|Quick Facts: Photographers|
$38,950 per year
$18.73 per hour
|High school diploma or equivalent|
|Moderate-term on-the-job training|
|9% (Faster than average)|
What Photographers Do
Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images.
Working conditions for photographers vary by specialty. Some photographers travel for photo shoots, working either indoors or outdoors. Others work in studios; still others work in laboratories and use microscopes to photograph subjects.
How to Become a Photographer
Although portrait photographers are not required to have postsecondary education, many take classes because employers usually seek applicants with creativity and a "good eye," as well as a good technical understanding of photography. Photojournalists and industrial and scientific photographers often need a bachelor’s degree.
The median hourly wage for photographers was $18.73 in May 2021.
Employment of photographers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 12,700 openings for photographers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
State & Area Data
Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for photographers.
Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of photographers with similar occupations.
More Information, Including Links to O*NET
Learn more about photographers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.