USA Career Guide- Photography

Education and Training Requirement of a Photographer in the US:
High School diploma or equivalent is sufficient for a person to start a career in photography.

Many photographers earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field like visual arts or art studies. Photography classes are conducted in many universities, community and junior colleges, vocational–technical institutes, and private trade and technical schools. Programs in courses include topics on photography cover equipment, processes, and techniques. Art schools offer training in photographic design and composition.

Photojournalists need to have a bachelor’s degree in photography or in a field related to the industry.
Photographers begin their career as an assistant to a professional photographer. They gain experience, build contacts and get exposure in the field. In this profession it is very important to build a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of a photographer’s work.  It is important for a photographer to have a ready to use digital and hard-copy portfolio for clients and art directors.

Related Instructional Programs for Photography in the US

  • Art/Art Studies
  • Commercial Photography
  • Digital Arts
  • Photography
  • Photojournalism
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Pay of a Photographer in the US

Median annual wages, May 2010

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations: $20.61
Photographers: $14.0

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics)

Job Prospects of a Photographer

Photographers can find work in:

  • Newspapers and Magazines
  • Media Companies
  • Advertising Firms
  • Fashion Industry
  • Sports organizers

Industry Overview

Employment of photographers is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020. The next 20 years is expected to see a surge in self-employed photographers by 15 percent. Recession will not stop people from getting married and therefore, demand for wedding and portrait photographers will continue. Similarly, advertisers will need good photographers to click compelling photographs for their product. Job prospect for freelancers is bright as many companies including newspapers love to hire freelancers than keeping someone on pay roll.
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
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