A person working as a Director of Photography in United States typically earns around 95,000 USD per year. Salaries range from 47,500 USD (lowest) to 147,000 USD (highest).
This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Director of Photography salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.
Director of Photography salaries in United States range from 47,500 USD per year (minimum salary) to 147,000 USD per year (maximum salary).
The median salary is 95,000 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Director of Photography(s) are earning less than 95,000 USD while the other half are earning more than 95,000 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.
Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Director of Photography(s) are earning less than 64,200 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 64,200 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Director of Photography(s) are earning less than 121,000 USD while 25% are earning more than 121,000 USD.
Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary
The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Director of Photography salaries by experience level and this is what we found.
A Director of Photography with less than two years of experience makes approximately 57,000 USD per year.
While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 75,500 USD per year, 32% more than someone with less than two year's experience.
Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 101,000 USD per year, 34% more than someone with two to five years of experience.
Additionally, Director of Photography(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 120,000 USD per year, 19% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.
If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 130,000 USD per year, 8% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.
Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 139,000 USD per year, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.
|0 - 2 Years|
|2 - 5 Years||+32%|
|5 - 10 Years||+34%|
|10 - 15 Years||+19%|
|15 - 20 Years||+8%|
We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Director of Photography salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.
When the education level is High School, the average salary of a Director of Photography is 71,500 USD per year.
While someone with a Certificate or Diploma gets a salary of 81,400 USD per year, 14% more than someone having a High School degree.
A Bachelor's Degree gets its holder an average salary of 110,000 USD per year, 36% more than someone with a Certificate or Diploma.
Professionals who hold a Master's Degree are rewarded with an average salary of 139,000 USD per year, 26% more than someone with Bachelor's Degree.
|Certificate or Diploma||+14%|
A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in United States costs anywhere from 39,500 US Dollar(s) to 118,000 US Dollar(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.
You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.
Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch into a higher paying job. The numbers seem to support the thoery. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.
If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.
Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Director of Photography employees in United States earn 4% more than their female counterparts on average.
Director of Photography(s) in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 11% every 16 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.
The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.
The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency
Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year 2021. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.
A Director of Photography is considered to be a moderate bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.
44% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 56% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.
Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.
The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.Company Performance Bonuses
Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.Goal-Based Bonuses
Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.Holiday / End of Year Bonuses
These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.
People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.
The main two types of jobs
|Revenue Generators||Supporting Cast|
Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.
Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.
Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.
Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.
The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.
The average salary for Director of Photography is 9% more than that of Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment. Also, Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment salaries are 8% less than those of All Jobs.
|Job Title||Average Salary|
|3D Artist||86,000 USD||-10%|
|3D Designer||84,700 USD||-11%|
|3D Generalist||70,000 USD||-26%|
|3D Visualization Specialist||89,000 USD||-6%|
|Acrobatic Rigger||57,000 USD||-40%|
|Associate Media Director||102,000 USD||+7%|
|Associate Producer||121,000 USD||+27%|
|Broadcast Associate||63,400 USD||-33%|
|Broadcast News Analyst||91,900 USD||-3%|
|Broadcast Technician||50,900 USD||-46%|
|Broadcasting Journalist||107,000 USD||+13%|
|Broadcasting Presenter||107,000 USD||+13%|
|Camera Equipment Repairer||61,100 USD||-36%|
|Cartoonist / Animator||81,500 USD||-14%|
|CAS Engineer||92,800 USD||-2%|
|Censorship Executive||100,000 USD||+5%|
|Communications Manager||132,000 USD||+39%|
|Dance Director||90,600 USD||-5%|
|Director of Photography||95,000 USD||-0%|
|Disc Jockey||58,300 USD||-39%|
|Editorial Assistant||46,900 USD||-51%|
|Events Manager||92,500 USD||-3%|
|Graphic Designer||63,000 USD||-34%|
|Instructional Designer||55,900 USD||-41%|
|Makeup Artist||56,800 USD||-40%|
|Media Design Manager||150,000 USD||+58%|
|Media Equipment Operator||50,400 USD||-47%|
|Media Operations Manager||123,000 USD||+29%|
|Media Producer||110,000 USD||+16%|
|Media Product Development Manager||154,000 USD||+62%|
|Media Program Director||161,000 USD||+69%|
|Media Relations Manager||157,000 USD||+65%|
|Media Sales Manager||169,000 USD||+78%|
|Movement and Dance Coordinator||90,400 USD||-5%|
|Multimedia Coordinator||62,400 USD||-34%|
|Multimedia Designer||58,100 USD||-39%|
|Music Consultant||76,600 USD||-19%|
|News Associate||78,100 USD||-18%|
|News Reporter||106,000 USD||+12%|
|Product Designer||61,300 USD||-36%|
|Production Artist||76,600 USD||-19%|
|Production Assistant||54,200 USD||-43%|
|Production Director||128,000 USD||+35%|
|Production Technician||54,300 USD||-43%|
|Program Researcher||93,700 USD||-1%|
|Promotion Coordinator||71,800 USD||-24%|
|Sound Engineer||74,300 USD||-22%|
|Stage Technician||44,400 USD||-53%|
|Sub Editor||53,200 USD||-44%|
|Television Executive Producer||172,000 USD||+81%|
|Transmission Engineer||87,100 USD||-8%|
|Video Editor||65,800 USD||-31%|
|Video Producer||82,300 USD||-13%|
|Visual Designer||80,100 USD||-16%|
|Iowa City||74,000 USD|
|Kansas City||86,700 USD|
|Las Vegas||89,400 USD|
|Long Beach||84,900 USD|
|Los Angeles||107,000 USD|
|New Orleans||81,300 USD|
|New York||114,000 USD|
|Oklahoma City||90,300 USD|
|San Antonio||108,000 USD|
|San Diego||107,000 USD|
|San Francisco||103,000 USD|
|San Jose||100,000 USD|
|Washington D.C.||98,800 USD|
|District of Columbia||85,500 USD|
|New Hampshire||84,000 USD|
|New Jersey||103,000 USD|
|New Mexico||86,700 USD|
|New York||106,000 USD|
|North Carolina||98,400 USD|
|North Dakota||84,600 USD|
|Rhode Island||82,200 USD|
|South Carolina||96,900 USD|
|South Dakota||82,200 USD|
|West Virginia||90,300 USD|
Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.