Starting salaries in photography

If creativity is in your blood and you’re passionate about images, photography, and design, you may be aiming for a career as a photographer.
In today’s article, you’ll learn all about starting salaries in the field of photography.

Vocational training or university?

Are you torn between a photography degree and vocational training? You’ll earn very little during a three-year vocational training program, although this is common for apprenticeships.
However, as a trainee you can also get additional support from the state, such as housing subsidies. In the third year of your apprenticeship, you will be paid around 490 euro per month ( Once you have qualified, you can expect an average starting salary of between 1,470 and 2,200 euro gross per month (

However, with a bachelor’s degree under your belt, your entry-level salary should be around 35,600 euro per year ( This alone makes it worth considering studying for a university degree.

A master’s degree: your route to specialization

In many creative professions, it makes sense to specialize in a particular field and gain additional qualifications; a good way to do this is by studying for a master’s degree. For photographers, in particular, a master’s in Photography will improve your job prospects.
The areas you focus on during your studies can influence your starting salary considerably and could result in a salary increase of as much as 1000 euro per month.

Are you still looking for the right university to study your master’s? The University of Applied Sciences Europe master’s programs offer you many opportunities to deepen your knowledge. You can download an information brochure here .

Success as a freelancer

Would you prefer to take the reigns yourself and set up your own business or agency? Many freelance photographers charge a daily or hourly rate; your fee will depend on the type of work you do.
Press photographers and photojournalists should receive a minimum daily fee of 250 euro ( Wedding photographers, on the other hand, can charge between 500 and 1000 euro per day (
As a newly qualified photographer, earnings are highest in advertising. In this industry, even newbies can charge between 700 and 1500 euro per day (

The rates you can charge will depend on how sophisticated your equipment is, whether you have access to your own studio, and your professional network of make-up artists, models, and stylists.


A bachelor’s in photography will not only give you a competitive edge in terms of knowledge, it will also lead to a higher starting salary.
If you also gain a master’s, you can expect to earn even more. So why not invest in your education and boost your career chances as an employee or a freelancer?

If you’ve already graduated and you’re looking for a job, you can find out about a range of employment opportunities on our JobTeaser careers site or at the campus Career Center.

Starting salaries in film and motion design

Are you fascinated by a creative mix of design and cinematic elements? Are you studying Film, Animation, or Design and wondering what you can expect to earn once you graduate?
If so, don’t miss our next article in the ‘Starting salaries’ series on Friday, June 7th, 2019. We’ll look at entry-level salaries for professionals in the field of film and motion design.

Many thanks to our professors Katharina Mayer and Matthias Leupold for providing a wealth of information on specific earnings in the photography sector.


By |2019-05-24T09:46:45+02:00May 24th, 2019|Absolventen, Career Start, Professional Advice, Students, Study Choice|