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Television Camera Operator

Television camera operators operate television cameras and related equipment to record news, live events and productions for television broadcast.

Also Known As

Camera Operator, Videographer

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 5222: Film and Video Camera Operators

2006 NOC-S

  • F122: Film and Video Camera Operators

2011 NOC

  • 5222: Film and video camera operators

2016 NOC

  • 5222: Film and video camera operators

2021 NOC

  • 52110: Film and video camera operators

2023 OaSIS

  • 52110.00: Film and video camera operators
Updated Mar 05, 2021

In general, camera operators:

  • Move the camera and operate optical controls, such as focus, zoom and exposure
  • Follow instructions from the director concerning the mood or dramatic effect to be achieved
  • Make minor electronic adjustments to cameras

They also may:

  • Maintain and store camera equipment
  • Assist with the lighting and staging of broadcast productions
  • Set up and operate live location shoots
  • Edit video in non-linear edit suites or on location

Electronic news gathering (ENG) and electronic field production (EFP) camera operators use portable cameras to televise and record news and sports events from remote locations. Camera operators working with ENG or EFP equipment also may set up recording, lighting and playback equipment for field productions.

Camera operators are responsible for producing the visual content of news items and achieving the desired visual content for commercials or program productions. They also may use robotic cameras and control camera movement using a computer rather than by making physical adjustments. This allows the operator to control multiple cameras at once.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 05, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Depending on the size of the broadcast company and studio, camera operators may work alone or as part of a team of camera operators. They may work entirely at a station or at remote locations in all weather conditions. Most operators work 8-hour shifts, including afternoons, evenings, weekends and holidays.

Television camera operators may need to lift equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms. Handheld camera shoots may involve shouldering a 10-kilogram camera for up to 6 hours. Coping with tight schedules and deadlines can be a strain.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Film and Video Camera Operators

2006 NOC: 5222

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in operating motion picture and video cameras and related equipment, and in attaching lenses, filters and film magazines to cameras


Interest in testing, maintaining and storing equipment, in labelling and recording contents of exposed film, and in completing report sheets


Interest in synthesizing information to select and set up camera equipment; and in speaking with directors and senior members of camera crews to discuss assignments and determine filming sequences, camera movements and picture composition

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Television camera operators need:

  • An interest in technology
  • Creativity and artistic ability
  • Motor coordination
  • Good vision and hearing
  • Stamina, particularly for field work
  • Communication and interpersonal skills for working with others in a team environment
  • The ability to remain alert while performing routine, repetitive tasks
  • The ability to respond quickly to the unexpected

They should enjoy operating, testing and maintaining camera equipment, and working with others.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Film and video camera operators

2016 NOC: 5222

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 43 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jan 18, 2022 and May 28, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Test, maintain and store equipment
Tasks: Select and set up camera equipment
Tasks: Operate video recording equipment
Tasks: Operate specialized camera
Tasks: Adjust focus, exposure, lighting and other camera settings
Tasks: Label and record contents of exposed film
Tasks: Determine filming sequences, camera movements and picture composition
Work under pressure
Construction Specialization: Team player
Tasks: Complete report sheets
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 05, 2021
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Television camera operators need training in shot composition and framing. A background in journalism is an asset for electronic news gathering (ENG) camera operators because many stations prefer to hire reporters who can shoot and edit their own stories. For more information, see the Reporter occupational profile. Because most television stations use robotic cameras, computer skills related to camera control and operating robotic systems are an asset.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 05, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Competition is keen in the broadcasting field. Inexperienced camera operators must be willing to start at small stations. Once operators have gained experience, they can move to positions at larger stations or specialize in a particular type of work.

Freelancing has become the trend in broadcasting. Contract employment also can be found in producing in-house programs such as corporate videos (for example, videos about safety and technical training, recruiting, sales and marketing).

To be successful, freelancers must be talented, establish a network of contacts and be available to work when needed. A significant investment in equipment may be required to compete and maintain a successful business.

Experienced camera operators can advance to technical supervisory positions and, if they have the necessary ability and experience, eventually become directors or producers.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 5222: Film and video camera operators occupational group, 85.7% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 5222: Film and video camera operators occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.7% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 8 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Sep 29, 2022

Incomes for freelance television camera operators vary considerably from one contract to another, and from one year to another.

Television camera operators are part of the larger 2016 National Occupational Classification 5222: Film and video camera operators.

According to the 2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Film and video camera operators occupational group earned on average from $27.14 to $33.64 an hour. The overall average was $33.16 an hour. For more information, see the Film and video camera operators wage profile.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Cultural Human Resources Council website:

Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta (FAVA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 05, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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