Description for Cinematographer

When filming scenes for movies, television, or instructional or educational videos, a cinematographer fills a key role. He or she acts as the eyes of the director, typically working with that person to figure out what the vision of the film should be. The cinematographer then brings this vision into being by choosing the different ways and techniques the filmed or video project will be shot.

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Pay by Experience Level for Cinematographer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $45K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $64K on average. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $100K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $96K.

Cinematographer Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Cinematographer in New York:
"Networking Is Very Important."
It is important that you stay in touch with your colleagues as well as potential employers. You cannot wait for them to find you.

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Experience Affects Cinematographer Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 62%

Late-Career
up arrow 55%

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

National Average
$62,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 28%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
36%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 39% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 18% employee benefits None: 61%
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