These Are The 10 Best States For Photographers

We used the most recent data to determine the best states for Photographers to open up shop.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarBest States For Professions, Rankings - 1 year ago




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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:

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New Mexico
  4. Minnesota
  5. Missouri
  6. New York
  7. California
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Oregon
  10. Delaware

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.

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How we determined the best states to be a photographer

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:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

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:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

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.

1. Rhode Island

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 220
Average Annual Salary: $51,630
Average Entry Level Salary: $26,890
Average Experienced Salary: $78,620
Location Quotient: 1.3

2. Massachusetts

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,200
Average Annual Salary: $51,190
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,440
Average Experienced Salary: $90,290
Location Quotient: 0.97

3. New Mexico

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 290
Average Annual Salary: $40,160
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,410
Average Experienced Salary: $72,800
Location Quotient: 0.99

4. Minnesota

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 780
Average Annual Salary: $45,440
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,090
Average Experienced Salary: $81,580
Location Quotient: 0.78

5. Missouri

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 1,200
Average Annual Salary: $36,110
Average Entry Level Salary: $18,230
Average Experienced Salary: $62,060
Location Quotient: 1.22

6. New York

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 4,060
Average Annual Salary: $59,740
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,410
Average Experienced Salary: $100,320
Location Quotient: 1.25

7. California

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 6,360
Average Annual Salary: $51,250
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,650
Average Experienced Salary: $100,520
Location Quotient: 1.13

8. Oklahoma

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 740
Average Annual Salary: $33,600
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,090
Average Experienced Salary: $55,030
Location Quotient: 1.27

9. Oregon

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 440
Average Annual Salary: $44,040
Average Entry Level Salary: $25,860
Average Experienced Salary: $74,610
Location Quotient: 0.69

10. Delaware

Best States For Photographers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 120
Average Annual Salary: $45,220
Average Entry Level Salary: $21,260
Average Experienced Salary: $83,160
Location Quotient: 0.79

There You Have It

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:

  1. Louisiana
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Montana

Detailed List Of The Best States For Photographers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Rhode Island $51,630 $26,890 220
2 Massachusetts $51,190 $25,440 1,200
3 New Mexico $40,160 $20,410 290
4 Minnesota $45,440 $25,090 780
5 Missouri $36,110 $18,230 1,200
6 New York $59,740 $19,410 4,060
7 California $51,250 $19,650 6,360
8 Oklahoma $33,600 $20,090 740
9 Oregon $44,040 $25,860 440
10 Delaware $45,220 $21,260 120
11 Washington $39,980 $21,490 1,070
12 South Carolina $35,850 $19,770 580
13 Michigan $38,940 $18,490 1,300
14 Georgia $38,220 $17,820 1,420
15 Nevada $36,040 $25,170 780
16 Texas $43,180 $18,830 3,070
17 Vermont $40,270 $20,170 100
18 Maine $44,520 $18,920 150
19 Arizona $39,070 $18,290 1,030
20 Kentucky $32,650 $17,700 550
21 Alabama $34,940 $17,580 550
22 Kansas $34,870 $20,470 440
23 Ohio $31,200 $17,880 1,920
24 Wisconsin $39,020 $19,380 860
25 Tennessee $33,570 $17,500 910
26 Connecticut $45,100 $21,170 590
27 Indiana $30,800 $18,830 1,250
28 South Dakota $30,250 $21,010 130
29 Florida $33,430 $18,070 4,210
30 Illinois $34,930 $20,010 2,150
31 Utah $31,750 $17,290 570
32 West Virginia $34,160 $18,640 130
33 North Dakota $35,480 $21,230 100
34 Idaho $31,120 $19,430 140
35 Alaska $42,000 $20,620 90
36 Nebraska $28,860 $18,180 450
37 North Carolina $30,430 $17,130 1,880
38 Colorado $33,390 $18,190 860
39 Maryland $37,300 $17,890 970
40 Arkansas $28,710 $17,230 370
41 New Jersey $34,570 $20,870 1,220
42 Virginia $37,090 $17,690 1,000
43 Pennsylvania $32,650 $17,190 1,600
44 Hawaii $0 $0 480
45 Iowa $27,680 $16,910 560
46 Wyoming $29,820 $17,790 80
47 Mississippi $30,170 $16,790 210
48 Montana $23,710 $17,330 140
49 New Hampshire $31,910 $17,400 160
50 Louisiana $27,550 $17,160 430

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