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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

27-4021 Photographers

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects. May use lighting equipment to enhance a subject’s appearance. May use editing software to produce finished images and prints. Includes commercial and industrial photographers, scientific photographers, and photojournalists. Excludes “Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Film” (27-4031).


National estimates for Photographers
Industry profile for Photographers
Geographic profile for Photographers

National estimates for Photographers:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Photographers:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
38,420 4.6 % $ 23.18 $ 48,210 1.6 %

Percentile wage estimates for Photographers:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 11.80 $ 14.47 $ 18.73 $ 28.84 $ 37.38
Annual Wage (2) $ 24,540 $ 30,090 $ 38,950 $ 60,000 $ 77,760


Industry profile for Photographers:

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Photographers are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Photographers, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Photographers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 19,430 2.55 $ 20.97 $ 43,630
Radio and Television Broadcasting 3,270 1.72 $ 25.81 $ 53,690
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses 1,380 0.30 $ 24.92 $ 51,840
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers 1,260 0.51 $ 24.25 $ 50,450
Automobile Dealers 850 0.07 $ 16.25 $ 33,810

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Photographers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 19,430 2.55 $ 20.97 $ 43,630
Radio and Television Broadcasting 3,270 1.72 $ 25.81 $ 53,690
Cable and Other Subscription Programming 250 0.53 $ 25.50 $ 53,050
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers 1,260 0.51 $ 24.25 $ 50,450
Nonscheduled Air Transportation 160 0.32 $ 32.53 $ 67,670

Top paying industries for Photographers:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Grantmaking and Giving Services (8) (8) $ 47.84 $ 99,510
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing 40 0.01 $ 43.57 $ 90,620
Other Information Services 520 0.14 $ 41.03 $ 85,330
Scientific Research and Development Services 50 0.01 $ 37.88 $ 78,790
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 130 (7) $ 34.03 $ 70,790


Geographic profile for Photographers:

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Photographers are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Photographers, see the Create Customized Tables function.



Map of employment of photographers by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Photographers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 5,220 0.32 1.16 $ 25.92 $ 53,920
New York 3,390 0.39 1.43 $ 29.26 $ 60,860
Florida 3,070 0.36 1.31 $ 20.59 $ 42,840
Texas 3,060 0.25 0.92 $ 19.30 $ 40,140
Illinois 1,730 0.31 1.13 $ 24.48 $ 50,920


Map of location quotient of photographers by state, May 2021


States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Photographers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Hawaii 230 0.42 1.54 $ 21.49 $ 44,700
District of Columbia 270 0.40 1.47 $ 40.67 $ 84,590
New York 3,390 0.39 1.43 $ 29.26 $ 60,860
Colorado 990 0.38 1.39 $ 24.10 $ 50,120
Rhode Island 170 0.37 1.34 $ 22.90 $ 47,630


Map of annual mean wages of photographers by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Photographers:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 270 0.40 1.47 $ 40.67 $ 84,590
Connecticut 300 0.19 0.69 $ 32.01 $ 66,580
New York 3,390 0.39 1.43 $ 29.26 $ 60,860
Georgia 1,390 0.32 1.16 $ 28.57 $ 59,420
Washington 900 0.28 1.03 $ 28.45 $ 59,180



Map of employment of photographers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Photographers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 3,260 0.38 1.38 $ 30.16 $ 62,730
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 1,390 0.33 1.20 $ 25.64 $ 53,340
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 1,100 0.43 1.56 $ 30.57 $ 63,580
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 1,000 0.41 1.49 $ 25.52 $ 53,090
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 970 0.27 0.99 $ 21.37 $ 44,440
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 780 0.27 0.98 $ 19.18 $ 39,890
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 770 0.34 1.26 $ 31.80 $ 66,140
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 690 0.32 1.19 $ 21.44 $ 44,590
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 650 0.22 0.81 $ 33.86 $ 70,440
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 640 0.55 2.00 $ 17.80 $ 37,020


Map of location quotient of photographers by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Photographers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI 50 0.83 3.05 $ 22.07 $ 45,900
Asheville, NC 130 0.71 2.61 $ 15.31 $ 31,840
Anniston-Oxford-Jacksonville, AL 30 0.70 2.55 $ 16.79 $ 34,920
Flagstaff, AZ 40 0.61 2.23 $ 16.24 $ 33,780
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 640 0.55 2.00 $ 17.80 $ 37,020
Fort Collins, CO 90 0.53 1.96 $ 27.76 $ 57,740
Tallahassee, FL 90 0.52 1.90 $ 14.84 $ 30,870
Wilmington, NC 70 0.51 1.88 $ 18.91 $ 39,340
Logan, UT-ID 30 0.49 1.80 $ 24.18 $ 50,290
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN 40 0.49 1.79 $ 18.32 $ 38,110


Map of annual mean wages of photographers by area, May 2021


Top paying metropolitan areas for Photographers:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 290 0.27 0.99 $ 36.93 $ 76,810
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 70 0.18 0.67 $ 34.21 $ 71,160
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 650 0.22 0.81 $ 33.86 $ 70,440
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 770 0.34 1.26 $ 31.80 $ 66,140
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 80 0.15 0.53 $ 31.77 $ 66,090
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 630 0.33 1.20 $ 31.64 $ 65,810
Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI 30 0.26 0.97 $ 30.97 $ 64,420
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 1,100 0.43 1.56 $ 30.57 $ 63,580
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 3,260 0.38 1.38 $ 30.16 $ 62,730
Santa Rosa, CA 40 0.22 0.80 $ 29.98 $ 62,350

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Photographers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
East Tennessee nonmetropolitan area 190 1.45 5.31 $ 14.84 $ 30,870
Upper Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area 100 0.99 3.62 $ 17.53 $ 36,460
Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area 70 0.63 2.33 $ 16.94 $ 35,220
Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan area 60 0.45 1.66 $ 17.35 $ 36,080
Southeast Iowa nonmetropolitan area 60 0.27 0.99 $ 16.35 $ 34,000

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Photographers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
East Tennessee nonmetropolitan area 190 1.45 5.31 $ 14.84 $ 30,870
Upper Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area 100 0.99 3.62 $ 17.53 $ 36,460
Southwest Missouri nonmetropolitan area 50 0.72 2.65 $ 12.71 $ 26,440
Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area 70 0.63 2.33 $ 16.94 $ 35,220
Northwest Illinois nonmetropolitan area 60 0.45 1.66 $ 17.35 $ 36,080

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Photographers:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $ 20.21 $ 42,040
South Central Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area 30 0.16 0.60 $ 18.75 $ 38,990
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 30 0.09 0.33 $ 18.20 $ 37,850
Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area 40 0.25 0.91 $ 17.90 $ 37,240
Upper Peninsula of Michigan nonmetropolitan area 100 0.99 3.62 $ 17.53 $ 36,460


About May 2021 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(7) The value is less than .005 percent of industry employment.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022