Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Glamorous professions

Photography always sounded sort of glamorous to me until I read the breakdown of hours, requirements, salary and benefits in today's WSJ. Remember, the average school teacher earns more than $34/hour.
    Who, on average, is better paid--public school teachers or architects? How about teachers or economists? You might be surprised to learn that public school teachers are better paid than these and many other professionals. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, public school teachers earned $34.06 per hour in 2005, 36% more than the hourly wage of the average white-collar worker and 11% more than the average professional specialty or technical worker.
According to this article, event photographers earn between $10-25 an hour as stringers. Now that's next to awful, don't you think? And the requirements sound a bit demanding to me, although what do I know--I was just a librarian who sat around all day and read books. An event photographer might spend as much time in editing, correcting and production as shooting the event; might have to invest $10,000 in equipment; probably misses all the important holidays with his/her family; and has a physically demanding routine dragging around all that equipment and doing set-ups.

Now, the pluses are you get to attend some interesting events and might see celebrities. You can't pay the rent or utilities by sighting Michael Jackson or Paris Hilton once a year.

Might be smarter to become a teacher, retire early, and take up photography on the side.

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