Advancement Opportunities for Photographers

Aug 02, 2018

Photographers are creative professionals who use cameras to take a variety of still photographs. The creative and technical skills demonstrated by photographers can be applied to a wide range of occupations, several of which are presented here.

View Popular Schools

Career Growth Opportunities for Photographers

Photographers use still cameras to take various types of photographs, including portraits, news scenes, and special events. To be successful, a photographer must have an excellent sense of design and creativity. They must also have high levels of technical skills. These skills can be grown into other careers. Some examples are provided below.

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education
Graphic Designer $48,700 4% Bachelor's degree
Camera Operator $53,550 7% Bachelor's degree
Art Director $92,500 5% Bachelor's
Photography Professor $66,930 (art, drama and music professors) 12% (art, drama and music professors) Master's degree or Ph.D.

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Information

Graphic Designer

In their career, photographers have developed an excellent eye for print layout. Therefore, moving into a position as a graphic designer would be a great step. Graphic designers work with clients to create recognizable images such as logos or brochures. They may choose specific colors or fonts to coordinate with the design. Graphic designers must be comfortable with both physical and digital production of designs. They must also be able to collaborate closely with their clients. It is essential to ensure that designs are original, and do not infringe on other designers' copyrights. Graphic designers typically have a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a similar field. Building a portfolio is an essential component of securing a job.

Camera Operator

Photographers have extensive experience using still cameras to capture images. This skill may be translated into becoming a camera operator for video events such as television shows, movies, or televised sports. Camera operators may work in a broadcast studio, as a cinematographer on a movie set or as a videographer at an event, like a wedding, among other locations. These professionals take shots using digital or, less commonly, film cameras. They may use different types of camera lenses or filters to achieve the desired effects. Camera operators must work closely with directors and other creative personnel to ensure that their videos meet the needs of the production. Some camera operators edit their work using computer programs. Candidates to become a camera operator typically hold a bachelor's degree in film or communications. They must have a thorough understanding of different types of cameras and video computer software.

Art Director

A natural transition for photographers looking to advance is into the role of art director. Art directors work with photos, illustrations and other artwork, graphic designs, and other visual elements to create magazine layouts, advertisements, catalogs and more, depending on the employer's or client's needs. People skills are important, as art directors typically manage photographers, designers and others who contribute to the finished product. Many times, art directors oversee the visual look of websites as well as print materials. In addition to work as a photographer, art directors need to have a bachelor's degree in a field such as art or design.

Photography Professor

Photographers who would like to share their wisdom with others might look into becoming a photography professor, teaching students what various camera settings do, how to take better photographs, artistic theory, how to use photo-editing software and more. Professors should be comfortable speaking in front of a group, critiquing students' work and creating syllabi and other necessary documents. Photography professors are often responsible for displaying student photos in a gallery or more informal setting. Schooling is rigorous for photographers who would like to teach; they need at least a master's degree, and often a Ph.D. is also required.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?