How much does video editing cost?
How much does video editing cost?
$20 – $150+ average hourly rate
$160 – $1,500 average day rate
$300 – $1,000 average total cost per video
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.
|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
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.
|Experience level||Average hourly rate||Description|
|Beginner / Apprentice||$20 – $50||
|Intermediate / Assistant||$40 – $80||
|Advanced / Senior||$60 – $150+||
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+.
|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.
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:
|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.
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?