Photographer, Commercial Salary

Commercial Photographers in the United States pull down an average of $47K annually. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Commercial Photographers. While one in three report receiving no health benefits, more than half do receive medical coverage, and about one-half have dental, as well. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Commercial Photographers making up 58 percent of survey respondents. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,102 - $72,346
(Median)
$30K
$47K
$72K
MEDIAN: $47,472
10%
50%
90%

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$10.34 - $32.00
(Median)
$10
$16
$32
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
$30,102 - $72,346  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,443  
Profit Sharing
$1,965  
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).
)
$24,409 - $73,482  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 167
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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$10.34 - $32.00  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$9.44 - $73.40  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $8,443  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,965  
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).
)
$24,409 - $73,482  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 139
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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

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

Photographer, Commercial Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Photographer, Commercial


Commercial Photographers report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Product Photography, Adobe Photoshop, Editing, and Graphic Design are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Graphic Design and Editing as skills, on the other hand, should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Those educated in Adobe Photoshop tend to be well versed in Editing.

Pay by Experience Level for Photographer, Commercial

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


Commercial Photographers with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $33K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $46K. Commercial Photographers bring in $51K after working for 10 to 20 years. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $68K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,709

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

Chicago offers some of the highest pay in the country for Commercial Photographers, 21 percent above the national average. Commercial Photographers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+20 percent), San Francisco (+12 percent), Seattle (+5 percent), and Los Angeles (+1 percent). Atlanta is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 4 percent.

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Experience Affects Photographer, Commercial Salaries




National Average
$42,000


Skills That Affect Photographer, Commercial Salaries

National Average
$42,000

Product Photography
up arrow 1%

Adobe Photoshop
up arrow 2%

up arrow 8%

Graphic Design
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.

Gender

Female
42 %
Male
58 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 65%
dental benefits
Dental: 51%
medical benefits
Vision: 40%
dental benefits
None: 32%
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