Photo Editor Salary (United States)

Photo Editors in the United States pull down an average of $41,634 annually. Pay starts at $24,270 and can approach $66,400 per year on the higher side. The particular firm is the main element affecting pay for this group—years of experience and geographic location are driving factors as well. Some workers in this field—about a third—are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a majority and dental plans are enjoyed by more than half. Women Photo Editors just slightly outnumber men in the field. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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.

Photo Editor Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Photo Editor

Time Inc. pays the most with a median salary of $63,960. Zulily pays significantly less than competing companies with a median salary of $29,819, less than half of the top paying company's rate.

Popular Skills for Photo Editor

Photo Editors generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. Editing and Product Photography are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 7 percent and 5 percent respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Illustrator. Most people experienced in Adobe Illustrator also know Adobe InDesign.

Pay by Experience Level for Photo Editor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Pay for Photo Editors increases steadily with experience. After five to 10 years, starting salaries jump from $36K to $46K. Those with one to two decades of experience under their belt tend to see salaries around $51K. As Photo Editors reach 20 years on the job, salary growth continues to be strong, with earnings averaging $63K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 16 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. Between one and nine years of experience is the norm for people in this field—most of those surveyed fit this bill.

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 those looking to make money, Photo Editors in New York enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Photo Editors will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+23 percent). Falling short of the national average by 4 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Los Angeles.

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.

Related Job Salaries

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%
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