As of 2013, photographers earn an average annual salary of about $37,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This equates to about $17.88 per hour.
Photographers’ salaries can vary significantly by the industry in which they are employed. According to the Houston Chronicle, the highest-paid photographers in 2011 were employed in the aerospace manufacturing industry, earning around $65,000 annually. Photographers employed in doctor’s offices earned around $64,000 annually. Independent freelancers, as well as photographers employed by newspapers and book publishers, earned significantly less, earning about $41,000 per year.
Pay for photographers can also vary by location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that some of the top-paying states for photographers include the District of Columbia, California, New York, Minnesota and New Mexico.