Camera Operator

Needed competencies and skills

  • Advanced technical skills
  • Know how to operate the camera to achieve the desired result
  • Good working knowledge of all camera systems, lenses and camera support equipment; of available accessories such as remote focus systems, video senders and receivers, and of any other regularly used equipment
  • Good sense of visual composition, perspective and movement
  • Precise attention to detail
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Ability to combine creativity with technical skills
  • Artistic ability
  • Ingenuity
  • Effective communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate, and to work as part of a team
  • Exhibit sensitivity and diplomacy when working with artists and crew
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Ability to watch, listen and think on their feet while carrying out complex technical tasks
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Patience, because the decision-making process may take some time
  • Physical co-ordination and strength
  • Knowledge of the requirements of the relevant Health and Safety legislation and procedures

Career Progression and Training Opportunities

No specific qualifications are required to work in this role, although film schools and training courses offer a good basic grounding in the skills and knowledge required and in practice many Camera Operators have studied for higher level qualifications. The most useful courses offer practical experience and may also include work experience placements. Relevant courses include City & Guilds courses, FETAC level 5 & 6 courses, foundation degrees, first degrees and postgraduate qualifications in media, film and TV production or cinematography. Basic stills photography, which develops visual and composition skills, also provides a useful starting point in training for this role.

Camera Operators usually learn most of their practical skills through hands-on experience on the job. However, continual professional development is vital, especially as technology changes rapidly.

More information (links to materials)

Post-leaving Certificate Courses: