Photo Editor Salary (United States)

A typical Photo Editor in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $41,634 per year. The pay spectrum stretches from $24,270 to $66,400 per year. This group's pay is mainly influenced by the company, followed by years of experience and geographic location. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits—around one third lack coverage. On the flip side, around two-thirds have medical insurance and more than half receive dental plans. Women Photo Editors just slightly outnumber men in the field. Most Photo Editors like their work and job satisfaction is high. The figures in this outline were provided by individuals who took 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  
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

Those at Time Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $63,960. With a reported median salary of only $29,819, Zulily easily takes the cake for lowest-paying firm in town; earnings are less than half of the top paying company's rate.

Popular Skills for Photo Editor

Survey results suggest that Photo Editors put a wide range of professional skills to use. Editing and Product Photography are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 7 percent and 5 percent respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Illustrator. Most people skilled in Adobe Illustrator are similarly competent in Adobe InDesign.

Pay by Experience Level for Photo Editor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Photo Editors generally obtain higher salaries for more plentiful past experience. Starting out, salaries are typically $36K, which grows to $46K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $51K after 10 to 20 years. Paychecks show no signs of slowing down as Photo Editors approach two decades on the job—pay continues to accelerate and typical earnings come to $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 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 6 percent. Most of respondents report having between one and nine years of experience in this field.

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, New York provides a pay rate that is 29 percent greater than the national average. Photo Editors will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+23 percent). Los Angeles is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 4 percent.

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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