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Photographic technician

Alternative titles for this job include Photo processing technician, digital imaging technician

Photographic technicians help photographers and produce images from digital files.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter

to

£29,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, 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 Graphics
  • A Level Photography
  • 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), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More Information

Apprenticeship

You can get into this job through a photographic assistant advanced apprenticeship, following the photographic technician pathway.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, 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

Computer skills and knowledge of desktop publishing software are important as most photographic processing work is now digital.

Further information

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

What it takes

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

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work on your own
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Typically you could:

  • transfer image files into a desktop publishing application
  • edit and adjust for good picture quality
  • print images onto photographic paper, canvas or other materials
  • quality check prints
  • deal with customers, give advice and take payments
  • help photographers during photo shoots
  • check and maintain equipment like cameras and printers

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

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could work in specialist photographic processing work with organisations like the Police, NHS or university photography labs.

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Photographic Assistant Level 3 Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £187.50 Weekly
  • Location: London

Courses In England

Digital Photography Level 1

  • Provider: KINGSTON UPON HULL CITY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 10 January 2022
  • Location: Hull

Photography Award Level 1

  • Provider: ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
  • Start date: 04 November 2021
  • Location: Hutton

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