Commercial Photography Degree Programs

Find out the degree and training options that can lead to a commercial photography career. Learn about the employment outlook and median salary in the field along with career options. Schools offering Photography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Commercial Photography Degree Programs Are Available?

Commercial photography programs usually are found at community and technical colleges, and they generally result in an associate's degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science. These programs can help you develop a portfolio consisting of stock, portrait, wedding and event photographs.

You aren't likely to find distance education programs in this field. That's because these programs require hands-on training in taking pictures, processing film, printing photographs and altering digital files.

Program TypessPrograms are often offered by technical or community colleges at the associate's level
Common Course TopicsColor filters, editing softwares, functions of SLR cameras, studio photography, lighting
Possible CareersPhotography editor, general photographer, advertisement photographer, portrait photographer
Salary$31,710* (median salary for photographers in 2015)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Expect to Learn?

You can expect to learn to use digital and film cameras, take pictures using various color filters, photograph objects in motion, snap photos of stationary objects and employ the various functions of single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. You also may learn to use digital editing software, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premier, Adobe Acrobat and Apple Final Cut Pro. Additionally, you can expect to complete courses in marketing principals, lighting, color photography, black and white photography, advertising design, commercial photography, 2-dimensional design and studio photography. Your program may require you to take general education courses in English composition, college algebra, political systems, public speaking, biology, anthropology, chemistry and economics.

What Can I Do With My Education?

If you want to continue your education, you might pursue a bachelor's degree in general photography. These programs sometimes incorporate elements of commercial photography, professional photography, amateur photography and film. If you want to work after completing an associate's degree program, you might seek a job as a photography editor, general photographer, advertisement photographer or portrait photographer.

What Is My Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), photographer job openings were expected to increase three percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov) because cameras are becoming more and more affordable, and a general increase in amateur photographers. The BLS also estimated that, as of May 2015, the median salary for photographers was $31,710.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:

Popular Schools

  • The Art Institutes

    The Art Institutes responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The Art Institutes:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Arlington
  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg
  • William T McFatter Technical Center

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Davie
  • Western Iowa Tech Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Iowa: Sioux City
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College

    Campus Locations:

    • Wisconsin: Milwaukee
  • Waubonsee Community College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Sugar Grove