What is a Professional Photographer

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Professional Photographer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $24.21 an hour? That's $50,365 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -6% and produce -8,300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Professional Photographer Do

There are certain skills that many Professional Photographers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Artistic ability, Business skills and Computer skills.

How To Become a Professional Photographer

If you're interested in becoming a Professional Photographer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 54.2% of Professional Photographers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.0% of Professional Photographers have master's degrees. Even though most Professional Photographers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Professional Photographer. When we researched the most common majors for a Professional Photographer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Professional Photographer resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Professional Photographer. In fact, many Professional Photographer jobs require experience in a role such as Sales Associate. Meanwhile, many Professional Photographers also have previous career experience in roles such as Photographer or Cashier.

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Average Salary
$50,365
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
45,256
Job Openings
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Professional Photographer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Professional Photographer

Professional Photographers in America make an average salary of $50,365 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $56,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $45,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,365
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Professional Photographer Demographics

Professional Photographer Gender Statistics

female

50.2 %

male

45.6 %

unknown

4.2 %

Professional Photographer Ethnicity Statistics

White

71.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.8 %

Black or African American

5.6 %

Professional Photographer Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

44.1 %

French

10.3 %

Tagalog

7.4 %
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Professional Photographer Education

Professional Photographer Majors

14.0 %

Professional Photographer Degrees

Bachelors

54.2 %

Associate

22.4 %

High School Diploma

10.4 %

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None
High School / GED
Associate
Bachelor's
Master's
Doctorate

Top Colleges for Professional Photographers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329
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Online Courses For Professional Photographer That You May Like

iPhone Photography Take Professional Photos On Your iPhone
udemy
4.6
(18,066)

Your Online Guide to Taking Stunning iPhone Photography Like a Professional Digital Photographer...

Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography
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The Best Online Professional Photography Class: How to Take Amazing Photos for Beginners & Advanced Photographers...

Real Estate Photography Masterclass
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(328)

A Guide to Equipment, Technique and Workflow for Real Estate Photography...

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Top Skills For a Professional Photographer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 31.0% of Professional Photographers listed Photoshop on their resume, but soft skills such as Artistic ability and Business skills are important as well.

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