1. Home: Explore careers
  2. Photographer


Alternative titles for this job include

Photographers take and process pictures of people, places, products and events.

Average salary (a year)

£17,000 Starter


£45,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Photographer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • photography
  • visual arts
  • commercial photography
  • art and design

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could take a college course in photography. This might help you to find a job as a photographer's assistant in a studio.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

More Information


You could apply to do an apprenticeship to get into this role, for example, a Photographer Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship.

This apprenticeship takes around 1 year and 6 months to complete, and is a mix of training in the workplace and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as a photographer's assistant and work your way up. It's normal to specialise in one kind of photography, like fashion, advertising, wildlife or photojournalism.

More Information

Career tips

You'll need a portfolio of your work to show your skills, interests and experience in photography. It will also help you to get noticed if you post examples of your work online.

Professional and industry bodies

The Association of Photographers offers membership for anyone with an interest in professional photography.

You can also apply to join the British Institute of Professional Photography.

Further information

You can get more details on working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of the fine arts
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a photographer, you could:

  • discuss a project with the client and agree the 'brief'
  • find and prepare locations for the photo session
  • set up equipment and lighting, and take photographs
  • edit and process images, using industry software
  • check colour match accuracy and image quality
  • select the best images for the client to use online or in print

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

Many photographers are freelance and you could do a mix of contract work and following your own interests.

You could extend your range into other areas of photography like product, property, aerial or corporate work.

Specialist photographers

With training, you could work as a press or police photographer.

There are opportunities for photographers in the armed forces. You can find out more about being a Royal Air Force photographer.

If you do specialist qualifications, you could find jobs in medical photography or illustration.

Starting your own business

You may decide to become self-employed and set up your own business.

Photography is very competitive, so you'll need creativity and technical skills to make money. You'll also need finance for equipment, a space to work in and some business and admin skills.

You could increase your income by selling your images independently.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Photographer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England


  • Start date: 03 September 2024
  • Location: Leeds


  • Start date: 04 September 2024
  • Location: Bracknell

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.