In a world overflowing with visual media--newspapers, magazines, billboards, and the Web--photographs are more in demand than ever. If photography is your thing, you'd do well to specialize and develop a niche in which you excel--by enrolling in photography school. You may choose to create portraits of people or groups (think weddings) or even pets. Alternatively, you could specialize in commercial and industrial photography, scientific photography, news photography, or fine arts photography.
Although the demand for photography is high, the advent of digital photography has made the industry highly competitive. To help serious photographers find good jobs, photography schools provide classes and courses that can ultimately earn you a certificate, diploma, or degree and will place you in high demand.
Photographers held about 122,000 jobs in 2006, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That figure is expected to see average growth--about 10 percent--between 2006 and 2016, bringing the total number of photographers to 135,000.
The BLS reports that, for salaried photographers, the 2008 median yearly salary was $29,440. However, more than half of all professional photographers are self-employed. They may own a studio or simply perform freelance photography, and their yearly earnings may be markedly higher or lower than salaried photographers.
Photography training is critical to success in this competitive field. To get an entry-level position in photojournalism or industrial or scientific photography, you'll probably need a college degree in photography or in the industry you'll be shooting. For any other type of photography, a bachelor's degree in an area such as photojournalism or fine art photography, or even courses or classes to help you get a certificate or diploma, will enable you to develop the most satisfying job or career.