Commercial Photographers in the United States may have to scrimp and save; the median compensation is $45K annually. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. While some workers in this profession — just under one in three — do not have any health coverage, the larger part do receive medical benefits and a little over a half have dental insurance. Men working as Commercial Photographers who took the survey just slightly outnumber women at 59 percent. Most people in this profession are content with their work, and moderate levels of job satisfaction are reported. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$29,833 - $74,711
$30K
$45K
$75K
MEDIAN: $45,375
10%
50%
90%

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$10.75 - $29.65
$11
$15
$30
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$29,833 - $74,711  
   
Bonus
$245.97 - $9,787  
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$24,754 - $73,678  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 134
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$10.75 - $29.65  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.81  
Overtime
$17.39 - $37.87  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$245.97 - $9,787  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,100  
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).
)
$24,754 - $73,678  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 128

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Photographer, Commercial

The job of a commercial photographer is to photograph and document images which are often used in his/her company's promotional/advertising campaigns; these photographs may also be used in magazines, editorials, billboards, television commercials, and more. Aside from taking pictures for commercial use, these photographers may also be required to manipulate these images using computer software to achieve the company's desired feel and appearance.

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Photographer, Commercial Tasks

  • Photograph designated subjects, adjusting composition, and camera settings for optimal end result.
  • Schedule photo shoots, test equipment, and interpret client requests.
  • Review photographs and select the most suitable for the client.
  • Edit and deliver photos, providing metadata and context as necessary.

Photographer, Commercial Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Photographer, Commercial


Commercial Photographers who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Product Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Editing, and Adobe Illustrator are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Graphic Design as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Adobe Illustrator and Editing also typically command lower compensation. Most people familiar with Adobe Photoshop also know Editing and Adobe Illustrator.

Pay by Experience Level for Photographer, Commercial

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $33K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $43K. Commercial Photographers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $52K. Commercial Photographers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $59K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $39,950

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Commercial Photographers that is 50 percent greater than the national average, Chicago offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Commercial Photographers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+8 percent). Commercial Photographers in Philadelphia make 43 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers in Los Angeles and Atlanta also lean toward paying below-median salaries (3 percent less).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Photographer, Commercial

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 22 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Photographer, Commercial Salaries




National Average
$40,000


Skills That Affect Photographer, Commercial Salaries

National Average
$40,000



up arrow 5%

Adobe Illustrator
up arrow 21%

Graphic Design
up arrow 22%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 22 votes.

Gender

Female
41 %
Male
59 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 65%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
vision benefits
Vision: 40%
dental benefits
None: 31%
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