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How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Video Editor for YouTube?

How much does it cost to hire a video editor for YouTube? Freelance video editors typically charge a per-hour, or per-day rate. Professional rates are circa $30 to $150 an hour based on experience and specialism. Few editors charge per minute of edited video as production complexity varies so greatly.

Female vlogger presenting to her camera. How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Video Editor for YouTube?
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How Much Do YouTubers Pay Editors?

YouTubers typically pay far less than standard industry rates for video post-production services. Students and inexperienced editors might work for minimum wage, or even free of charge via gig sites. Professional editors—or specialists in a particular production style—often command $30-150 or more per hour.

How Much Should I Pay Someone to Edit My YouTube Video?

Even a one-minute video could have a great many variables affecting the number of hours a freelance video editor might need to spend working on it. Whether you have found an editor on Fiverr or Upwork, or approached a freelance editor directly, their hourly rate (or their gig’s ‘starting price’) may be an indicator of their level of experience but is unlikely to give you a clear estimate of the ultimate cost of completing your video. What you are asking the editor to do might take longer to achieve than you anticipate.

So, before choosing to outsource YouTube video editing (or not), it can help to better understand the true complexity of your requirements:

  • How much source material will the video editor be working with? Editing a one-minute video from 10 minutes of footage is quite straightforward. With clear instructions, someone on Fiverr or Upwork could likely do an adequate job. However, if you are starting out with four hours of source material—even if the required duration for the finished video is still only one-minute—it will likely take an entire day for the editor to view, sort, and become familiar with all the footage. So, that is a whole day of preparatory work before your editor can even begin editing. Experienced video editors are far more able to manage and navigate large volumes of source material in an efficient manner.
  • The more material you provide to your editor, the more detailed your instructions will need to be. With clear guidance on your objectives, an experienced editor will be happy to be self-directing. That said, complex productions will inevitably require more rounds of feedback and alterations, and a greater amount of ‘decision making’ time— for both the editor and you.
  • Do you require animated graphics? Many professional video editors are also able produce sophisticated graphics. However, the time require to create a minute of motion graphics might be considerably greater than the time to edit a minute of video. If graphics sequences require bespoke artwork, or the research and purchase of stock illustrations, this will require additional time.
  • Are you supplying music and a narration track? An experienced video editor will have a good ‘feel’ for selecting the most appropriate library music tracks and voice artists— but again, even if the finished video is only a minute long, you will still need to allow time for the editor to locate just the right track and voice artist.
Vlogger presenting to camera. Do YouTubers Pay Editors?
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Tom Vaughan-Mountford is an expert in TV advertising and the production of high retention videos for SME marketing. He has more than twenty years’ experience in production and post-production for broadcasters, major advertising agencies, and name-brands. He is a regular writer on the media industry, an author, and a columnist for Brand Chief Magazine. Tom is a senior creative at JMS Group, a Norwich video production company. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tomontv and Instagram @tomvaughanmountford

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    Tom Vaughan-Mountford

    Author Tom Vaughan-Mountford

    Tom has a diverse career as a Content Producer, Video Editor, and Designer. He is the author of academic textbook 'Managing a Video Production Company' and is also the co-owner of a TV advertising business in the UK. Outside work Tom enjoys sci-fi, gaming, and fitness.

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