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Summary Report for:
27-4021.00 - 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Advertising Photographer, Commercial Photographer, Newspaper Photographer, Owner/Photographer, Photo Editor, Photographer, Photojournalist, Portrait Photographer, Sports Photographer, Studio Owner

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods, filters, and flash attachments.
  • Determine desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to achieve desired effects.
  • Adjust apertures, shutter speeds, and camera focus based on a combination of factors such as lighting, field depth, subject motion, film type, and film speed.
  • Create artificial light, using flashes and reflectors.
  • Manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to create desired effects, using computers and specialized software.
  • Transfer photographs to computers for editing, archiving, and electronic transmission.
  • Determine project goals, locations, and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff.
  • Review sets of photographs to select the best work.
  • Perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments, keeping books, and ordering supplies.
  • Estimate or measure light levels, distances, and numbers of exposures needed, using measuring devices and formulas.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Camera flashes or lighting — Camera flash attachments; Focus assists; Softboxes; Studio strobe flashes
Camera lens — Macro lenses; Telephoto lenses; Zoom lenses
Camera lens filter — Graduated neutral density GND filters; Haze filters; White balancing lens filters; Wide angle lenses
Photography light reflector — Board reflectors; Lamp reflectors; Snoots
Scanners — Film scanners; Flatbed scanners

Technology used in this occupation:

Accounting software — Blinkbid; Intuit QuickBooks software
Data base user interface and query software — Cradoc fotoBiz; Microsoft Access; SuccessWare; Tave Studio Manager
Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop Lightroom; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Web page creation and editing software — Facebook *; WordPress *

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Abilities

Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

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Work Activities

Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — 88% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 72% responded “Every day.”
Level of Competition — 64% responded “Extremely competitive.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Contact With Others — 58% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 64% responded “More than 40 hours.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Time Pressure — 60% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 52% responded “Some freedom.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
28   High school diploma or equivalent Help
20   Associate's degree
16   Less than high school diploma

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: AR

Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Work Values

Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Related Occupations

25-3021.00 Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
25-9041.00 Teacher Assistants Bright Outlook
27-4031.00 Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
27-4032.00 Film and Video Editors
39-7011.00 Tour Guides and Escorts
39-7012.00 Travel Guides
41-2031.00 Retail Salespersons   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
43-4081.00 Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks Bright Outlook
51-5111.00 Prepress Technicians and Workers
51-9151.00 Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $14.08 hourly, $29,280 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 136,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 20,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Photographers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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