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Career profile Movie Projectionist

Also known as Booth Operator, Cinema Projectionist, Digital Projectionist, Film Specialist, Motion Picture Projectionist, Movie Projectionist, Projection Technician, Projectionist, Projector Booth Operator, Technical Projection Guide

Movie Projectionist

Also known as Booth Operator, Cinema Projectionist, Digital Projectionist

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$19,620 - $60,880 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Monitor operations to ensure that standards for sound and image projection quality are met.
  • Inspect movie films to ensure that they are complete and in good condition.
  • Start projectors and open shutters to project images onto screens.
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What does a Movie Projectionist do?

Movie Projectionists set up and operate motion picture projection and related sound reproduction equipment.

What kind of tasks does a Movie Projectionist perform regularly?

Movie Projectionists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Monitor operations to ensure that standards for sound and image projection quality are met.
  • Start projectors and open shutters to project images onto screens.
  • Open and close facilities according to rules and schedules.
  • Operate equipment to show films in a number of theaters simultaneously.
  • Perform regular maintenance tasks, such as rotating or replacing xenon bulbs, cleaning projectors and lenses, lubricating machinery, and keeping electrical contacts clean and tight.
  • Set up and adjust picture projectors and screens to achieve proper size, illumination, and focus of images, and proper volume and tone of sound.
  • Inspect projection equipment prior to operation to ensure proper working order.
  • Perform minor repairs, such as replacing worn sprockets, or notify maintenance personnel of the need for major repairs.
  • Set up and inspect curtain and screen controls.
  • Coordinate equipment operation with presentation of supplemental material, such as music, oral commentaries, or sound effects.
  • Clean the projection booth.

The above responsibilities are specific to Movie Projectionists. More generally, Movie Projectionists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

What is a Movie Projectionist salary?

The median salary for a Movie Projectionist is $27,490, and the average salary is $34,380. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Movie Projectionist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Movie Projectionists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Movie Projectionists earn less than $19,620 per year, 25% earn less than $23,120, 75% earn less than $40,950, and 90% earn less than $60,880.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Movie Projectionists is expected to change by 70.6%, and there should be roughly 600 open positions for Movie Projectionists every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$19,620 - $60,880
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Movie Projectionists?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Movie Projectionist are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Movie Projectionists typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Movie Projectionists typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Movie Projectionist tend to value Support, Achievement, and Independence.

Most importantly, Movie Projectionists moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Movie Projectionists somewhat value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Movie Projectionists somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Movie Projectionists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as dependability, attention to detail, and independence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Movie Projectionists, ranked by importance:

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

What education and training do Movie Projectionists need?

Working as a Movie Projectionist usually requires a high school diploma.

Movie Projectionists need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Movie Projectionists

  • 6.0% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 27.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 26.8% completed some college coursework
  • 8.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 24.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 5.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.9% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Movie Projectionists

Movie Projectionists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as computers and electronics, customer and personal service, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Movie Projectionists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Important Abilities needed by Movie Projectionists

Movie Projectionists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Movie Projectionists need abilities such as far vision, near vision, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Movie Projectionists, ranked by their relative importance.

Far Vision
The ability to see details at a distance.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

Critical Skills needed by Movie Projectionists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Movie Projectionists frequently use skills like operations monitoring, reading comprehension, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Movie Projectionists, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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