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Photography Careers: Earnings and Salary

Salaried photographers had median annual earnings of $26,080 in 2004, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $15,000, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $54,180. The middle 50 percent earned between $18,380 and $37,370. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of salaried photographers were as follows:

Professional, Scientific, Technical Services: $23,100
Newspapers and Periodicals: $32,800

Salaried photographers -- many of whom work full time -- tend to make more money than those who are self-employed. Because most freelance and portrait photographers purchase their own equipment, they incur considerable expenses acquiring and maintaining their cameras and accessories. Unlike news and commercial photographers, few fine arts photographers are successful enough to support themselves completely with their art.


Photography Careers