Photographer Salary (United States)

The average rate for a Photographer is $14.12 per hour. People in this job generally don't have more than 20 years' experience. Skills that are associated with high pay for this job are Video Editing, Photography, Product Photography, Adobe Photoshop, and Portrait Photography.
Photographer Total Pay (?
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.
)
$23,886 - $73,556
(Median)
24K
31K
41K
52K
74K
MEDIAN: $40,794
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Photographer Total Pay (?
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.
)
$8.59 - $49.84
(Median)
8
14
23
50
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$23,886 - $73,556  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,553  
Profit Sharing
$411.06 - $7,149  
Commission
$484.79 - $19,404  
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).
)
$19,299 - $84,604  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,171
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$8.59 - $49.84  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $18.75  
Overtime
$9.94 - $48.00  
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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,553  
   
Commission
$484.79 - $19,404  
Profit Sharing
$411.06 - $7,149  
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).
)
$19,299 - $84,604  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Jun 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,171
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Location:
United States (change)
Years in Field/Career:
Job Description for Photographer
Photographers capture moments in time with the use of a camera and are able to distinguish the various qualities of the photograph for the purpose of both conveying as much information as possible as well as being aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. Photographers are generally concerned with the aesthetic quality of still images. Photographers are called upon to work in myriad environments and are often compelled to work for hours or even days to capture enough sufficiently significant pictures before they return home. Depending on the job, photographers can have a great variation in the number of hours they are requested to work. A staff photographer is required to put in time every day at their place of employment whereas a freelance photographer can work virtually any time they wish. Regardless of the photographer's job description, they will almost invariably find it necessary to familiarize themselves with a great number of photography tools such as lenses, tripods, secondary flashes, portable light sources and of course, the camera itself. Photographers must commit themselves to carefully considering the minutia of their pictures, poring over things such as depth of field, banding, saturation, bokeh, light volume, conveyance of motion and even wind direction. To this end, it is helpful if a photographer has formally studied photography at a college or university, but it isn't always required. It is very good practice for photographers to maintain a close and communicative relationship with their clients, making every effort to ensure that the aesthetic vision of the photographer and the desire of the client line up to create an image that satisfies the needs of both.
Photographer Tasks
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Operate various types of photographic and computer equipment to create photographic images.
  • Use creative knowledge to compose photographs.
  • Take pictures either in studio or on location.
  • Work with clients or workplace teams to create photographic images.

Photographer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Photographer
Popular Skills for Photographer
Pay by Experience Level for Photographer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Pay Difference By Location
Washington
up arrow 52%
Seattle
up arrow 48%
up arrow 45%
San Diego
up arrow 42%
Denver
up arrow 36%
Dallas
up arrow 27%
Minneapolis
up arrow 19%
Boston
up arrow 18%
Chicago
up arrow 11%
Houston
up arrow 3%
National Average
$36,000
Atlanta
up arrow 1%
Orlando
up arrow 3%
Baltimore
up arrow 13%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.

Photographer Reviews

What is it like working as a Photographer?
Photographer in Seattle:
"Awesome Work."
Pros: I love the atmosphere, the people, the fashion.
Cons: Terrible management. Zero support, zero employee validation.
Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Photographer Salaries

National Average
$36,000

Skills That Affect Photographer Salaries

Photography
up arrow 15%
Portrait Photography
up arrow 11%
National Average
$36,000
up arrow 22%
lighting
up arrow 22%
Adobe Lightroom
up arrow 23%
Customer Service
up arrow 45%
Job Satisfaction
Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 235 votes.
Gender
Female
50%
female alumni
 
Male
50%
male alumni
Years of Experience
Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
12%
Common Health Benefits
medical benefits Medical: 48% dental benefits Dental: 34%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 50%
Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid
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Location:
United States (change)
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