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Earnings Potential

  Median annual earnings of salaried photographers are about $26,080. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,380 and $37,370. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,180. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were $32,800 for newspapers and periodicals and $23,100 for other professional, scientific, and technical services.  Salaried photographers tend to earn more then those who are self employed.  This is mainly due to the fact that self employed photographers must buy and own their own equipment and with this comes maintenance of that equipment which tends to be very costly.

Facts at a Glance

Summary of what this Degree Entails

Many schools offer degrees in the arts with a concentration in photography for those looking to attend a four year college.  There are, however, schools geared directly toward photography,  Entry-level positions in photojournalism or in industrial or scientific photography generally require a college degree in photography or in a field related to the industry in which the photographer seeks employment.  Freelance and portrait photographers need technical proficiency, gained through a degree program, vocational training, or extensive photography experience

Examples and or Details of Work

One thing a photographer requires is passion as well as creativity and love for the arts.  Photography entails a great deal of vision and understanding of particular situations.  They must relate to the entire population to capture an image that will be understood by the million if not billions viewing it.  Self Employed photographers tend to make lower wages however at the same time they are able to project their freedom of expression without restrictions as one would not have working for the government or an agency.  Photography can often be a dangerous profession for those who choose the career path of snapping shots for newspapers and magazines that deal with military issues, accidents, civil unrest, and natural disasters.  Photography fascinates people because it is a field that is ever evolving with the technology that surrounds the field.  Camera technology changes at an extremely rapid pace because of digital photography and its quality.

Specific Careers in this Field

News and commercial photographers frequently travel locally, stay overnight on assignments, or travel to distant places for long periods.  News photography can be very stressful due to the constant deadlines that are required to meet and irregular hours.  Another field is portrait photography.  Portrait photographers usually work in their own studios but also may travel to take photographs at the client’s location, such as a school, a company office, or a private home.