How to Become a Photo Journalist

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a photo journalist depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions will likely need a bachelors degree in journalism and a certificate in photography, some schools also offer programs in photo journalism or allow you to major in journalism and minor in photography. If you are looking to get into a higher paying or competitive position, then master’s degree in journalism or a bachelor’s/associate’s degree in photograph can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Begin your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited schools below that offer programs to help get you started as a photo journalist

How Much Does a Photo Journalist Make?

Expected growth from 2012-2020:

(all information above provided by the 2012 Photography page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Photo Journalist

California offers the most employment opportunities, also paying the highest mean wage for photo journalism practitioners at $53,280 yearly. Florida has the second-highest employment, with roughly 4,300 jobs currently being occupied by photo journalists, but offering a significantly smaller annual mean wage of $29,860.

Employment and Salary Information by State for Photo Journalists

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Photo Journalism. All data is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government agency.

Employment and Information Data for Photo Journalism

Why Become a Photo Journalist?

Photo journalism is a specialty of photography and involves creating or enhancing news stories through photographic images. It can also involve editing and formatting news images online, for television, or for newspapers. Demand for photo journalist professionals will generally follow those of the newsroom in general. However, the trend in the media to focus on more image-driven content will increase demand for qualified photo journalists.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Photo Journalist

  • Reporting the News
  • Photo Essay
  • Visual Storytelling
  • Editing Photographs and Digital Images Course
  • Advanced Multimedia
  • Technical Seminars in Digital Photography
  • Photography, art, and media: a History |
  • Introduction to Digital Video
  • Large-Format Photography

Degree Options for Photo Journalism Careers

A Certificate in Professional Photography is typically a three to six-course program designed to strengthens camera skills. It also can prepare students for a career as a photographer.

Bachelor’s Degree
Many schools offer bachelor’s degree in both journalism and photography and journalism  Often there is overlap between these curriculum  Many online and print publications look for recent grads with photo journalism majors.

Master’s Degree & MFA
When it comes to master’s degree in the photo journalism space, there are none more honored than the Master of Fine Arts and the famed J-school degree so many successful photo journalist have received.