Photographers operate still cameras to take photographs.

Specialisations: Fashion Photographer, Landscape Photographer, News Photographer, Photographic Artist, Portrait Photographer, Sports Photographer, Technical Photographer.

You need a high level of photographic skill to work as a Photographer. Formal qualifications might be useful but aren't essential. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Photographers.

Tasks

  • consulting with clients to determine objectives of photographic assignments
  • studying requirements of assignment and selecting type of camera, film, filter and lighting
  • working from a studio, and transporting and setting up equipment at assigned locations
  • measuring light levels and determining exposure
  • adjusting camera angles, aperture settings and subjects to achieve desired composition
  • adjusting lighting and filters to accentuate highlights and colours
  • mixing photographic chemicals, processing film and developing prints
  • manipulating images using digital imaging techniques and creative darkroom techniques such as adjusting exposure and development times
  • may make enlarged prints, and mount and frame prints

All Photographers

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 13,600 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 48% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 46 hours Average full-time
  • 38 years Average age
  • 49% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Photographers (in their main job) grew very strongly over the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 13,600 in 2018 to 14,300 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 9,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 1,800 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: Photographers work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Information Media and Telecommunications; and Arts and Recreation Services.
  • Full-time: Around half work full-time (48%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 46 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 49% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
20088500
200912200
201011500
201112100
201211000
201310400
201412000
201513100
201611200
201716200
201813600
202314300

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services82.7
Information Media and Telecommunications4.3
Arts and Recreation Services2.6
Retail Trade2.1
Other Industries8.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePhotographersAll Jobs Average
NSW33.031.6
VIC26.625.6
QLD20.620.0
SA6.07.0
WA10.010.8
TAS1.62.0
NT0.51.0
ACT1.61.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPhotographersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-191.8-5.05.0
20-247.3-9.39.3
25-3428.7-22.922.9
35-4430.8-22.022.0
45-5418.9-21.621.6
55-596.0-9.09.0
60-643.7-6.06.0
65 and Over2.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPhotographersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate5.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree30.5-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma22.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV11.2-21.121.1
Year 1222.1-18.118.1
Year 113.4-4.84.8
Year 10 and below4.9-12.512.5

You need a high level of photographic skill to work as a Photographer. Formal qualifications might be useful but aren't essential. VET (Vocational Education and Training) and university are both common study pathways for Photographers.

Membership with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Creative Arts and Culture VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Artistic Directors, Media Producers & Presenters who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate well with diverse audiences and are reliable.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Customer and personal service

    72% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  2. Sales and marketing

    69% Skill level

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

  3. Computers and electronics

    68% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  4. Fine arts

    65% Skill level

    Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

  5. English language

    54% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-4021.00 - Photographers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic mail

    96% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  2. Telephone

    94% Important

    Talk on the telephone.

  3. Competition

    93% Important

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  4. Freedom to make decisions

    84% Important

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  5. Contact with people

    82% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-4021.00 - Photographers.

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