Photojournalist: Job Outlook for the Photojournalism Career Field

Sep 13, 2019

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a photojournalist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and employment outlook in this field to find out if this is the career for you.

Entering the career of photojournalism will require a minimum of bachelor's degree in photography or journalism. Individuals will be able to apply their photography skills learned here to bring attention to events and political stories. However, while the projected job growth for overall photographers is a lower-than-average three percent increase, the predicted employment rate for photojournalists is an expected 41% decline.

Essential Information

Photojournalism is the application of photography skills and aesthetics to news reporting and journalism. Photojournalists often travel for their assignments, and the job can be physically taxing and, sometimes, dangerous. A bachelor's degree in photography, journalism or another relevant field is generally required.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in photography or relevant field
Projected Job Growth 6% decline for all photographers from 2018-2028*
Median Annual Salary $34,000 for all photographers (2018)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Outlook for Photojournalists

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected employment for photographers in general would decline 6% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The field of photojournalism is changing rapidly as newspapers, magazines and even televised news programs increase their presence on the Internet. The BLS stated that this trend should create jobs for some photojournalists because news websites require increasing amounts of visual content.

However, the increasing prevalence of Internet media has coincided with the further decline of newspapers, meaning that photojournalists lose job opportunities in print even as they gain them online. The BLS said employment of photographers by newspapers was expected to decline by about 33% for 2018-2028. The BLS stated that photographers earned a median annual wage of $34,000 in May 2018.

Job Description

Photojournalists are essentially news photographers who focus on illustrating current events and daily news. Most photojournalists work for newspapers, magazines, television stations or websites in staff or freelance positions. Some photojournalists are self-employed or use their journalism skills to bring attention to social or political issues they find important. They must have a technical proficiency in the use of cameras and equipment, as well as a commitment to getting the story. Additionally, photojournalists must understand the ethical standards of the medium.

Education

One of the best ways to get ahead in pursuit of a photojournalism career is through the completion of an undergraduate degree. Most aspiring photojournalists major in either photography or journalism, though several schools offer specific undergraduate photojournalism programs. However, other majors can also lead to this profession, including economics, political science, sociology and international affairs. Typical photojournalism courses may include basic media photography, visual communication, photo editing and investigative reporting. Photojournalism internships are also widely available and can help students develop their portfolio.

Photojournalists utilize their photography skills and aesthetic in order to bring attention to news and political stories through a medium driven by imagery. They are expected to have earned at least a bachelor's degree in the photography, journalism or another appropriate field. The current employment rate for photojournalists is expected to decline by 33% through 2018-2028.

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