How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Video Editor?
When you’re outsourcing your video editing, there’s one question you’ll probably want answered first of all: How much does it cost to hire a video editor?
The answer to this question depends a lot on how you pick your editor, and on what basis you’ll pay them.
Either, you can hire a video editor for your team permanently. Or, you can hire an external editor or a video editing company on a per-project or subscription basis.
Depending on which hiring option you choose, the total amount of costs and their distribution will vary.
Here are the details.
How much does it cost to hire a video editor for your team?
Are you running a rapidly expanding content creation business? Or are you an established brand, aiming to expand into video marketing? Then hiring a video editor full- or part-time may be an option for you.
According to the Department of Labor, the average hourly wage for video editors is about $40, with a range of $15 to $82 depending on skill level and experience.
However, besides the actual salary, you’ll also have to shell out for office space, soft- and hardware, and payroll taxes. Those taxes go towards social security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. They’ll come to 8-12% of the salary, depending on your state.
How much does it cost to hire a video editor externally?
Is it your first time hiring a video editor? You don’t have the constant work to justify an employee? Or do you just want to stay flexible?
Then consider hiring someone externally. You can go for freelance video editors or for a dedicated video editing company. Both options have their own pros and cons.
But, since we’re interested in costs, let’s move on to those.
There are three basic billing schemes: Hourly rates, package prices, and subscriptions.
Model 1: Hourly Rates
First, some video editors charge by the hour. Here, the cost of your video edit will depend on two things: how long it takes, and the editor’s rates.
How much time your editor needs depends mostly on the length of your footage and the complexity of the edit (types of cuts, revisions, enhancements etc.). As a rule of thumb, you can expect 30 minutes to an hour of editing for each minute of finished video.
As for hourly rates, they’re roughly based on experience and skill – and there’s a wide range out there.
You can absolutely find beginner freelancers who’ll do the job for $15 an hour on Upwork – just don’t expect professional results. Experienced editors with polished portfolios, though, easily charge $50 to well over $100 per hour.
Typically, job boards and freelance platforms take a cut of the editors’ earnings. You might be able to shave off a few percent by working with them directly – if the platform’s terms of service allow it, and you trust them.
There’s another thing to consider when comparing rates between freelance editors: location. Someone working in the Philippines simply has much lower living costs than a US-based editor, and might consequently charge less for similar work.
You’ll just have to be okay with the time zone difference.
Model 2: Package Deals
Second, many freelance editors and video editing companies offer package deals.
These normally have very clear terms on the of source footage, final video length, and the type of the edit. An entry-level package could be just jump cuts, for example.
While package deals limit the footage you can submit and the type and quality of the finished videos, they also simplify your work planning and budgeting.
Ideally, that is. We went down this route in our Upwork video editing review, and in the end, everything still depends on picking the right company or editor. If you’re interested, we also compared that experience with that at a dedicated video editing service.
You can often get a basic jump-cut edit for around $80, while full editing packages for short videos start at around $200. That’s also about how much you can expect to pay for YouTube video edits.
Model 3: Subscriptions
Finally, you can hire an editor or an editing company on a subscription basis.
This will either give you a certain number of packages, or “unlimited” edits (meaning one video at a time, and depending on editor availability).
Depending on the company and what’s included, monthly costs range between $350 and $1500. To see some example subscriptions, check out the list of video editing services we’ve reviewed earlier this year!
The advantage of hiring a video editor by subscribing are fast turnaround times, guaranteed availability, and clear-cut budgeting for you.
The Bottom Line
Overall, how much it costs to hire a video editor depends on your editing needs, and whether you opt for adding someone to your team or hiring an external editor.
In whatever way you hire a video editor, always make sure to vet them to get your money’s worth. Carefully check out a few candidates, and compare their portfolios, locations, reviews, and which services they include in their pricing.
With the right editor by your side, though, you’ll be able to free up more of your time, take a breath, and focus on the creative work you do best.
Ready to give professional video editing a shot?