What is a Sports Photographer

Do you desire a flexible job that allows you to meet different people from various walks of life? Then, you should consider becoming a sports photographer. With this, you can make as much as $50,000 per year.

Photography is the art of creating unique images by recording light either electronically or chemically. Photography covers different aspects including, landscape, sports, travel and tourism, wildlife, fashion, documentary photography, etc.

Sports photography is a class of photography that covers the different types of sporting activities. A sports photographer is a trained professional who documents sporting events by shooting quality pictures of such events.

You can register for training programs on shooting and editing quality pictures to be a sports photographer. You can then freelance by covering sporting events for free and sell your photographs to magazines or newspapers.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Sports Photographer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $11.68 an hour? That's $24,287 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 Sports Photographer Do

There are certain skills that many Sports 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 Customer-service skills.

How To Become a Sports Photographer

If you're interested in becoming a Sports Photographer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 72.6% of Sports Photographers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.0% of Sports Photographers have master's degrees. Even though most Sports 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 Sports Photographer. When we researched the most common majors for a Sports Photographer, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Sports 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 Sports Photographer. In fact, many Sports Photographer jobs require experience in a role such as Photographer. Meanwhile, many Sports Photographers also have previous career experience in roles such as Internship or Sales Associate.

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Sports Photographer Career Paths

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Average Salary for a Sports Photographer

Sports Photographers in America make an average salary of $24,287 per year or $12 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $25,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
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Sports Photographer Demographics

Sports Photographer Gender Statistics


58.2 %


36.4 %


5.4 %

Sports Photographer Ethnicity Statistics


71.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.1 %

Black or African American

5.7 %

Sports Photographer Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics


54.8 %


16.1 %


6.5 %
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Sports Photographer Education

Sports Photographer Majors

Sports Photographer Degrees


72.6 %


12.8 %

High School Diploma

7.5 %

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High School / GED

Top Colleges for Sports Photographers

1. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For Sports Photographer That You May Like

Sports & Action Photography For Beginners

A foundational course for beginner and novice level photographers who want to learn how to photograph dynamic subjects...

Introductory Sport Psychology

Developing sport psychology skills that you can use when you train, compete or coach...

Fully Accredited Professional Sports Psychology Diploma

Understanding The Psychology Of Sport With Powerful Techniques To Overcome Blocks & Achieve Your Goals In Sport!...

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Top Skills For a Sports 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, 21.9% of Sports Photographers listed Photoshop on their resume, but soft skills such as Artistic ability and Business skills are important as well.

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