Which U.S. States Pay Photographers the Best Salaries?
If you want to make the most money from your photography, where should you live? Forbes.com has compiled a ranking of US states that pay photographers the best salaries. If you live in Massachusetts, stay put; if you live in Iowa, you might want to pack your bags.
Salaries vary widely from state to state, not just for photographers, but for all professions. Therefore, although Iowa may pay the least, the list does not take into account the cost of living (prices of rent and real estate, price of gasoline, cost of food, etc.) and, more importantly, it also ignores quality of life. Money doesn’t buy happiness and let’s face it, very few start a career in photography hoping to become the next Jeff Bezos.
Two other aspects mentioned in this article stand out: first, that “employment in photography is expected to decline by 6% from 2016 to 2026”. Photography is becoming more and more accessible but with the democratization of technology, having a career dedicated solely to creating images is becoming more and more difficult. This ties in with another somewhat disturbing fact: photographers earn an average annual income of just under $43,000, well below the national average ($51,960). If you’re just starting your photography career, unfortunately, your timing is pretty bad. Diversifying your skills and offering a range of services is probably a smart move.
If you have any suggestions on how to survive as a photographer in the 21st century, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.