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Director of Photography Average Salary in United States 2022

How much money does a Director of Photography make in United States?


Average Yearly Salary
95,000 USD
( 7,920 USD monthly)

LOW
47,500
USD
AVERAGE
95,000
USD
HIGH
147,000
USD

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 Salary Distribution in United States

Median and salary distribution yearly United States Director of Photography
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Director of Photography salaries in United States range from 47,500 USD per year (minimum salary) to 147,000 USD per year (maximum salary).

  • Median 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.

  • Percentiles

    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.


What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

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

Director of Photography Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Director of Photography
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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.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

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.


Director of Photography average salary change by experience in United States

0 - 2 Years
57,000 USD
2 - 5 Years+32%
75,500 USD
5 - 10 Years+34%
101,000 USD
10 - 15 Years+19%
120,000 USD
15 - 20 Years+8%
130,000 USD
20+ Years+7%
139,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Director of Photography Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Director of Photography(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Director of Photography
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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.


Director of Photography average salary difference by education level in United States

High School
71,500 USD
Certificate or Diploma+14%
81,400 USD
Bachelor's Degree+36%
110,000 USD
Master's Degree+26%
139,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

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.


Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Director of Photography Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States Director of Photography
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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.

Male
97,000 USD
Female-4%
92,900 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Director of Photography Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for Director of Photography(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Director of Photography

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.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Director of Photography
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

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.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

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

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2021

Banking
4%
Energy
8%
Information Technology
3%
Healthcare
7%
Travel
2%
Construction
6%
Education
1%

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.


Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Director of Photography Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Director of Photography
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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.

Received Bonus
56%
No Bonus
44%

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

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.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

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.


What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting 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.

Example:
A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

Example:
A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.


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.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

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.

Director of Photography Average Hourly Wage in United States


46 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in United States is 46 USD. This means that the average Director of Photography in United States earns approximately 46 USD for every worked hour.


Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

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.

Director of Photography VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Director of Photography and Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment yearly United States
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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.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
3D Artist86,000 USD-10%
3D Designer84,700 USD-11%
3D Generalist70,000 USD-26%
3D Visualization Specialist89,000 USD-6%
Acrobatic Rigger57,000 USD-40%
Actor115,000 USD+21%
Associate Media Director102,000 USD+7%
Associate Producer121,000 USD+27%
Broadcast Associate63,400 USD-33%
Broadcast News Analyst91,900 USD-3%
Broadcast Technician50,900 USD-46%
Broadcasting Journalist107,000 USD+13%
Broadcasting Presenter107,000 USD+13%
Camera Equipment Repairer61,100 USD-36%
Cartoonist / Animator81,500 USD-14%
CAS Engineer92,800 USD-2%
Censorship Executive100,000 USD+5%
Choreographer74,800 USD-21%
Colorist45,100 USD-53%
Communications Manager132,000 USD+39%
Correspondent100,000 USD+5%
Dance Director90,600 USD-5%
Dancer74,900 USD-21%
Director of Photography95,000 USD-0%
Disc Jockey58,300 USD-39%
Editorial Assistant46,900 USD-51%
Events Manager92,500 USD-3%
Graphic Designer63,000 USD-34%
Illustrator69,200 USD-27%
Instructional Designer55,900 USD-41%
Journalist110,000 USD+16%
Makeup Artist56,800 USD-40%
Media Design Manager150,000 USD+58%
Media Equipment Operator50,400 USD-47%
Media Operations Manager123,000 USD+29%
Media Producer110,000 USD+16%
Media Product Development Manager154,000 USD+62%
Media Program Director161,000 USD+69%
Media Relations Manager157,000 USD+65%
Media Sales Manager169,000 USD+78%
Movement and Dance Coordinator90,400 USD-5%
Multimedia Coordinator62,400 USD-34%
Multimedia Designer58,100 USD-39%
Music Consultant76,600 USD-19%
Musician65,600 USD-31%
News Associate78,100 USD-18%
News Reporter106,000 USD+12%
Producer141,000 USD+48%
Product Designer61,300 USD-36%
Production Artist76,600 USD-19%
Production Assistant54,200 USD-43%
Production Director128,000 USD+35%
Production Technician54,300 USD-43%
Program Researcher93,700 USD-1%
Promotion Coordinator71,800 USD-24%
Sound Engineer74,300 USD-22%
Stage Technician44,400 USD-53%
Sub Editor53,200 USD-44%
Television Executive Producer172,000 USD+81%
Transmission Engineer87,100 USD-8%
Video Editor65,800 USD-31%
Video Producer82,300 USD-13%
Videographer79,700 USD-16%
Visual Designer80,100 USD-16%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Atlanta85,800 USD
Austin105,000 USD
Baltimore88,500 USD
Boston97,900 USD
Bristol73,100 USD
Chicago107,000 USD
Cincinnati77,600 USD
Cleveland84,600 USD
Dallas101,000 USD
Denver99,800 USD
Detroit96,900 USD
Honolulu78,600 USD
Houston106,000 USD
Indianapolis96,600 USD
Iowa City74,000 USD
Jacksonville98,400 USD
Kansas City86,700 USD
Kent78,900 USD
Las Vegas89,400 USD
Long Beach84,900 USD
Los Angeles107,000 USD
Memphis96,000 USD
Miami88,400 USD
Minneapolis86,500 USD
New Orleans81,300 USD
New York114,000 USD
Oakland87,400 USD
Oklahoma City90,300 USD
Orlando76,700 USD
Philadelphia104,000 USD
Phoenix105,000 USD
Sacramento92,200 USD
San Antonio108,000 USD
San Diego107,000 USD
San Francisco103,000 USD
San Jose100,000 USD
Seattle95,700 USD
Tampa79,500 USD
Vancouver79,800 USD
Washington D.C.98,800 USD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama97,900 USD
Alaska81,300 USD
Arizona102,000 USD
Arkansas89,400 USD
California107,000 USD
Colorado92,100 USD
Connecticut94,100 USD
Delaware83,100 USD
District of Columbia85,500 USD
Florida101,000 USD
Georgia105,000 USD
Hawaii84,900 USD
Idaho89,300 USD
Illinois100,000 USD
Indiana101,000 USD
Iowa88,500 USD
Kansas93,100 USD
Kentucky91,200 USD
Louisiana96,000 USD
Maine84,000 USD
Maryland99,800 USD
Massachusetts94,800 USD
Michigan104,000 USD
Minnesota93,000 USD
Mississippi92,200 USD
Missouri93,900 USD
Montana87,400 USD
Nebraska85,800 USD
Nevada92,200 USD
New Hampshire84,000 USD
New Jersey103,000 USD
New Mexico86,700 USD
New York106,000 USD
North Carolina98,400 USD
North Dakota84,600 USD
Ohio99,300 USD
Oklahoma95,000 USD
Oregon90,300 USD
Pennsylvania105,000 USD
Rhode Island82,200 USD
South Carolina96,900 USD
South Dakota82,200 USD
Tennessee101,000 USD
Texas102,000 USD
Utah91,200 USD
Vermont80,400 USD
Virginia103,000 USD
Washington96,600 USD
West Virginia90,300 USD
Wisconsin93,900 USD
Wyoming83,600 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

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.

Private Sector
92,400 USD
Public Sector+5%
97,100 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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