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Photography Schools in Wisconsin
Photographers use digital cameras, film cameras, computers, mobile communications, and other equipment to capture images. Some specialize in photographing people, while others may specialize in photographing landscapes, merchandise, animals, events, or other subjects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, photographers may also “develop negatives or use computer software to produce finished images and prints.” In today’s competitive world of photography, chances are, most photographers perform these duties—and then some.
Talented photographers are in demand in many fields. The industries with the highest concentration of employment in this field include professional, technical and scientific services; radio and television broadcasting; independent artists, writers, and performers; newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers, and other personal services. Colleges, universities, and professional schools also employ hundreds of skilled photographers.
In the State of Wisconsin, both dependent and salaried photographers can find employment in at news agencies, creative firms, colleges and universities, photography/portrait studios, research centers, film studios, design firms, art museums, theme parks, and more. While photographers may find work just about anywhere in the state, Wisconsin’s principal cities have much more to offer. They include Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay. Other smaller cities (but still listed as principal cities) include Kenosha, Racine, Appleton, Waukesha, Oshkosh, Eau Claire, Janesville, and West Allis.
Many of the state’s top training programs for photographers are also located in these cities. Just a few include Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and Carroll University in Waukesha. Continue reading to learn more about which schools are tops for aspiring photographers.
Wisconsin Photography Schools
Wisconsin is home to 84 Title IV colleges and universities. In order to become a Title IV school, the institution must (1) have accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, (2) be in business for at least 2 years, (3) sign a participation agreement with the Department, (4) grant an associate's degree or higher, and (5) offer a program of at least 300 clock hours in length. Because these schools have met all of the Department’s requirements, they are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, even the most expensive art and design schools are accessible to students with financial need.
Several Title IV schools offer top-tier programs for aspiring photographers. Scroll through the list below to review Wisconsin’s best schools for aspiring photographers and what they have to offer.
University of Wisconsin Eau Claire – B.A. Art with Drawing + Painting, Graphic Design, Illustration, Photography, Printmaking Emphasis; Minor in Web Design & Development
Fon du Lac
Marian University – B.A. Art with Concentration in Fine Art Studio; B.A. Graphic Design, Photography; Minor in Art, Graphic Design, Photography
University of Wisconsin Green Bay – B.A. Communication with Electronic Media or Photography Emphasis; B.A. Design Arts, Studio Arts; Minor in Art
Viterbo University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Visual Communications, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Studio Art; B. F. A. Studio Art with Concentration in Design & Technical Production, Drawing, Graphic Arts and New Media, Interdisciplinary Studies, Photography, Printmaking; B. S. Communication Studies with Visual Communication Focus; Minor Art
University of Wisconsin Madison - Degrees Offered: B. S., B. F. A. Art with Emphasis in Digital Modeling, Graphic Design and Typography, Life Drawing, Multimedia, New Genres, Painting + Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, Video and Performance; M. A., M. F. A. Art with Graphics Specialization
University of Wisconsin Stout - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Animation, Art, Comic and Sequential Art, Digital Cinema, Entertainment Design, Graphic Design and Interactive Media, Studio Art with Drawing, Printmaking Emphasis; B. S. Game Design and Development, Graphic Communication Management, Professional Communication and Emerging Media; M. F. A. Design; Minor Art, Applied Photography
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) – B. F. A. Art, Communication Design, Drawing, Illustration, Integrated Studio Arts, Photography, Printmaking, Time-Based Media (Video & Animation); Minor in Animation, Video
University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - Degrees Offered: B.A. Studio Art; B. F. A. Design & Visual Communications, Digital Studio Practice, Film, New Genres, Photography, Painting + Drawing, Print and Narrative Forms, Video; M.A. Studio Art; M.F.A. Film, New Genres, Studio Art, Video; Minor in Art
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh - Degrees Offered: B.A. Radio-TV-Film, Studio Art; B. F. A. Art with Graphic Design Emphasis; B. F. A. Design & Technology, B. F. A. Fine Arts with 2D Studio (Drawing, Photography, Printmaking), 3D Studio (Art metals, Ceramics, Fibers, Functional Design), Design; B.A., B.S. Art; Minor Studio Art
Carroll University - Degrees Offered: B.A. Art; B. S. Art, Graphic Communication with Emphasis in Design, Design Management, Graphic Design, Web Design; B. F. A. Photography; B.S. Information Technology with Emphasis in Web Application Development, Game Development; Minor in Graphic Design, Video Production, Web Design
Wisconsin is home to 1,030 salaried photographers, down from 1,170 in 2002. Although the salaried talent pool decreased between 2002 and today, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan area has the sixth highest employment level in this occupation—among all metro areas. This metro area is also number nine on the list of top paying metro areas for photographers. The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI area is home to 990 salaried photographers averaging $49,890 per year.
The average salary for Wisconsin photographers (overall) is $34,300, up from $29, 230 in 2002. It is important to note that the photography industry has more independent workers than salaried workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “more companies contract with freelancers rather than hire their own photographers.” Based on salaries for all independent artists combined, independent contractors may earn an average of $51,340 per year.
While employment for Wisconsin-based photographers decreased between 2002 and today, the future looks bright for the industry as a whole. Across the U.S., employment in the photography industry is expected to increase by 13 percent for the 2010-2020 decade. This means, the industry is set to add 17,500 new jobs in the coming years.
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