Every job has its good and bad sides, and it carries a certain level of stress, challenge, and risk. But according to a recent report, “photographer” is on the list of 25 worst jobs in the U.S. due to low pay and lack of security.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2018 Jobs Rated Report from CareerCast to determine the worst jobs in America. The ranking is based on the criteria such as overall quality of work environment, amount of stress, occupational outlook, and income. The report ranks over 200 careers based on these criteria, and it puts “photographer” on the 25th place of “The Worst Jobs of 2018” list.
Of the 30 worst jobs in the U.S., the median annual wage of 23 is under $50,000 a year. According to the report, photographers earn a median wage of $34,000 per year, which is slightly below the median wage for all U.S. jobs of $37,690. CareerCast points out that people in many parts of the country can live comfortably on this income. However, some of these professions are based in major cities, where the cost of living tends to be higher.
The total employment of photographers is 49,560. According to the predictions, the average U.S. job is projected to have employment growth of 7% between 2016 and 2026. However, photographer employment is expected to decline by 5.6% within this time frame. But what are the reasons for this?
Well, the report states that one of the reasons is the rise of high-end smartphone cameras, as they make some aspects of photography more accessible for non-professionals. Also, some photography jobs could be eliminated because companies choose to hire freelancers instead of keeping photographers on their payroll. After all, we have seen this happening over the past few years. For example, Reuters and Sports Illustrated laid off the photography staff from their payroll.
Now, a decline in photographer employment sounds plausible, considering that companies rather choose to ire freelancers for their projects. But when it comes to smartphones “replacing” photographers, I have an objection to make. No matter how advanced the technology gets, multiple-camera phones don’t teach non-photographers how to compose a shot, pose their subject, capture the perfect moment, edit images and so on. So even though the predictions seem kinda gloomy, I don’t think that technology will ever replace photographers.
Personally, I can’t speak in the name of U.S. photographers, as I’m not from the U.S. But speaking in general, I believe that being a photographer can be the best and the worst job at the same time. On the one hand, you do what you love, you get to be creative and, if you have your own business, you get to be your own boss. But on the other hand, you need to deal with lots of different people, some of them being difficult and demanding. Also, if you’re self-employed, there’s a lot of uncertainty as well.
What would you say about these numbers and predictions? Is being a photographer really one of the worst jobs in terms of salary and security (and stress as well)? What are your experiences?