Photographic technician

Photographic technicians produce images from digital files.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£35,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become a photographic technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in photography or digital imaging.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More information

College

In professional labs, archive stores and picture libraries, you'll usually need formal qualifications in photography like:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Photography and Photo Imaging
  • Level 3 Certificate in Art and Design (photography option)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Photography

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D) for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a photo imaging advanced apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Direct application

You could apply directly to work as a photographic technician. For work in high street mini-labs, you'll need basic computer skills and an interest in photography. You don't always need formal qualifications, but some employers may prefer you to have GCSEs.

For print finishing, you'll usually need practical skills in woodworking and picture framing.

More information

Career tips

For some digital imaging jobs, you'll need experience of desktop publishing packages like Photoshop, QuarkXpress, Illustrator or InDesign.

Further information

You can find out more about careers in photography from Creative Choices and The Association of Photographers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • using computerised equipment  
  • printing customers' image files onto photographic paper or copying them onto a disc or USB storage device
  • making adjustments where necessary, taking lighting conditions or exposure into account
  • quality checking prints, packing them into envelopes and labelling them for customers
  • checking and maintaining equipment
  • taking payments from customers
  • selling camera equipment and assisting customers downloading files via a kiosk system

Working environment

You could work at a store or in a creative studio.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into management. 

You could also choose to start your own photographic business or open a franchise to run a mini-lab.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a photographic technician 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

BTEC Level 4 HNC Diploma in Photography

  • Provider: WALSALL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: WALSALL

LEVEL 2 DIPLOMA IN PHOTOGRAPHY FT

  • Provider: HARLOW COLLEGE
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Harlow

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