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What is a Photographer?

Occupation 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.

Life as a Photographer: What Do They Do?

  • Test equipment prior to use to ensure that it is in good working order.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.
  • Mount, frame, laminate, or lacquer finished photographs.
  • Set up, mount, or install photographic equipment and cameras.

What a Photographer Should Know

When polled, Photographers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

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

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

Types of Photographer Jobs

  • Cameraman
  • Medical Photographer
  • Ophthalmic Photographer
  • Underwater Photographer
  • Advertising Photographer

Job Outlook for Photographers

In the United States, there were 147,300 jobs for Photographers in 2016.

Photographer jobs are decreasing by a rate of -5.6%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -8,300 jobs for Photographers by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,300 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Photographers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Photographers are Maryland, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Watch out if you plan on working in New Jersey, Illinois, or California. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Photographers Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Photographers is somewhere between $19,850 and $76,360. The median salary is $34,000.

Salary Ranges for Photographers

How much do Photographers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$82,840

Massachusetts

$65,090

Rhode Island

$54,800

Minnesota

$54,150

New Mexico

$53,720

New York

$53,150

California

$52,720

Vermont

$48,840

Washington

$48,020

Georgia

$45,270

Mississippi

$44,770

Connecticut

$44,140

Alaska

$42,820

Ohio

$42,370

South Carolina

$42,090

Hawaii

$41,640

Florida

$39,990

Maryland

$39,640

Alabama

$39,360

Colorado

$38,600

Maine

$38,360

Wyoming

$38,100

New Hampshire

$37,800

Arkansas

$37,520

Virginia

$37,420

Missouri

$36,470

Oregon

$36,440

Kentucky

$36,390

Illinois

$36,290

New Jersey

$35,840

Nebraska

$35,760

Kansas

$35,540

North Dakota

$35,530

Indiana

$35,460

Nevada

$35,010

Pennsylvania

$34,790

Wisconsin

$34,750

Texas

$34,160

Delaware

$34,130

North Carolina

$33,630

Arizona

$33,500

Idaho

$33,240

Tennessee

$33,170

Louisiana

$32,710

West Virginia

$32,270

Oklahoma

$31,940

Montana

$31,670

South Dakota

$30,380

Iowa

$30,180

What Tools do Photographers Use?

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

  • Facebook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • SmugMug Flickr
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Intuit QuickBooks
  • Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Excel

Who Employs Photographers?

Photographer Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Are you already one of the many Photographers in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

  • Gem and Diamond Workers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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