What Can I Do with a Degree in Digital Cinematography?

Learn more about what you can do with a degree in digital cinematography. Find information on film and cinema careers, job outlook, salary, and recommended schools. View popular schools that prepare students for careers as digital cinematographers.


If you turn on the television or go to the movies you more than likely appreciate the value of film and cinema. Those working in this profession contribute to the final product in a myriad of ways. Actors and actresses contribute their expertise in brining the characters to life on screen while directors provide the vision needed for the film to tell a story. Producers provide the resources needed for a film to be made and production professionals provide important supports in areas such as lighting, costuming and make-up. All of these jobs together enable the creation of the final product.

In general, the field of film and cinema is comprised of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, educational levels and experience levels. Although many of the professions in film and cinema require post-secondary education of some type, many others (e.g., acting and directing) may not require any type of formal education. Talent in film and cinema is a critical component of success; one that can make one individual highly success even without advanced education.

Although most professionals seeking employment in film and cinema will need to move to Hollywood, California, the nature of the industry is changing. Advances in communication and internet technology have expanded the overall scope of the film industry to include individuals from all over the United States. These same technologies can make it possible for a film production company to operate in remote parts of the globe.


The number of careers available in the film industry are too numerous to list. In order to provide a better understanding of the scope of positions available, careers in film and cinema can be classified as pre-production, production and post-production. Professionals involved in the pre-production phase of films include those that are responsible for developing the film’s concept (screenwriters) and creating the artistic vision for the film (art directors, set designers, costumers, model makers, etc.). Production careers include those in which the professional is directly involved in making the film. Actors/actresses, directors, cinematographers, sound and light professionals and film crews are a integral to the production of the movie. Post-production careers involve professionals that work on the film after the film has been produced. Art directors, animators, special effects professionals, sound effects mangers and advertising and promotional experts are all classified as post-production workers. Specific jobs such as the producer provide support for all phases of film production.


Salaries for professionals working in film and cinema are highly variable. Top performing actors and actresses can command multimillion dollar salaries for the completion of one project. However, these individuals represent only a small fraction of the total industry. Data from the Screen Actors Guild, which represents most professionals working in the film industry, indicates that average salaries for actors in the film and television industry range from $782 to $2,713 per week. Actors are also paid additional royalties for programs that are rerun in syndication. Salaries in the film industry are also difficult to calculate due to the intermittent nature of employment for professionals. Professionals are typically employed for several months while working on a particular project. After which these professionals may have several weeks or months with no earnings. The variable nature of salaries in the film industry often requires film professionals to seek employment in other industries in order to supplement their income.

Job Outlook

Overall job outlook in the film industry is expected to be average when compared with other occupations through 2018. Job growth will be contingent upon the specific area of specialization for the professional. For instance, those seeking entrance into high profile film careers including acting and directing will find that job opportunities are limited overall. However, professionals seeking employment in post-production positions such as animation, computer simulation or multimedia design will find a broader range of job opportunities. Demand for professionals in this area is being fueled by consumer interest in effects-driven entertainment including 3-D animation. Employment growth in the film industry will also continue to be spurred by consumer demand for a broader range of films. Diversity in film scripts, directors and actors will increase the need for talented professionals in these areas. Because of the intermittent nature of work in the film industry, positions for freelance or contract work will be more prevalent.

Recommended Schools

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  • Master of Arts in Film & TV
  • Master of Arts in Film & TV - Producing
  • Master of Arts in Film & TV - Script Writing
  • And more...
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy. We have developed our own online learning environment with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.


  • Digital Cinematography, Bachelor of Science

Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you're going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that's focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination.


  • Digital Filmmaking & Video Production (BS)
Locations:  Durham