Photographers

General Information

Description

Photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.

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Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting
  • Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers

Job Outlook

Employment of photographers is projected to decline 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. The decreasing cost of digital cameras and the increasing number of amateur photographers and hobbyists will reduce the need for professional photographers. In addition, stock photographic services available online give individuals and businesses access to stock photographs for a fee or subscription, possibly dampening demand for photographers. However, the application of newer technologies, such as drone photography, may contribute to increased demand for these workers in a variety of ways. For example, drone photography in the commercial sector enables the capturing of images and information for agricultural land, real estate, and new construction projects. In addition, drone photography enables the photographer to create visuals of tall structures, such as cell towers and bridges that are in need of repair. Drone photography at weddings or special events can also capture scenic aerial portraits. Employment of self-employed photographers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026. Demand for portrait photographers will remain as people continue to want new portraits. In addition, corporations will continue to require the services of commercial photographers to develop compelling advertisements to sell products. Declines in the newspaper industry will reduce demand for news photographers to provide still images for print. Employment of photographers in newspaper publishing is projected to decline 34 percent from 2016 to 2026.

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$55,310

Military salary*

$49,820

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State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$64,930
$24,150
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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • High school 28%
  • Associate's degree 20%
  • Some college 16%
  • Bachelor's degree 16%
  • Less than high school 16%
  • Post-secondary certificate 4%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%

Related College Majors

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Fine Arts
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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