“Photographer” has been named one of the 25 worst jobs in the U.S.

Apr 23, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

“Photographer” has been named one of the 25 worst jobs in the U.S.

Apr 23, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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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?

[via SLR Lounge, USA Today]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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24 responses to ““Photographer” has been named one of the 25 worst jobs in the U.S.”

  1. Franco Kailsan Avatar
    Franco Kailsan

    No body appreciates a good photo but everyone is ready to criticize when its bad. They think its just point the camera and press the button…

    1. Stephan Hughes Avatar
      Stephan Hughes

      Franco Kailsan why do I need a photographer when my iPhone is just as good?! ?

    2. Franco Kailsan Avatar
      Franco Kailsan

      Stephan Hughes and an iphone photo is free! do you see the prices these ‘ photographers’ charge??!

  2. Jia Chen Lu Avatar
    Jia Chen Lu

    Still more than 90% of what Malaysians earn

    1. Paul Richards Avatar
      Paul Richards

      Jia Chen Lu is that relevant? Aren’t living costs much lower there? Teachers in Bulgaria only earn £100 a month – that’s nothing compared to America for example

  3. Stephan Hughes Avatar
    Stephan Hughes

    Part of it is that photographers, and by and large, photos, have been devalued thanks to the smartphone. Taking a picture doesn’t make one a photographer.

  4. Rob Gipman Avatar
    Rob Gipman

    To much iPhone Samsung Huawei that think they can do better than a dslr.

    1. Alan Gamble Avatar
      Alan Gamble

      But then get caught multiple times using DSLR taken photos in their advertisements lol.

    2. Rob Gipman Avatar
      Rob Gipman

      Alan Gamble ?

  5. Brian Drourr Avatar
    Brian Drourr

    God what does that make photography gossip “reporter”?

  6. Andy Dench Avatar
    Andy Dench

    Mainly because everyone has a camera and 90% think that makes them a photographer.

    1. Patti Jacks Avatar
      Patti Jacks

      Andy Dench I’ve worked for attorneys in the past and their incomes have decreased as well. Everyone thinks they can be their own attorney too. Until they mess up their dissolution decree because they don’t understand it needs to contain legal language.

    2. Sebastiaan Bras Avatar
      Sebastiaan Bras

      Everyone CAN make a picture, but only some are art and have the knowhow..

  7. Duncan Knifton Avatar
    Duncan Knifton

    UK as well….the market is becoming flooded…
    Not blaming people, as if its a passion then I can understand it…its just a fact that there are sooo many togs around locally.

  8. Paul Ford Avatar
    Paul Ford

    Well when you use a Canon what do you expect?

    1. Paul Ford Avatar
      Paul Ford

      Bit of banter from a Nikon user, Sorry had to do it,

  9. Lars Oeschey Avatar
    Lars Oeschey

    not only the US

  10. Robert Fullerton Avatar
    Robert Fullerton

    Best news ever.

  11. Barry Blackburn Avatar
    Barry Blackburn

    Gee ya think!

  12. Joe Surve Avatar
    Joe Surve

    There’s just no appreciation for the art beyond a “Like”

    1. Daniel D. Teoli Jr Avatar
      Daniel D. Teoli Jr

      That is if you are lucky.

      Best thing to do is to shoot what you love. If you can make $$ from it, then fine. And if not, you still have your love.

      I like to work in small gauge film as part of my archival preservation work. Here is the first 16mm film I had done. Film cost about $90. Digitizing, titles, various DVD formats, MP4, etc. and shipping both ways cost $160. It got 7 likes out of 1280 views…and 4 of them were from friends I sent the link to.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy5bTWqSd3k

  13. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    Where I live, people think a photographer must be a studio owner. And actually this is almost how it goes. If you are a photographer, no matter how professional and good your images are, if you don’t have a studio the first impression would be like “this guy is not serious” or “he’s amateur”. Not to mention, a studio would require a funding in the first place (a loan or something) to get it started, and be up with the rent. Though i heard some new laws are made under the category (small businesses) but I’m not sure how it goes and I heard few “pessimistic” talks about this venture and its future (photographer or not) – heard about some guys who simply got back to the routine of a stable job instead of being a small business owner or “self-employed”
    It’s a mess.

  14. John Barrett Avatar
    John Barrett

    As a straight up photographer, yes it is almost impossible. I think what most photographers lack is a business sense. With any kind of craft / art, half the “job” is marketing yourself and your craft. If you can’t do that, and rely solely on talent, you are most likely to fail. Not impossible…

  15. John Wilkinson Avatar
    John Wilkinson

    I shot weddings & portraits for two different studios back in the late 1970’s-early 1980’s. I photographed over 1,000 weddings in a five year period. During the busy season, I worked 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. I knew at the time that I was making very little on an hourly basis & I eventually left the field so I could make a decent living. I’ve missed those days ever since, but I’ve made a much better living than I would have had I stayed in photography. Things are even more difficult today than they were back then. While I love photography, I don’t think I’d try to earn a living with it today.