hourly pay for Photographers
do Photographers make a lot of money


Other names for this job might include Advertising Photographer, Aerial Photographer, Apprentice Photographer, Biological Photographer, Biomedical Photographer, Cameraman, Commercial Photographer, Crime Scene Photographer, Digital Photographer, Fashion Photographer

  • $42640
  • 71%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Low
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Photographers Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Photographers make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Photographer will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$42640 per year
Hourly wage
$20.500 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Photographers make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Photographers is $42640. Their salary can also be as low as $19110 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $76220 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $20.500 and can range from $9.190 to $36.650 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Photographer will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Photographer to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Photographers make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

Become one

schools for Photographers

Interested in the career of a Photographer? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Interested in becoming a Photographer? Click here

Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$36.650$76220
Senior (Top 25%)$25.100$52220
Middle (Mid 50%)$16.380$34070
Junior (Bottom 25%)$11.290$23480
No experience (Bottom 10%)$9.190$19110

Entry-level Photographers who starts out at $23480 can expect to make $34070 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $9.190 per hour while the top 10% makes over $36.650 per hour.

While the median wage is $34070 per annum or $16.380 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing36.5876090
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing36.0875040
Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories33.2869230
Motion Picture and Video Industries32.2967160
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries32.0966750
Scientific Research and Development Services30.5463530
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences30.5463530
Other Information Services29.3761090
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services26.9756110
Hospitals, Privately owned26.7255580
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned26.6855490
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)25.6453330
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)25.6253290
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)25.5853200
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing25.2352470
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals25.0952180
Jewelry, Luggage, and Leather Goods Stores24.9751930
Federal, State, and Local Government24.9351840
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service24.9351840
Ambulatory Health Care Services24.9151820
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing24.8951760
Management of Companies and Enterprises24.8851760
Testing Laboratories24.6551280
Printing and Related Support Activities24.5551060
Local government, including schools and hospitals24.4250790
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods24.450740
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)24.3550640
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned23.9249750
Nonscheduled Air Transportation23.949710
Air Transportation23.8749640
Educational Services, Privately owned23.8249550
Educational Services, Local government owned23.2848420
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service23.0848000
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers22.6847180
Offices of Physicians22.6147040
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries22.3746530
Cable and Other Subscription Programming22.3546490
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services22.3146410
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)22.2846350
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)22.2446250
Rental and Leasing Services22.0545860
Business Support Services21.9445640
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals21.9145570
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services21.845340
Retail Trade21.745130
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions21.5444810
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations21.544710
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries21.4444600
Television Broadcasting21.3744450
Broadcasting (except Internet)21.3644420
Radio and Television Broadcasting21.3344370
State government, including schools and hospitals21.2644210
Publishing Industries (except Internet)21.2544190
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers21.2444180
Spectator Sports21.1443980
Hospitals, Local government owned21.0243710
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned21.0243710
Specialized Design Services20.9243520
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned20.7543160
Educational Services, State government owned20.7443140
Engineering Services20.6742980
Nonstore Retailers20.642840
Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses20.5942830
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services20.5642760
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation20.5542750
Wholesale Electronic Markets and Agents and Brokers20.4542530
Newspaper Publishers20.442430
Transportation and Warehousing20.242020
Other Support Services19.8941380
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries19.8241230
Wholesale Trade19.740980
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services19.740980
Administrative and Support Services19.740980
Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers19.6740910
Computer Systems Design and Related Services19.0139550
Junior colleges, Local government owned18.839090
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)18.4838450
Junior Colleges (including private, state, and local government schools)18.4538370
All industries18.4438350
Personal and Laundry Services18.3838240
All industries, private ownership only18.3438160
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods17.8837200
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing17.5136420
Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores17.0935550
Other Personal Services17.0335420
Employment Services16.9535250
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water16.6834690
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services16.4934300
Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers16.3734050
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services16.2633820
Photographic Services16.2633820
Insurance Carriers and Related Activities16.0533390
Finance and Insurance15.9333140
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation15.8933060
Real Estate14.9831150
Offices of Real Estate Agents and Brokers14.7530680
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers14.6830530
Automobile Dealers14.5630280
Agencies, Brokerages, and Other Insurance Related Activities13.4527980
Performing Arts Companies13.0927230
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters13.0927220
Insurance Agencies and Brokerages13.0427120
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores11.7324400
Social Assistance10.722260
Accommodation and Food Services10.4321700
Traveler Accommodation10.221210
Vocational Rehabilitation Services9.1319000

Not all industries pay the same for Photographers.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Photographer is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like DC doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at DC may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Photographers are in the states of DC, NY, RI, CA and MA. The average salary in DC is $61510.

How we can help

Start your journey to be A Photographer

Get the best college for Photographers

Discover the best colleges for your $$$

Find colleges have the highest earning grads

Yes, I'm sure

Rank: B+
Salary: $41020

They teach or instruct courses other than those that normally lead to an occupational objective or degree. Courses may include self-improvement, nonvocational, and nonacademic subjects. Teaching may or may not take place in a traditional educational institution.
Rank: C+
Salary: $56510

They operate television, video, or motion picture camera to record images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, video production, or motion pictures.
Rank: D
Salary: $25760

They sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.
Rank: D
Salary: $26120

They escort individuals or groups on sightseeing tours or through places of interest, such as industrial establishments, public buildings, and art galleries.
Rank: D
Salary: $39000

They format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.

Trusted by over 50,000 fans

Career type

Art, Entertainment and Sports Audio and Video Technology and Film, Journalism and Broadcasting, Visual Arts

Other Careers Like This

Help Others Out

Learn more about Photographers

Job Description
Salary (You are here)
Is This Right For Me

Study To Be a Photographer

Related to Photographers Salary

Photographers salary, how much do Photographers earn, Photographers hourly wage, Photographers annual pay, highest paying industries for Photographers, which states pay the highest for Photographers

Additional resources

[schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Photographers” rev_body=”Photographers photograph people, landscapes, merchandise, or other subjects, using digital or film cameras and equipment. May develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints. Includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”3.5″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]