What do they do?

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.

Also known as:

Advertising Photographer, Commercial Photographer, Graduation Photographer, Industrial Photographer, News Photographer, Newspaper Photographer, Newspaper Photojournalist, Photo Editor, Photographer, Photojournalist, Portrait Photographer, Sports Photographer, Studio Photographer

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Photographers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 9.3%

    Change

    Ranks #37 in job growth rate
    190

    Job Openings

    Ranks #31 in net job growth

Best colleges for Photographers

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Colleges with the most graduates that become Photographers

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (1%)
  • Master's degree  (8%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (43%)
  • Associate's degree  (12%)
  • Some college, no degree  (22%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (12%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (2%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Photographers

Select Type of Degree:

  • #1
    • Degrees Granted

      9,776
    • Female Students

      7,057
    • Male Students

      2,719
    • Median Starting Salary

      $36,700
  • #2
    • Degrees Granted

      2,450
    • Female Students

      1,264
    • Male Students

      1,186
    • Median Starting Salary

      $39,600
  • #3
    • Degrees Granted

      1,546
    • Female Students

      1,012
    • Male Students

      534
    • Median Starting Salary

      $39,600
  • #4
    • Degrees Granted

      1,256
    • Female Students

      863
    • Male Students

      393
    • Median Starting Salary

      $38,000
  • #5
    • Degrees Granted

      114
    • Female Students

      82
    • Male Students

      32
    • Median Starting Salary

      $45,300

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administrative - Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Set up still or video cameras or related equipment.
  • Determine technical requirements of productions or projects.
  • Convert data among multiple digital or analog formats.
  • Operate still or video cameras or related equipment.
  • Create computer-generated graphics or animation.
  • Apply finishes to artwork, crafts, or displays.
  • Maintain records, documents, or other files.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Review art or design materials.
  • Confer with clients to determine needs.
  • Maintain recording or broadcasting equipment.
  • Select materials or props.
  • Coordinate activities of production personnel.
  • Research new technologies.
  • Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.
  • Write informational material.
  • Arrange artwork, products, or props.
  • Obtain copyrights or other legal permissions.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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