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Photography in California

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There are schools offering photography courses in California!

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Schools Offering Photography Programs in California

Approximately 0.1% of graduates in of California receive photography degrees every year. In other words, every year an estimated 850 photographers graduate from California's 70 photography schools.

Top Schools

The top-ranked school in California with a photography program is Pacific Union College, which is located in Angwin. In 2010, it was ranked 41st nationwide. 4 students graduated with a degree in photography from Pacific Union College in 2010. The tuition rate at Pacific Union College was $25,221 per year.

The second-ranked school in California with a photography program is San Francisco Art Institute, which is located in San Francisco. In 2010, it was ranked 45th nationwide. In 2010, San Francisco Art Institute graduated 43 students from its photography program. Tuition at San Francisco Art Institute was $33,294 per year.

California State University-Sacramento, which was ranked 45th nationwide in 2010, is the third-ranked school in California that has a photography program. It is located in Sacramento. In 2010, 57 students graduated from California State University-Sacramento photography program. California State University-Sacramento charged in-state students $5,195 in tuition fees per year.


Tuition at California's photography schools ranges from $36,742 per year to $624 per year. But, the average tuition is $4,261 per year. The highest tuition rates in 2010 at California photography schools were charged at the following schools:

  1. California Institute of the Arts - located in Valencia, students are charged $36,742 per year
  2. California College of the Arts - located in Oakland, students are charged $35,222 per year
  3. San Francisco Art Institute - located in San Francisco, students are charged $33,294 per year

The lowest tuition rates at California photography schools were charged at the following schools:

  1. San Joaquin Delta College - located in Stockton, students are charged $624 per year
  2. Barstow Community College - located in Barstow, students are charged $624 per year
  3. Sacramento City College - located in Sacramento, students are charged $644 per year

A photography degree from a California school... what next?

A large number of California photography graduates become photographers. 4,830 photographers were working in California in 2010. In California, the largest numbers of photographers work in the following counties:

  1. Los Angeles County - 1,310 photographers
  2. Orange County - 540 photographers
  3. San Diego County - 500 photographers

Projected Growth

According the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the number of photographers is expected to grow by 7% by 2018. There are projected to be 13,600 photographers working in the California then.


On average, a photographer earns a salary of $41,990 per year in California state. In 2010, however, some California photographers earned as little as less than $17,530 per year or as much as more than $104,880 per year. The following counties in California have the highest average salaries for photographers:

  1. Los Angeles County - $54,840 per year
  2. Marin County - $52,520 per year
  3. Monterey County - $48,400 per year

On average, photographers earns the least in the following California counties:

  1. Butte County - $22,220 per year
  2. Tulare County - $27,720 per year
  3. Kern County - $29,450 per year

More Information

Take a look at the graphs and charts below for additional California statistics regarding a career in photography and to compare salaries with a variety of related fields such as photography or design.

Here are the different levels of study available for you to explore.

  • Associate's Degree in Photography in California
  • Bachelor's Degree in Photography in California
  • Master's Degree in Photography in California
  • Certificate in Photography in California

Want to study at your own time and pace?

Consider Online Schools as a great alternative flexible option to earn a degree!

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Curious what studying Photography gets you?

Check out the different options and how they're looking in California

Rank Profession Employment Number Avg Salary Job Growth (past 5 yrs)
Photographers 4,830 $41,990 -4.4%
Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture 3,260 $61,540 -41.0%

Got your degree? Time to find a job!

Below are photography related jobs in California