Photographers are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as photographers in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.
Since photographers are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where photographers have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around, and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.
To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for photographers. After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s photographers:
So there you have it — Rhode Island is the best of the best when it comes to being a photographers.
How did it end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for photographers and for more on the top ten states.
Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:
So in order to find out the best states for photographers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well photographers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:
To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.
Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for photographers in California is $51,250 and the average salary in Illinois is $34,930, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.
In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.
We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for photographers in America.
So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for photographers.
Total Jobs: 220
Average Annual Salary: $51,630
Average Entry Level Salary: $26,890
Average Experienced Salary: $78,620
Location Quotient: 1.3
Total Jobs: 1,200
Average Annual Salary: $51,190
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,440
Average Experienced Salary: $90,290
Location Quotient: 0.97
Total Jobs: 290
Average Annual Salary: $40,160
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,410
Average Experienced Salary: $72,800
Location Quotient: 0.99
Total Jobs: 780
Average Annual Salary: $45,440
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,090
Average Experienced Salary: $81,580
Location Quotient: 0.78
Total Jobs: 1,200
Average Annual Salary: $36,110
Average Entry Level Salary: $18,230
Average Experienced Salary: $62,060
Location Quotient: 1.22
Total Jobs: 4,060
Average Annual Salary: $59,740
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,410
Average Experienced Salary: $100,320
Location Quotient: 1.25
Total Jobs: 6,360
Average Annual Salary: $51,250
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,650
Average Experienced Salary: $100,520
Location Quotient: 1.13
Total Jobs: 740
Average Annual Salary: $33,600
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,090
Average Experienced Salary: $55,030
Location Quotient: 1.27
Total Jobs: 440
Average Annual Salary: $44,040
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,860
Average Experienced Salary: $74,610
Location Quotient: 0.69
Total Jobs: 120
Average Annual Salary: $45,220
Average Entry Level Salary: $21,260
Average Experienced Salary: $83,160
Location Quotient: 0.79
If you’re looking to start out your career as a photographer these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.
If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a photographer in America: