How much does video editing cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does video editing cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does video editing cost?

$20 – $150+average hourly rate
$160 – $1,500average day rate
$300 – $1,000average total cost per video

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$20 – $150+ average hourly rate

$160 – $1,500 average day rate

$300 – $1,000 average total cost per video

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Kristen Cramer
Written by
Kristen Cramer
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Sarah Noel
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Tom Grupa

Video editor charges

Video editor rates are $20 to $150+ per hour or $300 to $1,000 total on average. Video editing prices depend on the project type and complexity, final video length, motion graphics needed, and the editor's experience. Freelance YouTube editors typically charge less than professional video editors.

Video editing rates
Charge Average price
Per hour of video editing $20 – $150+
Per day of video editing $160 – $1,500
Average total project $300 – $1,000

*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by Fash members.

Video editing is a post-production process that includes:

  • Compiling and logging the raw footage

  • Organizing video clips to construct a compelling narrative

  • Adding audio, including music and voiceover narration

  • Adding motion graphics or animations, or collaborating with a motion graphics editor

  • Creating a rough cut of the video

  • Implementing your feedback to revise the video

  • Creating a final cut that meets your goals and expectations

Get free estimates from video editors near you.

Freelance video editor rates

Video editors charge per hour or per day. Many editors offer a fixed rate per project instead, letting you know up front the final total you'll pay. A fixed rate is often a better option than an hourly or day rate for complex projects where the editing time may exceed the initial estimate.

Video editor hourly rates

Video editor hourly rates are $20 to $150+, depending on the editor's experience and the project complexity.

Video editor hourly rates by experience
Experience level Average hourly rate Description
Beginner / Apprentice $20 – $50
  • Basic editing skills, including:
  • Importing video
  • Curating raw footage
  • Making basic color adjustments
  • Adding transitions and music
Intermediate / Assistant $40 – $80
  • More extensive editing skills, including:
  • Adding animations and simple motion graphics
  • Color grading
  • Incorporating stock footage
  • Adding more advanced transitions
  • Enhancing audio quality
  • Some studio or cinematography experience
Advanced / Senior $60 – $150+
  • Advanced editing skills and experience, including:
  • Extensive studio and cinematography experience
  • Producer or director experience
  • Multi-camera editing
  • More complex storytelling
  • Advanced color grading and correction
  • Complex animation or motion graphics
  • Advanced sound editing and correction

Offshore video editors charge $10 to $25 per hour but typically don't have the same level of industry experience or understanding of the narrative storytelling nuances preferred by U.S. audiences.

Video editor day rates

Video editor day rates are $160 to $1,500, depending on the project type and the editor's experience. The day rate for editing a wedding highlight reel can be as low as $200 to $300, while rates for editing a corporate branded storytelling video range from $400 to $1,000+.

Video editor day rates
Level Average day rate
Apprentice editor $160 – $500
Assistant editor $400 – $800
Senior editor $500 – $1,500
Motion graphics / animation editor $400 – $1,500

Day rates typically include pre-production planning, gear rental costs, and sometimes royalty-free music licensing.

Video editing rates per minute of runtime

Video editing rates per minute of runtime vary significantly depending on the video type, amount of raw footage, number of cameras used, and if the final video has long takes or many rapid cuts. For example:

  • Editing a basic YouTube video takes approximately 1 hour per minute of runtime.

  • Editing a corporate or marketing video takes 1 to 5 hours per minute of runtime.

  • A complex video with many rapid edits, cut-away shots, or animations can take up to 25 hours of editing per minute of runtime.

  • A music video with intricate montage sequences and many rapid cuts may take up to 35 hours of editing per minute of runtime.

A professional video editor reviewing footage for a film.
A professional video editor reviewing footage for a film.

Cost to edit YouTube videos

Freelance video editors charge $20 to $50 per hour to edit a YouTube video, while more experienced professional editors charge $60 to $150+ per hour. For a basic vlog-style YouTube video, estimate one hour of post-production time for every minute of finished video.

Video editor price factors

Video editing prices depend on:

  • Final video length – Longer videos take more time to edit, increasing costs.

  • Complexity – Simple interviews or "talking head" broadcasts are the least challenging to edit, while scripted live-action videos are the most complex.

  • Length of raw source footage – Editing 10 minutes of footage into a 1-minute video is a straightforward job. Editing several hours of footage takes longer since the editor must view, organize, and become familiar with the footage before editing anything.

  • Quality of raw source footage – Editors may charge more for footage that requires image stabilization.

  • Text overlays – Adding extensive text overlays—such as titles, locations, dates, or "lower thirds" featuring a speaker's name and profession—can increase the total editing cost.

  • Music and/or voiceover – If you are not supplying the music and voiceover narration tracks, the editor may charge more to select a voice artist or to license appropriate royalty-free music.

  • Color correction or color grading – The color correction process fixes issues to make colors look as natural as possible. Color grading is a separate creative process that affects the video's tone, atmosphere, and the emotion it evokes. Many editors charge higher rates for projects that include grading.

  • Motion graphics – Many editors include simple motion graphics in their standard pricing, while some charge higher rates for videos involving animated logos, text, and images.

Video editing charges by type

Video editing rates vary depending on the type of video or project, as shown in the table below:

Video editing charges by type
Project Average hourly rate
Personal & family videos $25 – $50
Weddings and events $25 – $100
Social media videos $25 – $65
Commercials $40 – $100
Corporate / branded content $30 – $100
Documentaries $30 – $80
Music videos $30 – $80
Animated series $30 – $80
Web series $25 – $60
Episodic TV programs* $50 – $100
Studio feature film* $50 – $100
Independent feature film $30 – $70
Movie trailer* $40 – $100

*Minimum rates for studio feature films, episodic TV programs, and movie trailers are set by the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

Charge for filming and editing

When starting your project from scratch, consider hiring a full-service video production company to film and edit your video. Video production costs $800 to $4,000 per finished minute, depending on the video type, shoot length, special effects needed, and the production crew size.

Get free estimates from video editors near you.

Videographer prices are $75 to $350 per hour, depending on the video or event type and number of people required. Video production company fees typically include at least one videographer and one editor.

Video editing FAQs

How long does it take to edit a video?

Editing a video can take as little as 1 hour for a basic YouTube or marketing video or up to 35 hours per finished minute for elaborate music videos. The time depends on the video type, complexity, number of long versus rapid cuts, and whether the raw footage is single-camera or multi-camera.

How much do YouTube editors make?

YouTube video editors make $20 to $50 per hour on average, depending on their experience. In comparison, professional studio editors make $60 to $150+.

How much does video editing software cost?

  • Video editing software costs $20 to $100 for basic consumer programs.

  • Subscription services like Adobe Creative Cloud cost $30 to $60 per month.

  • Professional editing software costs $300 to $500 for programs like Final Cut Pro and DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Getting estimates and hiring video editing professionals

Before hiring a video editor near you, be sure to:

  • Select a company that specializes in editing the type of video you want—for example, commercials, corporate videos, documentaries, feature films, or music videos.

  • Review their portfolio of similar projects.

  • Read their reviews on Fash and Google.

  • Ask for references with contact information.

  • Get a detailed contract in writing before the project begins.

  • Confirm the contract includes revisions and a deadline for final video delivery.

  • Don’t make the last payment until you’ve received the final video.

Questions to ask

Ask these questions to ensure you hire the best video editor for your project:

  • How much experience do you have editing videos like mine?

  • Can I review your portfolio of finished videos?

  • Do you charge per hour, per day, or a fixed rate?

  • Do you handle the editing yourself or outsource it?

  • Can you provide the music and/or voiceover narration?

  • Does your fee include color grading, color corrections, motion graphics, or animations?

  • How many revision cycles does the estimate include?

  • When will I receive my edited video?

  • What format will you deliver my video in?

  • Will I own the rights to the video? Are there any sharing or use restrictions?

  • Will you share my video on your website or social media?

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