How to Make a Living as a Videographer: Setting Your Salary Range

How to Make a Living as a Videographer

No matter where you locate video production jobs, one of the first things you want to figure out is how to set your salary range. If you want to make a living as a Videographer, pricing correctly is an essential skill that you must develop. This is not something set in stone and ready to grab as needed. Each job you do will involve tons of variables, and you also need to remember your fixed expenses also must be included in your pricing. Even if you are doing some fast web video production, it may seem you are including items that have nothing to do with the job at hand. For the overall success of your business, costs like rent, equipment replacement and other general expenses must be paid for, at least in part, from every job you do.

Here’s the bottom line scoop: “expenses” are more than just equipment and time. Your salary range must be flexible enough to include partial payment of long term set expenses and costs as well as the short term ones involved in the actual job. There is a detailed salary calculator you can access online at the Videomaker website; try it.

How to Make a Living as a Videographer

Do This First

  • Create an expense sheet for the year. Take that total and divide by the salary you are expecting. This should give you a number of hours you need to bill at that rate to reach your expenses total. Divide that number by 52 to see how many billable hours you need to average each week.

Do This Next

  • Adjust your thinking. If you think being a Videographer is fun and easy, think again. You need equipment, knowledge, skill and good business sense to make this work well.

Setting Your Salary Range

As your skill improves and your reputation for quality spreads, you can increase your rate and get more jobs. Setting your rate means that you consider not only the gear you own and use, but all the other things that go into video production, such as hiring a crew, planning time, special equipment rentals, editing, final production and distribution. On top of that, you need transportation, utilities, a place to live, perhaps an office, communication equipment and a whole long list of other costs, including taxes and profit.

Scope Out The Competition

Some charge a flat fee, others go hourly. Some only do relatively inexpensive work, like web video production. It still doesn’t matter if, in the long run, you cannot live on the income being a Videographer brings in. You must price to fit the market, compare favorably with the competition, and meet expenses. Clients want fair prices; you need to be perceived as reasonable. Many pros prefer to charge hourly rates, and get some or all payment in advance to avoid problems with billing or clients who renege on payment.

Making a livable salary as a Videographer is much more than merely asking a set hourly rate. All video production jobs will be different; so should your fees. Without knowledge of what you need to earn annually, you will be unable to achieve your goal. Always keep an eye on those billable hours to stay on track.

Buddy Up with a Staffing Agency

Want to take a bit of the hassle out of hourly rates? Find a reputable staffing agency and let them handle the negotiations for you! At Artisan Talent, we're always looking for great Videographers and Video Production Artists. Submit your resume today!

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Editors Note: This post has been revamped from its original version and freshened up for accuracy, timeliness, and to help you get that job.

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