Cinematographer Salary

Average Cinematographers in the United States make around $53K per year. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than two-fifths lack coverage. On the flip side, a majority have medical insurance and more than a third receive dental plans. Male Cinematographers far outnumber their female contemporaries among those who completed the questionnaire. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,000 - $118,644
$30K
$53K
$120K
MEDIAN: $52,589
10%
50%
90%

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$9.71 - $101.01
$9
$29
$100
MEDIAN: $29.33
10%
50%
90%

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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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$30,000 - $118,644  
   
Bonus
$950  
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).
)
$22,655 - $145,186  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 84
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$90$180$270
Hourly Rate
$9.71 - $101.01  
   
Overtime
$19.39 - $255.32  
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$180K$360K$540K
Bonus
$950  
   
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).
)
$22,655 - $145,186  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 41

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United States (change)

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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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Cinematographer Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Cinematographer

Pay by Experience for a Cinematographer has a positive trend. An entry-level Cinematographer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $47,000 based on 72 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Cinematographer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $52,000 based on 45 salaries. An experienced Cinematographer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $68,000 based on 26 salaries. A Cinematographer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $75,000 based on 8 salaries.

Cinematographer Advice

Q: What is it like working as a Cinematographer?

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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Cinematographer

Gender

Female
16 %
Male
84 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 8 votes.
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
6%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Cinematographer Salaries

Late-Career
▲28%

Experienced
▲16%

National Average
$59,000

Mid-Career
▼11%

Entry-Level
▼19%

Skills That Affect Cinematographer Salaries

National Average
$59,000

▼11%

lighting
▼26%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 8 votes.

Gender

Female
16 %
Male
84 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 56%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
vision benefits
Vision: 28%
no benefits
None: 43%
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