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Photo Editor Salary (United States)

For Photo Editors, annual wages usually total $45K per year. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the particular firm, followed by experience level and geographic location. Although slightly less than a third lack health benefits of any kind, more than half do enjoy medical insurance, and a majority get dental coverage, too. Women Photo Editors just slightly outnumber men. For the most part, Photo Editors enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Photo Editor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$30,029 - $69,054
(Median)
30K
37K
45K
56K
69K
MEDIAN: $45,237
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Photo Editor Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$9.44 - $28.56
(Median)
9
12
15
21
29
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Salary
$30,029 - $69,054  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,872  
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $1,600  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,270 - $66,400  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 252
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$9.44 - $28.56  
   
Overtime
$15.68 - $42.99  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,872  
   
Profit Sharing
$200.00 - $1,600  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$24,270 - $66,400  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 166
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Job Description for Photo Editor

Photo editors review, select, and perform editing on photos to meet the need of their employer. They communicate with other departments in the company to coordinate the type and number of photos needed (such as to correspond with a story or website); they perform any necessary editing for photos (such as color correction) as well. The photo editor generally performs a number of managerial tasks, including supervising photographers (and possibly other editors), managing contracts, completing ordering invoices, and filling out paperwork. Additionally, the photo editor may work with freelance photographers and other employees, as well as other photo editors and interns. The photo editor often works indoors, although this position may not be limited to working at a computer; the photo editor may serve as a photographer as well.
Read More...
Photo Editor Tasks
  • Ensure adherence to a style guide, correct formatting and consistent use of language within a document.
  • Review, rewrite and edit the work of writers.
  • Develop story or content ideas.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of reporters and other editors.

Publications Editor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Photo Editor

Time Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $64K. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale is Time Inc.

Popular Skills for Photo Editor

Photo Editors report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Editing, Product Photography, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe InDesign are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Illustrator. For most people, competency in Adobe Illustrator indicates knowledge of Adobe InDesign.

Pay by Experience Level for Photo Editor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Photo Editors, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $36K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $46K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $51K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $63K on average. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; a fair portion of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up nearly one in six of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise fewer than one in twenty, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

up arrow 29%
Washington
up arrow 23%
National Average
$42,000
Seattle
up arrow 2%
Los Angeles
up arrow 4%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Photo Editors, busy New York offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Photo Editors will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+23 percent). The lowest-paying market is Los Angeles, which sits 4 percent below the national average.

Photo Editor Reviews

What is it like working as a Photo Editor?
Photo Editor in Houston:
"Fast, High Volume, Productivity Focused Problem Solving."
Pros: The casual camaraderie with co-workers, solving problems as a group and exchanging ideas and techniques.
Cons: It is very repetitive and sometimes not as creative as I would like. There is a definite burn-out factor, like it's a mail room with never ending product coming through.

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Experience Affects Photo Editor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 51%
Mid-Career
up arrow 12%
National Average
$42,000

Skills That Affect Photo Editor Salaries

Editing
up arrow 7%
Product Photography
up arrow 5%
Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 1%
National Average
$42,000
Adobe InDesign
up arrow 1%
Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 3%
Adobe Lightroom
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 121 votes.

Gender

Female
55%
female alumni
 
Male
45%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
47%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 69% dental benefits Dental: 56%
vision benefits Vision: 42% employee benefits None: 31%