One of the most vital aspects of a career that a person should know prior to entering into the profession is, of course, how much he can expect to be paid at the start and during the course of his career. In the case of the photographer, there are a number of factors that can affect this number-aside from the normal variables that affect every career choice.
Of the normal variables that greatly influence how much a photographer earns at the start and later on in his career, education plays a huge role in determining this number. The median salary for a photographer-polled of all kinds of photographers-is approximately $26,000, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, while an entry level photographer will probably only make $15,000; if the person is employed with a substantial education background in photography technique and use; they would probably be able to make at least the median salary. Moreover, there are always ongoing programs and field training that can be used to further the photographer’s education as regards technology and innovation in the field; and this extends to how much they can make.
The same can be said about a photographer who has extensive experience in the field. The more experience a photographer has, the more he is able to bring in a higher contract or annual salary at a company. This includes even entry level apprenticeships and programs-any aspect of photography incident that bolsters the photographers’ hands on experience to perform better and with more quality.
Also, of necessary mention is the factor of who the photographer works for: a company or himself. As noted by recent statistics, it is much more common that a photographer who works as a freelance photographer for himself makes less on average, than those employed by companies. The salaried photographers typically work full time, and work with equipment and accessories incurred as a part of the responsibility of the employer; whereas, freelance photographers-in many cases-work part time, and pay for all overhead costs of equipment, training, and accessories. Of the salaried photographers, most of these photographers work in the scientific and newspaper/magazine industries with median salaries of $23,000 and $32,000 respectfully.