Becoming a Photographer via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Penn Foster Career School is a US school (accredited) offering photography courses to train individuals to become top-notch photogrammetric compilation specialists, photographers, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 57,760 people employed as photographers alone in America, and their average annual salary is $36,370. Photographic process workers make on average $29,710 per year and there are about 18,390 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Penn Foster Career School that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Photographer
  • Nightclubs
  • Celebrity Events
  • Sporting Events
  • College Graduations
  • Magazine Photo Shoots
  • Elementary School Events
  • Fashion Shows and Events
  • Weddings
  • Concerts
  • Parties
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Photographer
  • Work for higher remuneration
  • Work desired hours
  • Record important events in photographs
  • Work within your city
  • Ability to travel to different places
  • Gain knowledge on different cultures
  • Quickly adapt to new environments
  • Obtaining a public image
  • Quickly gain experience
  • Well paid profession
Potential Drawbacks
  • Competitive Industry
  • Expensive Equipment
  • Calls for constant creativity
  • Wages based on commission
  • Working with compatible assistant
  • Developing a unique look to your work
  • Projects can be time consuming
  • Giving a customer exactly what they want
  • Difficult to market your work
  • Understand the environment you are shooting
Related Professions to Consider
  • Photographic Stylist
  • Fashion Photographer
  • Advertising/Editorial photographer
  • Corporate Photographer
  • Documentary Photographer
  • Fine Art Photographer
  • Social and Wedding Photographer
  • Sports Photographer
  • Picture Researcher/Editor
  • Printmaker
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Photographer
  • What is the unit of resolution in photography?
  • Where did you study photography?
  • What is your knowledge in this area?
  • What did you do to gain so much of knowledge in this area?
  • What tools & equipment do you use in your work?
  • Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture?
  • How do you go about finding information?
  • What type of supervision do you receive?
  • What would be the consequence of "not getting it right on the first attempt"?
  • Do you do any public speaking or training at your work?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Artist
  • Photograph Developer
  • Set Designer
  • Model
  • Professional Model
  • Director
  • Graphic Designer
  • Photograph Editor
  • Photograph Journalist
  • Blogger
Photographer Training books Photographer (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Black and White Photography
  • Color Film Photography
  • Digital Photography
  • History of Photography
  • Lighting Techniques
  • Materials and Processes
  • Photojournalism
  • Two-Dimensional Design
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer/Graphic arts

Photographer Salary Information

Category: Photographers

Total # Employed in the US 57,760
Average Hourly Wage: $17.48/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$8.23 $10.17 $14.31 $21.26 $29.97
Average Yearly Salary $36,370
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17,120 $21,150 $29,770 $44,230 $62,340
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
2.7% 13.8% 25.1% 11.4% 39.5% 6.6% 0.9%
Photographers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $26.84/hr $55,820
Oklahoma $23.35/hr $48,580
Kansas $22.81/hr $47,440
Colorado $21.36/hr $44,440
Nebraska $21.35/hr $44,400
Arkansas $20.87/hr $43,410
North Carolina $20.59/hr $42,840
Tennessee $20.43/hr $42,490
Virginia $20.11/hr $41,830
Montana $19.98/hr $41,550
Puerto Rico $19.64/hr $40,840
Connecticut $18.84/hr $39,190
New York $18.38/hr $38,240
Alaska $18.16/hr $37,760
North Dakota $18.12/hr $37,690
Missouri $17.25/hr $35,880
Utah $16.43/hr $34,170
New Jersey $16.28/hr $33,850
District of Columbia $16.16/hr $33,610
Wyoming $16.06/hr $33,390
New Hampshire $16.04/hr $33,370
Oregon $15.45/hr $32,130
Hawaii $15.32/hr $31,860
Guam $15.16/hr $31,530
New Mexico $14.97/hr $31,140
South Carolina $14.55/hr $30,270
Michigan $14.54/hr $30,240
Ohio $14.54/hr $30,240
Mississippi $14.47/hr $30,100
Maryland $14.39/hr $29,940
Pennsylvania $14.1/hr $29,320
Nevada $14.1/hr $29,330
Washington $14.03/hr $29,180
Indiana $13.93/hr $28,980
Idaho $13.93/hr $28,980
Kentucky $13.87/hr $28,860
South Dakota $13.52/hr $28,120
California $13.45/hr $27,970
Massachusetts $13.16/hr $27,380
Louisiana $12.96/hr $26,960
Wisconsin $12.89/hr $26,820
West Virginia $12.63/hr $26,260
Maine $12.47/hr $25,930
Iowa $12.45/hr $25,890
Alabama $12.31/hr $25,600


Category: Photographic process workers

Total # Employed in the US 18,390
Average Hourly Wage: $14.28/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$8.39 $10.0 $12.73 $16.78 $23.03
Average Yearly Salary $29,710
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17,460 $20,800 $26,480 $34,890 $47,900
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
7.0% 37.6% 24.4% 10.1% 16.8% 3.4% 0.8%
Photographic process workers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $18.88/hr $39,270
Oklahoma $18.15/hr $37,760
Colorado $17.51/hr $36,410
Nebraska $16.89/hr $35,130
North Dakota $15.33/hr $31,880
Indiana $15.03/hr $31,270
Missouri $14.96/hr $31,110
Arkansas $14.4/hr $29,940
Montana $14.4/hr $29,950
New York $14.26/hr $29,650
Washington $14.26/hr $29,650
Wyoming $14.19/hr $29,520
Hawaii $13.81/hr $28,720
California $13.71/hr $28,520
Wisconsin $13.39/hr $27,850
Tennessee $13.38/hr $27,830
South Carolina $13.28/hr $27,610
Alabama $13.25/hr $27,550
Connecticut $13.19/hr $27,440
Delaware $13.01/hr $27,070
Kansas $13/hr $27,040
District of Columbia $12.79/hr $26,610
Utah $12.71/hr $26,440
Ohio $12.68/hr $26,380
New Hampshire $12.61/hr $26,230
Nevada $12.55/hr $26,100
Idaho $12.45/hr $25,890
Mississippi $12.28/hr $25,530
Louisiana $12.04/hr $25,050
Maine $11.83/hr $24,600
West Virginia $11.69/hr $24,320
Maryland $11.55/hr $24,030
Guam $11.24/hr $23,380
New Mexico $11.14/hr $23,180
Oregon $11.02/hr $22,920
Kentucky $10.9/hr $22,670
South Dakota $10.21/hr $21,230
Massachusetts $9.08/hr $18,880


Category: Photographic processing machine operators

Total # Employed in the US 46,680
Average Hourly Wage: $10.74/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$7.68 $8.47 $9.69 $11.81 $15.38
Average Yearly Salary $22,330
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$15,980 $17,630 $20,160 $24,560 $31,990
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
7.0% 37.6% 24.4% 10.1% 16.8% 3.4% 0.8%
Photographic processing machine operators — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Alaska $12.77/hr $26,570
New Jersey $12.5/hr $26,000
Tennessee $12.33/hr $25,640
Indiana $12.13/hr $25,220
Nebraska $12.09/hr $25,150
Colorado $12.04/hr $25,050
Oklahoma $11.71/hr $24,350
Kansas $11.64/hr $24,220
Delaware $11.34/hr $23,600
Arkansas $11.25/hr $23,410
New York $11.24/hr $23,390
Connecticut $11.05/hr $22,990
Michigan $10.9/hr $22,680
North Dakota $10.82/hr $22,510
Kentucky $10.75/hr $22,360
Florida $10.73/hr $22,310
Massachusetts $10.66/hr $22,170
North Carolina $10.65/hr $22,140
Missouri $10.65/hr $22,150
Iowa $10.63/hr $22,110
New Hampshire $10.53/hr $21,900
Guam $10.51/hr $21,860
South Carolina $10.44/hr $21,710
Maine $10.43/hr $21,700
Idaho $10.41/hr $21,660
Mississippi $10.27/hr $21,360
Utah $10.26/hr $21,340
Hawaii $10.13/hr $21,080
Wisconsin $10.03/hr $20,860
New Mexico $9.99/hr $20,770
Wyoming $9.93/hr $20,650
Ohio $9.89/hr $20,570
Maryland $9.85/hr $20,490
Montana $9.84/hr $20,460
Oregon $9.82/hr $20,430
Louisiana $9.73/hr $20,230
Alabama $9.64/hr $20,050
Virginia $9.62/hr $20,000
Pennsylvania $9.38/hr $19,510
District of Columbia $9.31/hr $19,360
Washington $9.3/hr $19,340
West Virginia $9.27/hr $19,280
South Dakota $9.05/hr $18,830


Photography Programs by State & City