Cinematographers plan, direct and coordinate filming to control the quality and style of photography in films or videos.
Determines lighting, film, shutter angles, filter factors, camera distance, depth of field and focus, angles of view and other variables to achieve desired mood and effect.
Views film and video tape to evaluate and select scenes and determine which scenes need to be re-shot.
- 212311 Art Directors (Film, Television or Stage)
- 212312 Directors (Film, Television, Radio or Stage)
- 212313 Cinematographers
- 212314 Film and Video Editors
- 212315 Program Directors (Television or Radio)
- 212316 Stage Managers
- 212317 Technical Directors
- 212318 Video Producers
- 212399 Other Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 61% of people employed as Cinematographers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 5 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 47 hours per week in their main job. This is 3 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Most Cinematographers work in the Information media and telecommunications industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Cinematographers||All Jobs Average|
Around 90% of Cinematographers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
New South Wales has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Cinematographers is 41 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 45 to 54 years.
Females make up 8% of the workforce. This is 40 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Cinematographers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.3||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
Formal qualifications are not essential to work as a Cinematographer. Although some workers have a university or Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification in screen production.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Creative Arts and Culture VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Cinematographers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||10.8||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||4.0||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate well with diverse audiences and who are organised and efficient.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
52%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
46%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
46%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Talking to others.
45%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
45%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Reading work related information.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
37%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Looking for ways to help people.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
71%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
65%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
48%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
36%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
36%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
27%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
26%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
25%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
25%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
24%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
20%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
See details that are far away.
Notice differences between colours, including shades of colour and brightness.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
46%Flexibility of closure
See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
66%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
62%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
59%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
57%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
56%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
54%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
53%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
53%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
52%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
51%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
50%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
48%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
46%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
45%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
44%Working with computers
Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
42%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
40%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
39%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
29%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work with people in a group or team.
94%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
92%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Talk with people face-to-face.
88%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
Work to strict deadlines.
Use electronic mail.
83%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
82%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
82%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
81%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
78%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
Talk on the telephone.
76%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
74%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
72%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
72%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
69%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
67%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-4031.00 - Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.