Television, video, and motion picture camera operators held about 28,000 jobs in 2004, and film and video editors held about 20,000. Many are employed by independent television stations, local affiliate stations of television networks or broadcast groups, large cable and television networks, or smaller independent production companies. About 1 in 5 camera operators were self-employed. Some self-employed camera operators contracted with television networks, documentary or independent filmmakers, advertising agencies, or trade show or convention sponsors to work on individual projects for a set fee, often at a daily rate.
Most of the salaried camera operators were employed by television broadcasting stations or motion picture studios. More than half of the salaried film and video editors