How Much Should I Charge for Video

Scott asks: How much do I charge for producing video? How do we give a right charge that will compromise both sides? How do we charge ourselves worthy for our skills, time, and dedication? How do we charge our video editing services that are justifiable to our client?

Answer: Here is a handy Video Production Cost Calculator for a quick answer to this question.

Otherwise, we will guide you on how to make the right charge for you and your client.

The Different Kinds of Rates

Hourly Rates

This means your video editing services are being rated per hour. Let’s say you have $40/hour and you work for 8 hours, you are guaranteed to have $320 for that day.

As a freelancer, a video editing hourly rate is the greatest option among the three. It guarantees you that every minute you rendered for the project is being paid. It will also ensure you that you’re not exhausting yourself by rendering more time and work for the project.

If the client wants you to render more hours to do the project, you are also guaranteed that you are being paid for it.

Daily Rate

This means that your video production services rate for a day is fixed, no matter how many hours you rendered for the project. Daily rate is especially good when you are able to finish the video project ahead of time, but if the project is complex and you are on a tight deadline, this might be an overkill for you.

Fixed Rate

This means that your video editing rates are already fixed for the entire project, no matter how many hours, days, or months you rendered.

When dealing with long, big, and complex video editing project, we normally charge a premium video production rates. Let’s say we can give a rate of $80/hour. But premium video editing prices is expensive for the clients.

Your valuable option would be to have it rated by a fixed rate. You can rate the entire video project for $800 in a week. This might seem a justifiable rate for you and your client. Furthermore, you can always make your project earlier than the set deadline. This will ensure you that you’re still receiving $800 and you can take more projects during the free time.

Charging Based on Video Project Type

Now that you already have an idea about different payment rates when you do freelance work, it is important to consider what type of video project you’ll be working on to determine the appropriate rate to charge.

Documentary Editing

Editing a documentary fee is a very daunting task. It will take up a lot of your time in rounds of editing, depending on your director. So in this case, you should charge your video editing services as an hourly rate. Surely, you wouldn’t want to be situated in editing a lengthy documentary for a fixed price, right?

Videography / Cinematography

For video production services such as shooting, video editing, and cinematography, it’s safe to have your rate charged as daily. Sometimes you will shoot for about 12 hours, sometimes 2, or even 1. It’s not worth it to travel for an hour on two and only to get paid for one hour shoot. Usually, the rate for video shoots is not less than $500, depending on the complexity and length of your video.

Commercial Videos /Business Promotions

Businesses would want to know how much the video project will cost them from the very beginning, so it’s appropriate to have your rates fixed. Editing a commercial ad, internal video, online tutorial, event promotion video, etc are most likely the works you’ll be frequently handling as a freelancer.

Typically, the business organizations will submit a bid to you about how much the project will cost. You can then modify it according to your rate, or have a thorough discussion with your client to have an agreed amount.

Rates According to Qualifications

Your experience and expertise in video editing have a great factor in determining your rate. If you’re still a beginner or an amateur in video editing, it is always safe to start cheaper. Let’s say $10/hour will do. As you progress and earn more experience, you can gradually increase your expertise and experience.

Rates According to Region

In a recent survey conducted by, the hourly rates of video editors vary according to their region. In the west, the estimated hourly rates for video editors is $27.40. While on the Northeast region like Maine and New York costs $21-$30.00, the same rate around Louisiana and Washington. Meanwhile on the Midwest like Illinois and South Dakota, it costs around $18-26.

Additional Costs

You must also take into consideration your additional costs when determining your rate. Following are the factors that affect your video editing rates:

1. Tax
2. Length and Complexity of the Video Project
3. Use of equipment (if you’ll be the one providing them)
4. Writing/Drafting the Storyboard
5. Shooting
6 Video Editing/Voiceovers/etc
7. Use of royal stock photos, clips, and audio.

What! There's more?

Additional links, tutorials, extended podcasts
and curated videos are only visible to Premium subscribers.

Log in to viewGo Premium

Smart videomaking

Want more tips, tools and techniques? Sign up for our weekly newsletter. We search the web for anything that will interest the media professional. Take a look at what we find.