What kind of career and salary can I expect in Photography?

Photographers often find themselves self-employed, however, there are some industries that hire photographers as full-time employees, as well. Depending on your desires, you can find salaried positions in a variety of fields, although most will require some formal training, such as, an online Bachelor’s degree in Photography.

As a Portrait Photographer, your duties will primarily consist of taking pictures of people. This may include many different settings and can be one individual or a group of people. Specifically, Portrait Photographers usually specialize in engagement and wedding events, in addition to, life’s other special moments such as, in the birth of a child. They also are often hired to take pictures at conventions or other social gatherings and tend to specialize in school or senior class pictures, too. In some cases, your schedule may vary due to the seasons, such as in the scheduling of weddings, which typically occur in the summer months. As a freelancer, your portfolio of photos is important to promote your services. The salary for a portrait photographer varies greatly depending on experience, but can range from $34,070 to $40,280 per year.

The Forensic Photographer earns a salary from between $29,440 to $62,430 annually, with an average of $43,530 per year. In this position, a strong stomach is a must, for you will be required to take pictures of victims, footprints and blood spatters. A Crime Scene Photographer is on call 24/7 and can be called upon at any time, however, this can be a very rewarding career, as well. Your work can help solve crimes and help put the bad guy away.

A Photojournalist tells a story with their photographs. They typically work for newspapers, magazines, television or book publishers. Depending on the job location, Photojournalists earn between $31,710 – $45,000 annually. A position in this field generally requires an online Bachelor’s degree in Photography or Journalism, often requires travel and sometimes involves putting themselves in dangerous situations.

An Aerial Photographer earns approximately $45,851 annually as they take photos while in a helicopter or airplane. Up high, they can take a birds-eye view photograph of many subjects, such as real estate properties or beautiful landscapes. Aerial Photography can also be used for the purpose of reporting on traffic accidents on our highways or other natural disasters such as tornadoes or flooding. An Aerial Photographer must have some working knowledge of aircraft and its limitations, along with, the types of equipment required to assure a quality shot. In addition, an Aerospace Photographer, who may be tasked with photographing our planets and the like, can make upwards of $76,610 annually.

As an Advertising or Commercial Photographer, you will take photos focused on specific products in hopes of encouraging the consumer to buy the product. Although no degree is required for this position, your chances of obtaining your dream job and desired salary will increase with an online Bachelor’s degree in Photography, as well as, the proper certification. The salary for a Commercial Photographer in the field of advertising and marketing earns approximately $40,280 per year.

If you are interested in this field, please see our Top Online Schools for Photography Degree Programs.