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Career and Education Opportunities for Photographers in Rockford, Illinois

There are many career and education opportunities for photographers in the Rockford, Illinois area. There are currently 4,600 jobs for photographers in Illinois and this is projected to grow 7% to about 4,890 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for photographers are expected to grow by about 11.5%. Photographers generally photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products.

Photographers earn approximately $17 per hour or $37,060 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $29,440 yearly. Earnings for photographers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Media Technical in Illinois and not quite as good as general Media Technical category earnings nationally. People working as photographers can fill a number of jobs, such as: newspaper photographer, cameraman, and finish photographer.

There are twelve schools of higher education in the Rockford area, including two within twenty-five miles of Rockford where you can get a degree to start your career as a photographer. The most common level of education for photographers is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time training to become a photographer if you already have a high school diploma.


Photographer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, photographers photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. They also may develop negatives and produce finished prints.

Photographers decide on desired images and picture composition, selecting and adjusting subjects, equipment, and lighting to produce desired effects. They also develop artificial light, using flashes and reflectors. Equally important, photographers have to test equipment before use to insure that it is in good working order. They are often called upon to perform maintenance tasks needed to keep equipment working properly. They are expected to use traditional or digital cameras, along with a variety of equipment such as tripods and flash attachments. Finally, photographers manipulate and enhance scanned or digital images to generate desired effects, using computers and specialized software.

Every day, photographers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to visualize how things come together and can be organized. It is also important that they understand events and object details at a distance.

It is important for photographers to decide on and assemble equipment and required background properties, in line with subjects and conditions. They are often called upon to perform general office duties such as scheduling appointments and ordering supplies. They also adjust apertures and camera focus on the basis of a combination of factors such as lighting and film speed. They are sometimes expected to decide on project goals and equipment needs by studying assignments and consulting with clients or advertising staff. Somewhat less frequently, photographers are also expected to produce computer-readable, digital images from film, using flatbed scanners and photofinishing laboratories.

Photographers sometimes are asked to direct efforts of staff who are setting up photographic equipment. and design visual aids and charts for use in lectures or to present evidence in court. And finally, they sometimes have to test equipment before use to insure that it is in good working order.

Like many other jobs, photographers must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Rockford include:

  • Choreographer. Create and teach dance. May direct and stage presentations.
  • Dancer. Perform dances. May also sing or act.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Musician. Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.
  • Set and Exhibit Designer. Design special exhibits and movie, television, and theater sets. May study scripts, confer with directors, and conduct research to determine appropriate architectural styles.


Rockford College - Rockford, IL

Rockford College, 5050 E State St, Rockford, IL 61108-2393. Rockford College is a small college located in Rockford, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,390 students and an admission rate of 67%. Rockford College has a bachelor's degree program in Art/Art Studies.

Beloit College - Beloit, WI

Beloit College, 700 College St, Beloit, WI 53511-5595. Beloit College is a small college located in Beloit, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,384 students and an admission rate of 63%. Beloit College has a bachelor's degree program in Visual and Performing Arts.


Certified Forensic Video Technician: Forensic video analysis is an important science that can have a significant impact on the investigation process.

For more information, see the Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association website.

Certified Photographic Consultant: PMA awards the Certified Photographic Consultant (CPC) designation to individuals who successfully meet rigorous testing on photo and digital imaging technologies.

For more information, see the Photo Marketing Association International website.


Rockford, Illinois
Rockford, Illinois photo by Kranar_drogin

Rockford is situated in Winnebago County, Illinois. It has a population of over 157,272, which has grown by 4.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Rockford, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Rockford are valued at $125,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, sixty-four new homes were built in Rockford, down from one hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Rockford are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and machinery. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 19.8% of Rockford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Rockford is 17.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Rockford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.0%, is less than both the national and state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, South Park Covenant Church and Souls Harbor Church are among the churches located in Rockford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Rockford is home to the McPhail Hall and the Mary McGaw Hall as well as Ken-Rock Park and Jamestown Park. Shopping malls in the area include Alpine Village Shopping Center, Eleventh Street Plaza Shopping Center and Fairview Shopping Center. Visitors to Rockford can choose from Extended Stay America - Rockford East, Courtyard Rockford and Hampton Inn Rockford for temporary stays in the area.