Shoot for the stars with photography qualification
A photo speaks a thousand words. That’s why publishers, businesses and people pay photographers good money to do what they love — be it specialising in travel, weddings, online, fashion, food, business, portraits, news, nature, sports or any other subject.
There is much more to a career in photography than just snapping away with a camera on an automatic setting. With the right qualifications and experience, you can be employed full-time within large companies, work and run your own private studio or freelance for magazines, newspapers and websites.
The world of photography in Australia is competitive — but if you have a high level of creativity, an artistic vision and are driven, you have the opportunity to make a fulfilling and successful career after completing a photography course.
Careers and courses in photography are diverse.
Here are just a few job titles that you might be eligible for on completion of your photography course:
- Art Photographer
- Fashion Photographer
- Personal Branding Photographer
- Sports Photographer
- Property Photographer
- Commercial / Advertising Photographer
- Medical / Scientific Photographer
- Social Media Photographer
Job Outlook for Photography Professionals
If you’re considering a career in photography, it’s a good idea to understand the job market:
- The photography industry is expected to grow by 1% from 2021 to 2026
- The most common level of photography courses attained is a bachelor’s degree
- Average Salary: Photography: $81,438
- 49% of photographers are females
- 52% of photographers work part-time
Types of Photography Courses
The most common level of education attained by photographers is a bachelor’s degree, however, there are many photographers working as freelancers without any formal education. Although formal education is not mandatory, it can be limiting if you wish to advance your career in the corporate or photojournalism sector.
Here is a brief look at the various photography courses that are available to you.
Photography Short Courses
Short and beginners photography courses are a good option for beginners who want to dip their toes in. They can help you to decide whether you have the required expertise and personality to create a successful career as a professional photographer. Many short courses are delivered entirely online and extend your knowledge of digital SLR cameras, including their functions, settings and capabilities.
A Certificate IV in Photo Imaging will focus on lighting, image capturing, enhancements and manipulation. Students will gain an understanding of how to process images for print applications as well as to file stage and use photography programs (like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop). They will learn how to capture photos in response to a particular brief and explore the use of colour. There are several study options, including full-time, part-time and online.
Gaining an Advanced Diploma of Photography provides you with the qualifications to become a professional multi-skilled photographer in the photographic and digital imaging industry. This course includes two years of core studies and one year specialising in commercial photography, art photography or photojournalism. An advanced diploma can be completed full or part-time, and entry requirements include relevant experience, senior secondary certificate and a mature background.
A Bachelor of Photography is for those who want to establish successful and prominent roles in the photographic industry. It is a program held in high regard and well known for producing distinctive, innovative and creative professionals.
The Bachelor of Photography is recognised by leading industry bodies such as the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) and the Advertising, Commercial and Magazine Photographers ACMP.
Photography Courses Online
There is a vast range of short and longer-duration photography courses available online to turn your interest in using a camera into a profession. These courses offer flexible learning terms and full support and are great for those entering the industry for the first time or those wanting to expand their knowledge.
Is Photography right for you?
Photography and retouching can be an enriching and exciting career for those passionate about the camera. Becoming a freelance photographer is a particularly desirable career as it is a great way to fuel your creativity and avoid a typically nine-to-five job.
Working as a photographer can take you around the world and offer you the chance to meet a variety of personality types. You’ll need to be driven, dedicated, self-motivated and above all, have the photography skills to make your work stand out from the crowd. If this career sounds like you, check out the range of photography courses to find one that suits your goals.
How long does a photography course take?
There really is a photography course for everyone. Whether you want to take a short course to try it out or take a full bachelor’s degree, the course duration will vary — so let’s break the types of courses down.
Short courses are great to enrol in if you want to try out a new profession or decide whether to pursue further study.
These courses can cover specific photography like smartphone photography, travel photography or night photography. They could be anywhere from a day-long photography workshop to a comprehensive study program that takes months. Online courses can also be self-paced, so you can complete them when it is convenient for you.
We recommend browsing a range of short courses to find the right match for you.
A Certificate IV in Photo Imaging course through TAFE or an RTO is the perfect choice if you would like a formal qualification in photography and would like to enter the workforce as soon as possible.
Generally, a full-time learner will complete a Cert IV in Photography in around nine months. However, if the course is taken part-time, it can take considerably longer.
An advanced diploma in photography is excellent for individuals already employed in the photography industry and who wish to upskill. The course takes about three years but can be studied part-time (this will take longer).
A bachelor’s degree in photography will provide the most comprehensive technical skills in photography and is a highly regarded qualification.
This course takes three years full-time to complete or part-time equivalent.
How much is a photography course?
The cost of a photography course depends on the qualification level you wish to achieve, so it is recommended to contact course providers directly to discuss your options.
For VET qualifications such as a cert iv or diploma, eligible learners can apply for JobTrainer or an Australian apprenticeship. Check your state’s government education websites for more details.
Student loans are a great way to defer payment on course fees until you are employed and earning enough to start paying them back.
Are photography courses worth It?
Photography is arguably one of the world’s most diverse and enjoyable professions. With hard work, dedication, and the right qualifications, the ultimate job satisfaction could be closer than you think. ]
Gaining training and skills in photography not only makes you a better candidate for future employers — qualifications boost your confidence, help you level up on your art and can even allow you to start your own business and have a much higher earning potential.