Photographer Salary (United States)

The average rate for a Photographer is $14.56 per hour. The highest paying skills associated with this job are Video Editing, Product Photography, and Adobe Photoshop.
Photographer 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.
)
$24,239 - $75,700
(Median)
24K
32K
41K
53K
76K
MEDIAN: $41,111
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Photographer 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.
)
$8.67 - $50.41
(Median)
8
15
24
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$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$24,239 - $75,700  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,595  
Profit Sharing
$411.06 - $7,149  
Commission
$0.50 - $21,816  
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).
)
$19,471 - $88,804  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 531
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
$8.67 - $50.41  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $12.88  
Overtime
$9.98 - $48.70  
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 - $2,595  
   
Commission
$0.50 - $21,816  
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).
)
$19,471 - $88,804  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 644
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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.

Common Career Paths for Photographer

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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

up arrow 55%
Washington
up arrow 46%
San Diego
up arrow 41%
Seattle
up arrow 40%
Denver
up arrow 37%
Minneapolis
up arrow 20%
Boston
up arrow 17%
Dallas
up arrow 9%
Chicago
up arrow 6%
National Average
$37,000
Houston
up arrow 1%
Atlanta
up arrow 3%
Orlando
up arrow 5%
Baltimore
up arrow 10%
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

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Experience Affects Photographer Salaries

National Average
$37,000

Skills That Affect Photographer Salaries

Portrait Photography
up arrow 9%
National Average
$37,000
Photography
up arrow 4%
lighting
up arrow 15%
up arrow 19%
Adobe Lightroom
up arrow 25%
Customer Service
up arrow 36%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 235 votes.

Gender

Female
49%
female alumni
 
Male
51%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 48% dental benefits Dental: 35%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 50%