Many photographers take post-secondary classes or receive college degrees in photography or related fields. Although formal education is not required, it usually helps a photographer's prospects, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. For photographers who are self-employed, business-related classes are helpful, including these in marketing and accounting.
Many photography fields require a degree; for example, scientific photographers frequently must have a bachelor's degree.
New photographers frequently begin employment as assistants to established photographers. This allows the new photographers to develop their portfolios and their contact networks. A photographer's portfolio is built over many years and is often required for freelance, contract and full-time work.