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How to Determine Professional Video Editing Costs

Your complete guide to video editing services with average costs.

Video editing is the art and science of arranging and enhancing video and audio elements to create a cohesive final product. This process is essential for storytelling, maintaining pacing, and engaging audiences. So, let’s jump into video editing costs. Video editing involves

  • Compiling Footage: Organizing all raw footage for the project.
  • Adding Audio: Syncing audio with video to enhance the overall experience.
  • Clipping and Attaching Videos: Trimming unnecessary parts and joining clips to create a fluid narrative.
  • Creating a Rough Cut: An initial draft of the edited video.
  • Responding to Feedback: Making necessary revisions based on client feedback to ensure the final cut meets expectations

Professional video editors use advanced software to sequence clips, add transitions, apply visual effects, edit audio, and incorporate text and graphics. This meticulous process transforms raw footage into polished, compelling videos for various purposes, including filmmaking, television, advertising, and online content creation.

Video Editing Cost Table of Contents

video production editing guide 2024 pricing costs

How Much Does Video Editing Cost in 2024?

The cost of video production can vary significantly based on a multitude of factors, ranging from the complexity of the project to the specific needs of the client. While DIY videos might only cost a subscription to editing software, professional video production can range from $2,000 for a basic project to $50,000 or more for more complex endeavors. For large corporations, budgets can exceed $200,000 for high-end advertising and marketing videos. Understanding these costs helps in planning and making informed decisions about video production investments.

Factors Impacting Video Editing Costs

Several factors influence the cost of hiring a professional video editor. Understanding these can help you budget effectively and find the right editor for your project.

Permanent or Freelance

Permanent Video Editors: Larger companies with ongoing video editing needs often hire video editors as salaried employees. This setup offers a stable paycheck, full-time employee benefits, and a consistent workflow but comes with a fixed schedule and limited project control. According to GlassDoor, the average salary for a video editor as of January 2023 is approximately $55,000, with a range from $35,000 to $88,000.

Freelance Video Editors: Smaller companies, startups, individual clients, and film studios typically hire video editors as freelancers. Freelancers enjoy flexible work arrangements and can choose projects that align with their interests and skills. Clients benefit from a wider talent pool and budget flexibility.

Editor Pay Type

Hourly Rates: Freelance video editing rates vary based on experience and project complexity. According to Upwork:

  • Beginners: $20–$45 per hour
  • Intermediate/Advanced: $45–$100 per hour
  • Professional Editors and Producers: $60–$100 per hour

Daily Rates: Ideal for short projects but can lead to timing issues for larger projects. On average, daily rates range from $300 to $800 or more, depending on the editor’s experience and the project’s complexity.

Fixed Rates: These involve paying a set total upon project completion, common for larger and longer projects. Fixed rates can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, based on the project’s scope and the editor’s expertise.


Experience significantly impacts video editing costs. While beginner editors may offer lower rates, they often lack a robust portfolio and client testimonials. For smaller projects with limited budgets, such as short YouTube videos, a less experienced editor might suffice.

Experienced editors bring advanced skills and can command higher rates. They typically have an extensive client list and a professional portfolio, making them ideal for more complex projects requiring sophisticated editing techniques.


A great editor stands out by transforming raw footage into a compelling final product. Whether crafting an emotional story or a humorous advertisement, timing is crucial. Clients should seek editors whose previous work aligns with their specific needs. For example, if animation is required, look for an editor with extensive experience in animation editing.

Size and Type of Project for Video Editors

Understanding the project’s scope and the desired final product is essential for determining the appropriate pay scale. Projects can vary widely, from editing a few hours of footage into a short video to condensing 200 hours of raw footage into a 20-minute highlight reel. Here are some typical rates for popular video projects:

  • Personal and Travel Videos: Simple projects, often the most budget-friendly, typically cost around $100 for short videos. Larger, more adventurous projects can exceed $1,000.
  • Wedding Videos: Elegant, high-quality edits are essential. Rates range from $350 for short videos to $650 or more for longer videos.
  • Corporate and Branded Videos: Require adherence to strict branding guidelines and often demand higher rates, ranging from $300 to $2,000 or more, depending on the project’s complexity.
video editing guide 2024 with average costs film set

Geographic Location

Location can affect video editing rates. Clients in larger cities like New York or San Francisco typically pay more for top talent than those in smaller cities. However, skilled editors can command high rates regardless of location, as good clients will pay for premium talent. Phoenix-area video editing services can range and tend to be on the lower side than larger cities across the United States.

Client Base

Different clients have different budgets. Large corporations may have substantial budgets, while small businesses or individual clients may need more flexibility. It’s essential to balance flexibility with maintaining a rate that reflects your worth.

When to Raise Your Rates

To be a successful freelance video editor, continuous skill development is crucial. Here are some scenarios where you might consider raising your rates:

  • Increased Demand: A surge in work indicates higher value, justifying a rate increase.
  • Experience: More experience allows for faster, more efficient work, warranting higher rates.
  • Industry Standards: If your rates are below market standards, raising them to match is wise.

Communicate rate increases to existing clients, explaining the rationale behind the decision. Typically, raising rates annually in conjunction with other budgeting decisions makes sense. Consider a 15-20% increase to give clients time to adjust.


Video Production Pricing 2024 cost guide editing services

How to Minimize Video Editing Costs

To minimize costs effectively, consider the following strategies:

  • Clear Instructions: Provide detailed instructions to avoid unnecessary revisions.
  • High-Quality Source Footage: Pre-select the best footage to streamline the editing process.
  • Multiple Offers: Compare offers from various editors and companies to find the best fit.
  • Thorough Evaluations: Ensure potential editors consistently deliver high-quality results to avoid extra costs for revisions.

Our Creative Team

Lupe Ibarra C West Video Production Services

Lupe Ibarra

Talented filmmaker and editor. Lupe takes creative projects to new levels with his modern perspective. He currently serves as C West Entertainment's Media Director.

Javier Carlos C West Entertainment

Javier Carlos

Client manager and vision executor. Javier is here to listen to your wildest dreams; ready to make them a reality. He will call you to discuss your project vision.

video editing services phoenix arizona 2024

Summary of Video Editing Costs in 2024

Finding the right video editor involves several steps:

  • Word of Mouth: Ask friends or family for recommendations.
  • Online Job Boards: Explore platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
  • Review locals: Hire a professional video production company in your city.
  • Review Portfolios: Assess potential editors’ portfolios to gauge their quality of work.
  • Discuss Project Details: Once you find an editor, discuss your project requirements and negotiate rates.
Average Cost Summary of Video Editors:
  • Personal and Travel Videos:

    • Average cost: $100–$1,000+
  • Wedding Videos:

    • Short videos (3-6 minutes): $350
    • Longer videos (10-20 minutes): $400+
    • Extended videos (30+ minutes): $650+
  • Corporate and Branded Videos:

    • Average cost: $300–$2,000+
  • Commercials and Branded Storytelling:

    • Hourly rate: $83
    • Day rate: $771
  • Documentaries:

    • Hourly rate: $87
    • Day rate: $692
    • Weekly rate: $3,597

Determining professional video editing costs involves understanding the various factors that influence pricing. By considering experience, project scope, pay type, geographic location, and client base, you can budget effectively and find the right video editor for your needs. Whether you opt for hourly, daily, or fixed rates, clear communication and thorough evaluation of potential editors are key to ensuring a successful collaboration and a polished final product.



Video production is an investment that can yield significant returns in terms of brand awareness, customer engagement, and sales. By understanding the various costs involved and planning your budget accordingly, you can maximize the impact of your video content. Whether you’re producing a short promotional clip or an in-depth corporate video, being aware of these factors will help you manage your expenses and achieve your production goals effectively. C West Entertainment can help you with your video production needs in Phoenix Arizona, please contact us for more information.

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