If you love cameras and image making and see yourself working with (or at least near) that big, beautiful machine professionally, you're probably going to want to get acquainted with the different positions you could fill. 

It all starts with the head honcho of the Camera Department, the Director of Photography (DP), who works closely with the Director, as well as other department heads. This is the position many enter this department to become, but if you're just starting out, you may want to set your sights on first working as a 1st or 2nd AC, a Camera PA/intern/trainee, or a film loader.

Of course, smaller projects often mean smaller departments where people combine several positions into one. For instance, the DP may also serve as the Camera Operator. And if you're working on a low budget film with a skeleton crew, there may not even be an official Camera Department. Working as a PA on these types of projects, I was often tasked with operating the slate, handling camera equipment, and wrangling cables, so that might actually be a good, low-risk, low-pressure way to build experience working around/with the camera.

Hopefully now that you know a little bit more about the positions you could fill within the Camera Department, you have a clearer idea of not only how you could potentially progress your career, but also of what kinds of roles you'd like to fill when you do.

Source: Cinematography Database