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Arts & Communications Pathway

Program & Course Information

Arts & Communications Pathway


What Photographers Do

Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity and composition skills to produce and preserve images that visually tell a story or record an event.

Work Environment

Working conditions for photographers vary considerably depending on their specialty. Some travel for photoshoots; others work in their own studios. Still others work in laboratories and use microscopes to photograph subjects.

How to Become a Photographer

Formal education is not required for portrait photographers. Photojournalists and industrial and scientific photographers often need a bachelor’s degree. Employers usually seek applicants with a “good eye” and creativity, as well as a good technical understanding of photography.


The median annual wage of photographers was $29,130 in May 2010.

Job Outlook

Employment of photographers is projected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Salaried jobs in particular may be more difficult to find as more companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers.

Quick Facts: Photographers
2010 Median Pay $29,130 per year
Entry-Level Education High school diploma or equivalent
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2010 139,500
Job Outlook, 2010-20 13% growth rate

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