Credit: Luci Correia on Flickr.
Credit: Luci Correia on Flickr.

It’s official: the West Coast is the best coast for photographers looking to make a sizable income. Photography is a notoriously competitive industry to break into, and the market is flush with talented professionals in every category. So, how do you make a living wage? For starters, you can take one of CreativeLive’s many photography classes and learn pro tips straight from industry leaders. Or, you can throw caution to the wind and move to California!

According to data published by the U.S. Department of Labor, photographers residing in New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah make the most money with an annual mean wage between $38-66k. Meanwhile over on the East Coast, photogs in New York, Washington DC, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Delaware make about the same. Oh, and Hawaii and Minnesota, we see you, too!

It goes without saying that you’re more or less likely to make a killing depending on what type of field you’re in — for example, you’d probably make more as a wedding photographer in Beverly Hills than you’d make working for a local newspaper — but these statistics could come in handy for photographers who are trying to decide where to open their businesses.

So, which of these locations do photogs tend to make the most money in? That would be our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., where the annual mean wage is $66,130. Definitely something to think about if you’re looking to make a change and jump start your business with profitability in mind!

To learn how to price and sell your work, check out Pricing and Sales for Photographers.