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What Does it Take to Be a Model?

Job Description: Model garments or other apparel and accessories for prospective buyers at fashion shows, private showings, or retail establishments. May pose for photos to be used in magazines or advertisements. May pose as subject for paintings, sculptures, and other types of artistic expression.

Model Responsibilities

  • Work closely with photographers, fashion coordinators, directors, producers, stylists, make-up artists, other models, and clients to produce the desired looks, and to finish photo shoots on schedule.
  • Hand out samples or gifts, demonstrate products, and converse with children and adults while dressed in costume.
  • Record rates of pay and durations of jobs on vouchers.
  • Display clothing and merchandise in commercials, advertisements, or fashion shows.
  • Dress in sample or completed garments, and select accessories.
  • Report job completions to agencies and obtain information about future appointments.

Qualities of a Model

Below is a list of the skills most Models say are important on the job.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

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.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

  • Figure Model
  • Photographer’s Model
  • Model
  • Professional Model
  • Runway Model

Job Opportunities for Models

In the United States, there were 4,800 jobs for Model in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Model. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 800 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Model are Washington, Alaska, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Iowa, Ohio, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Model

The salary for Models ranges between about $18,320 and $49,140 a year.


Models who work in Florida, New Jersey, or Ohio, make the highest salaries.

How much do Models make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Arizona $24,050
California $43,810
Florida $51,370
Illinois $27,110
Maryland $34,110
Massachusetts $35,330
New Jersey $55,110
New York $34,720
Ohio $39,860
Oregon $34,770
Pennsylvania $39,090
Tennessee $20,190
Texas $19,560
Virginia $26,230

What Tools & Technology do Models Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Models:

  • Web browser software
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr

Becoming a Model

What education is needed to be a Model?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Models Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Models employed by various industries.



Image Credit: Qfamily via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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