Freelance or Fulltime: (How much Do YouTube Editors Make)

By in YouTube

Being a YouTube addict, I’ve often wondered who on Earth edits these amazing videos and how much money are they able to grab in a year. Here’s how much YouTube editors make:

While freelance youtube editors charge depending on the per hour or per day rate, full-time editors make about $30 to $150 an hour which makes their yearly income around $39,000 to $60,000. However, this salary depends on how many hours a week the editor is working.

Many factors impact the salary of a YouTube video editor depending on the skills and experience.

Since Youtube is one of the most popular video streaming platforms where people upload content every day, the number keeps varying on how much the YouTube editors get paid. 

In this article, I’ll talk about how much a youtube editor makes per year, per video, and per hour. I’ll also be explaining how you can earn more as a youtube editor. Read on to find out.

What Does a Youtube Video Editor Do? 

A youtube video editor is responsible for editing the content or the video that is uploaded on YouTube for a particular channel. Youtube editors may be hired for editing intros, outros, animations, captions, syncing voiceovers, or for full video editing jobs.

Video viewers only get to see the finished product however, there’s a team at the back end full of people who work on the video instead of just the YouTuber who appears in front of the screen. 

A YouTuber makes the content and lets their video editor know how they want their video to turn out.

After the video has gone through the editing process, the YouTuber either approves it or asks the editor for further adjustments.

» You might also like: Is Buying YouTube Subscribers Legal?

Average Pay of a Youtube Video Editor in the US

On average, a youtube video editor earns $70,993 annually. An hourly rate for a video editor is $20 to $40. A fresh beginner can earn up to $40,000, whereas a professional editor can make $180,000 a year in the US.

An average YouTube video editor’s salary depends on various factors, for instance, the pay can depend upon the video’s budget, duration, and the technology involved including the editor’s expertise. 

Sometimes the YouTube video editor’s income also depends on the channel’s popularity and views, since YouTube pays YouTubers a lot more than they pay the editors themselves. 

Overall, YouTube video editors earn a hefty amount of money since their skills are in demand. 

How Much Do YouTubers Pay Video Editors?

The average rate is $20 per hour in the US for YouTube video editing. YouTube Editors are paid at an hourly rate while some professional editors can charge a certain amount per video depending on the work required. 

For instance, a YouTuber as famous as PewDiePie pays an average of $100,000 a year to his video editor.

But that’s an exceptional case — PewDiePie has more than 100 million subscribers and earns about $3 million annually. So, it’s certainly not rare for him to pay his video editor a chunk of his earnings.

Do YouTube Editors Like to Be Paid Hourly or Per Video?

Free Modern workplace with gadgets in cozy room with soft light Stock Photo

Charging an hourly rate is highly preferred amongst YouTube editors as some videos require an intensive form of editing and time. Deciding on a fixed rate would cost the editor his time and energy and he will still not be getting paid enough.

Since every video requires a different time of editing, it’s difficult for YouTube editors to decide on a fixed rate.

Some YouTube editors claim that clients underpay them when they go for fixed-price contracts instead of hourly work.

It’s a fact that freelancer YouTube editors tend to earn less compared to skilled and full-time video editors. In this case, a Youtube editor who’s working for an agency earns more than a freelancer.

Can You Make a Living As a YouTube Editor in the US?

Freelance YouTube video editors can comfortably make a living in the US as their average annual earnings exceed $70,000 which is more than enough to live in US states such as Flordia, Arizona, Georgia, and Idaho.

If or not they earn enough to make a living for themselves then the answer is yes, many YouTube editors make a hefty amount of money to support themselves. YouTube editors earn a lot more compared to corporate persons.

However, the salary depends on various factors like the skills and expertise of the editor and the project budget.

Nonetheless, an editor should be able to make around $80,000 per year if they work as a full-time YouTube editor. 

How Much Do Freelance YouTube Editors Make Based On Their Experience?

Free A Woman Using a Computer Stock Photo

Here are the listed average rates of video editors with different experiences:

Experience LevelHourly PayAverage Annual Pay
Beginner$20 — $45$52,400
Intermediate$45 — $100$80,000
Advanced$60 — $150$124,800

This table shows the average hourly and annual pay of YouTube video editors with different levels of experience.

In today’s world, a mere teenager with a good phone can learn how to edit videos.

YouTube editors earn based on their skills and experience, an editor with 5 years of experience would earn more salary compared to a beginner editor who is working on his iPhone. 

Even though it is easier to edit a video on an iPhone, YouTubers demand more polished, more high definition, and complex requirements for their videos which require software and high-tech devices such as PCs or laptops.

How Much Do Youtube Editors Earn In A Year?

The total pay for a full-time YouTube advanced video editor in the United States is $70,993 per year while the median salary lies at $66,000 per year. Freelance YouTube video editors charge around $100 per 4-minute video whereas some editors have an hourly rate of $50 per hour. 

Some features that YouTubers often demand require some specific software and complex technologies.

Hence, the editors charge depending on the scope of the video and the time it takes because time is indeed money and an asset to every working human.

» You can also read my post: Streaming vs. YouTube Videos: Which Is More Profitable?

How Much Do Full-Time YouTube Editors Make Per Video?

YouTube editors have a cost per video minute rate. An average video costs around $25 to $100 per finished minute. According to these rates, if an editor is editing a 10-minute video, the video would cost up to $250 to $1000.

Here’s an example of an experienced YouTube editor’s pricing table:

Editors tend to charge higher or lower, depending upon the type of editing required, such as

  • An editor charges $30 to $40 per hour for basic video editing fundamentals like logging/identifying selects, transitions, color enhancement, music, sound, and rough cuts.
  • An editor charges $45 to $100 per hour for a video that needs videography, cinematography, animations, and montage sequences.
  • An editor charges $60 to $200+ per hour for a video that needs beyond editing expertise such as product management, storyboarding, video direction, and delegation.

How Much Do Freelance YouTube Editors Make Per Hour?

The average hourly rate of a freelance YouTube editor ranges from $15 to $50. The cost depends on the scope of the video and the type of video edited.

It is argued that freelance YouTube video editors earn less compared to editors who are in direct touch with their clients.

However, freelancers have an advantage because YouTubers tend to browse through freelance websites looking for talented and skilled editors.

How to Determine the Charges As a Freelance Youtube Editor? 

On average, an amateur freelance video editor makes between $25-45 an hour, an intermediate editor makes $45-60 and an expert editor makes around $60-100 per hour.

As an amateur YouTube editor, you might be confused about what to charge your clients for your work. Even a mere one-minute video can take many factors that affect the amount of time you spend editing the video. 

Here are some tips which can help you determine what to charge for your video editing work.

Length of the Video

First, you need to work out how long it takes for you to edit a video. If a video is taking you 3 hours to edit, value your time and decide how much you want to make in an hour.

Consider time as an asset, like money. 

Doing a task that is not giving you your well-earned income is a waste of your time. So deciding what your hourly rate is your first step.

Your Client’s Demands

You don’t charge every client the same pricing. Each client throws a different curveball to your editing court.

Some clients’ videos might consume more of your time while some tasks can be finished earlier than the required time.

If your clients have multiple channels, and high RPM, you may demand a higher salary.

Delivery Time

As a YouTube editor, you might get some clients who require fast turn-around time (TAT). For them, you would have to sort your schedule and give priority to their editing work.

Premium deliveries require premium charges — Right?

Your Video Editing Software Costs

Softwares are a must-have if YouTube editors want to deliver a good quality video.

Many editors want to stick to the free editing software but later on, they end up buying pro software, since clients want them to up their quality. 

What Softwares Do YouTube Editors Use?

Some well-known video editing software that YouTube editors use are:

Video Editing SoftwareCost
Adobe Premiere Pro$20.99/month
Davinci ResolveFree tier / $295 Pro
Final Cut Pro X$299.99 (one-time)
Cyberlink PowerDirector 365$4.08/month
Adobe After Effects$20.99/month

Here a YouTube editor starts to add $1-$2 to their usual per-hour rates.

Your Tech Costs

A YouTube editor must have updated devices like a MacBook, pc, or advanced-level laptops to edit their videos on.

Since a YouTube editor needs to keep upgrading his/her gear, the charges tend to get higher with each upgrade. 

Your Subscriptions Costs

Apart from video editing tools, sites like Soundstripe music tracks and StoryBlocks stock video require a yearly subscription so you can get access to music libraries.

Once you know how much your expertise costs you, it becomes easy for you to determine what you can charge for a video editing gig according to the editing demand of your client. 

How Much Do Youtube Editors Make Based On Their Region?

Famous cities in the US like New York or California are known to have more Famous Youtubers. Therefore, they are more likely to hire in-house YouTube editors increasing their demand in the region.

YouTube editors tend to look for regions where there is a high demand for video editing.

This is highly beneficial for freelancers who work from around the globe for clients who are based in the United States to earn a good salary.

Women tend to earn more as YouTube editors than men.

The average compensation for YouTube editors in Pheonix is $78,575

Is Youtube Video Editing A Good Career?

Free Man in Yellow Shirt Sitting in Front of Computer Stock Photo

Becoming a YouTube video editor is a great career choice in the 21st century where the world has become digitized and you don’t need a degree for that.

Therefore, many people have started their YouTube channels and a majority of them outsource their video editing tasks to freelancers. Hence it’s a great opportunity for a full-time video editor as well as a freelance video editor. 

A YouTube video editor and producer has an hourly wage of $15 to $27 in the US. Moreover, A YouTube video editor makes almost an average of $59,500 as a yearly salary according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What Skills Do Youtube Editors Need to Make More Money?

As a video editor in today’s changing world, you can never learn enough. Constantly developing new skills can help you gain an advantage over your competitors because they can make you stand out. 

The skills that are crucial for any YouTube editor are;

  • An eye for detail
  • Flexibility
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Active listening
  • Ability to work in Teams
  • Good memory

These skills are also essential to avoid any copyright issues while YouTube video editing.

» Here’s my complete guide on: How To Edit a YouTube Video To Avoid Copyright

Do I Need A YouTube Channel To Become A YouTube Editor?

You don’t necessarily need a YouTube channel however, it can certainly help! Having your own YouTube channel will give you an advantage as you can practice your video editing skills there.

It can also be a way for you to showcase your skills to your future clients. 

You may also show your YouTube channel as a portfolio to potential video editing clients.

You can be hired by a number of other YouTube channels that are already monetized and making good money.

» Read my blog post: What Are Highlighted Comments on YouTube?


Video editing has been a growing niche in recent years. The 21st century has created careers for video editors and thus we can see a boost in their yearly income because of the vast platforms the internet has provided for them.

Overall, YouTube video editors possess skills that are in great demand due to digital globalization. Youtube editors earn a significant amount of money to support themselves financially. 

Since the world’s famous brands are shifting towards digital media, especially after the COVID19 pandemic, the need for a good video editor has risen tremendously. So if you are wanting to make a career out of editing videos, start your journey now! 

About Hi' my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life. Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person Read more about Simon & TopWorklife

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