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Become A Modeler

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Working As A Modeler

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Getting Information
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $82,246

    Average Salary

What Does A Modeler Do

Models pose for artists, photographers, or customers to help advertise a variety of products, including clothing, cosmetics, food, and appliances.


Models typically do the following:

  • Display clothing and merchandise in print and online advertisements
  • Promote products and services in television commercials
  • Wear designers’ clothing for runway fashion shows
  • Represent companies and brands at conventions, trade shows, and other events 
  • Pose for photos, paintings, or sculptures
  • Work closely with photographers, hair and clothing stylists, makeup artists, and clients to produce a desired look
  • Create and maintain a portfolio of their work
  • Travel to meet and interview with potential clients
  • Conduct research on the product being promoted—for example, the designer or type of clothing fabric
  • Answer questions from consumers about the products

Almost all models sign with modeling agencies. Agencies represent and promote a model to clients in return for a portion of the model’s earnings. Models typically apply for a position with an agency by submitting their photographs through its website or by attending open casting calls and meeting with agents directly.

Models must research an agency before signing, in order to ensure that the agency has a good reputation in the modeling industry. For information on agencies, models should contact a local consumer affairs organization, such as the Better Business Bureau.

Some freelance models do not sign with agencies. Instead, they market themselves to potential clients and apply for modeling jobs directly. However, because most clients prefer to work with agents, it is difficult for new models to pursue a freelance career.

Models must put together and maintain up-to-date portfolios and composite cards. A portfolio is a collection of a model’s previous work. A composite card contains the best photographs from a model’s portfolio, along with his or her body measurements. Both portfolios and composite cards are typically taken to all casting calls and client auditions.

Because advertisers often need to target specific segments of the population, models may specialize in a certain area. For example, petite and plus-size fashions are modeled by women whose sizes are respectively smaller and larger than that worn by the typical model. Models who are disabled may be used to model fashions or products for consumers with disabilities. “Parts” models have a body part, such as a hand or foot, particularly well suited to model products such as nail polish or shoes.

Models appear in different types of media to promote a product or service. Models advertise products and merchandise in magazine or newspaper advertisements, department store catalogs, or television commercials. Increasingly, models are appearing in online ads or on retail websites. Models also pose for sketch artists, painters, and sculptors.

Models often participate in photo shoots and pose for photographers to show off the features of clothing and other products. Models change their posture and facial expressions to capture the look the client wants. The photographer usually takes many pictures of the model in different poses and expressions during the photo shoot.

Models also display clothes and merchandise live in different situations. At fashion shows, models stand, turn, and walk to show off clothing to an audience of photographers, journalists, designers, and garment buyers. Other clients may require models to interact directly with customers. In retail establishments and department stores, models display clothing directly to shoppers and describe the features and prices of the merchandise. At trade shows or conventions, models show off a business’ products and provide information to consumers. These models may work alongside demonstrators and product promoters to help advertise and sell merchandise.

Models often prepare for photo shoots or fashion shows by having their hair and makeup done by professionals in those industries. The hair stylists and makeup artists may touch up the model’s hair and makeup and change the model’s look throughout the event. However, models are sometimes responsible for applying their own makeup and bringing their own clothing.

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How To Become A Modeler

No formal education credential is required to become a model. Specific requirements depend on the client, with different jobs requiring different physical characteristics. However, most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers.


There are no formal educational credentials required to become a model. Most modeling agencies allow applicants to email photos directly to the agency. The agency will then contact and interview prospective models who are well liked. Many agencies also have “open calls,” whereby aspiring models can walk into an agency during a specified time and meet directly with agents and clients.

Some aspiring models attend modeling schools that provide training in posing, walking, applying makeup, and other basic tasks. Although some models are discovered when agents scout for “fresh faces” at modeling schools, attending such schools does not necessarily lead to job opportunities.


Models advance by working more regularly and being selected for assignments that offer higher pay. They may appear in magazines, print advertising campaigns, commercials, or runway shows that have higher profiles and provide more widespread exposure.

Because advancement depends on a model’s previous work, maintaining a good portfolio of high-quality, up-to-date photographs is important in getting assignments.

A model’s selection of an agency is also important for advancement: the better the reputation and skill of the agency, the more assignments a model is likely to get.

Important Qualities

Specific requirements depend on the client, but most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers. Requirements may change slightly over time as perceptions of physical beauty change.

Discipline. A model’s career depends on the person’s maintaining his or her physical characteristics. Models must control their diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to stay healthy and photogenic. Haircuts, pedicures, and manicures are necessary work-related expenses.

Interpersonal skills. Models must interact with a large number of people, such as agents, photographers, and customers. It is important to be polite, professional, prompt, and respectful.

Listening skills. Models must be able to take direction from photographers and clients during photo shoots and commercials.

Organizational skills. Models must be able to manage their portfolios and their work and travel schedules.

Persistence. Competition for jobs is strong, and most clients have specific needs for each job, so patience and persistence are essential.

Photogenic. Models spend most of their time being photographed. They must be comfortable in front of a camera in order for photographers to capture the desired look.

Style. Models must have a basic knowledge of hair styling, makeup, and clothing. For photographic and runway work, models must be able to move gracefully and confidently.

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Modeler jobs

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Modeler Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • French

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin

  • Swahili

  • Filipino

  • German

  • Marathi

  • Hebrew

  • Kannada

  • Norwegian

  • Hindi

  • Polish

  • Korean

  • Cantonese

  • Hmong

  • Italian

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Modeler Education


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Real Modeler Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Quatitative Modeler Barclays Capital Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2016 $175,000
Catastrophe Modeler QBE Americas, Inc. New York, NY Nov 19, 2015 $168,522
Mortgage Modeler Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $154,000
Icem Modeler Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Sep 28, 2015 $150,264
Mortgage Modeler Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 06, 2016 $149,000
Quantitative Modeler Barclays Capital Inc. New York, NY Jan 05, 2015 $145,000 -
Geo-Modeler Hilcorp Energy Company LLC Houston, TX Jan 05, 2016 $139,000
Hana Modeler Adobe Systems Incorporated San Jose, CA Feb 15, 2015 $137,500
Risk Modeler Jpmorgan Chase & Co. New York, NY Nov 20, 2016 $130,000
Digital Modeler Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Nov 20, 2016 $125,220
Process Modeler Victory Systems, Inc. Ewing, NJ Feb 01, 2015 $124,800
Geologic Modeler Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company Spring, TX Sep 09, 2016 $120,182 -
Advanced Analytics Modeler The Dow Chemical Company Midland, MI Sep 18, 2015 $92,052 -
Product Modeler FJA-Us, Inc. Denver, CO Oct 30, 2015 $91,801
Predictive Modeler Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey Red Bank, NJ Oct 30, 2015 $91,707
Energy Modeler The Green Engineer, Inc. Concord, MA Nov 20, 2015 $91,500
Predictive Modeler Arbella Insurance Group Quincy, MA Jun 16, 2016 $90,000 -
Predictive Modeler Zeta Interactive Corp. San Mateo, CA Aug 28, 2016 $90,000
SAP Hana Modeler Iconsoft Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 18, 2015 $90,000
Customer Analytics Modeler National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. New York, NY Feb 09, 2016 $90,000
Gis/Environmental Modeler Davey Tree Expert Co Syracuse, NY Dec 15, 2016 $79,596
Transportation System Modeler C&M Associates, Inc. Dallas, TX Sep 26, 2016 $79,248
Datastage Modeler Visual Consultants, Inc. New Hope, MN Jun 23, 2016 $79,000
Statistical Modeler Lexisnexis Risk Solutions, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 01, 2015 $78,950 -
Travel Demand Modeler Alliance Texas Engineering Austin, TX Sep 13, 2016 $78,540
Statistical Modeler Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company McKinney, TX Sep 16, 2016 $78,520 -
Statistical Modeler Equifax, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Jan 27, 2016 $78,000
Travel Demand Modeler Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Oakland, CA Sep 05, 2015 $78,000

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Top Skills for A Modeler


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Top Modeler Skills

  1. Autodesk Revit
  2. CAD
  3. SAS
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Model electrical systems utilizing Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD.
  • Produce Revit addins that increase productivity of CAD department.
  • Developed predictive censored regression models to examine customers spending and revolving behavior using SAS and Econometric techniques.
  • Delivered clash free 3D models of restraint systems to subcontractors and completed construction drawings that were used to install restraints.
  • Created 3D props in Autodesk Maya to be used in a game modification.

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