Camera operators often work on a freelance basis. Rates of pay for freelance television camera operators vary according to the type of production. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) lists the recommended going rates of pay by grade and type of production. For example, the going rate for camera operators working a ten-hour day on TV factual/documentary programmes is £285; for commercials £411; and for TV news £227.
It may be possible to negotiate rates of pay based on your previous experience as well as the type of production.
Working hours are generally long (12 - 14 hours a day) and unpredictable and can include evening, weekend and night shoots.
Work is either in a studio or on location (in all weather conditions), mostly working as part of a team.
Self-employment is common as camera operators often work on a freelance basis.
Job availability can be unpredictable, particularly at the start of a career when a network of industry contacts is still being established.
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