Information About Photographers

What is this career like?

Most photographers work freelance which brings the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment. Professional photography is required for a wide range of different purposed from weddings to commercial projects such as photographing company employees and new buildings. The work is creative but also involves building relationships with clients and your photography subjects. Much of the work is on location so will involve some travel.

There are several areas of photography where you could specialize:

  • Fashion
  • Commercial Photography
  • Architectural Photography
  • Events Photography
  • Weddings
  • Newspaper Photography


Personal skills:

Photography is one of those highly skilled jobs that look easy until you try. You will need a range of technical, creative and personal skills to succeed in this competitive industry:
  • A creative eye
  • Strong communication skills and an amiable personality to get the most out of people
  • Technical skills with the camera, lighting and photo editing software
  • Tenacity - there will be a lot of hanging around to get that perfect picture
  • An eye for detail and a desire for perfection.

Training

Photographers need long-term on-the-job training.

Degrees for Photographers
Training for Photographers
Percent
Less than High School 2.7
High School 13.8
Some College 25.1
Associates Degree 11.4
Bachelors Degree 39.5
Masters Degree 6.6
Doctorate or Professional Degree 0.9

Employment

Represents about 152,000 people in the United States- 60.1% of which are self-employed

Employment prospects are up Over the next 5 years there will be aproximately 17,000 more photographers but, because of expected growth and replacement needs in the United States, we will need 48,000 more.


Hourly Income

On average, photographers make $17.59 per hour.

Hourly Income Distribution in U.S. Dollars ($)
Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Photographers $8.39 $9.75 $13.80 $21.30 $31.50
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $9.38 $13.70 $20.90 $31.70 $45.40
National Average $8.65 $10.70 $16.50 $26.60 $41.00

Annual Salaries

On average, photographers make $36,580 per year.

Annual Salary Distribution in U.S. Dollars ($)
Bottom 10% Bottom 25% Median Top 75% Top 90%
Photographers $17,450 $20,270 $28,860 $44,340 $65,510
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations $19,520 $28,640 $43,640 $66,080 $94,470
National Average $18,000 $22,380 $34,460 $55,470 $85,280

This data is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics

274021