Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for models in the United States was $13.63 in May 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $10.54, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.75 per hour. The top paying industries were ‘college, universities and professional schools’, where the median hourly salary was $18,63. The second highest paying industry was the arts, entertainment and recreation, where the median hourly wage was $17.88. Finally, junior colleges was the third higher paying industry, where the median annual wage was $16.52.
A models’ schedule can be demanding and stressful. The number of hours worked can vary by job and therefore their income can be unstable.
Autonomy and Flexibility
As a whole, autonomy and flexibility is likely to be low for models. Competition is tough for modeling contracts and models may find themselves working jobs they don’t feel they can relate to. Models may be able to add a touch of their own creative flare, but as a whole it is down to the photographer or shoot director to dictate the outcome of the shoot.
Models will also have little control over their schedule. In times when there is less work, models may have a more flexible schedule. However, successful and thriving models will spend a lot of their time travelling to different jobs and will have a manic schedule.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be a professional model, based on average annual salary and number of jobs available, are:
- Alaska where the average annual salary was $170,459
- Pennsylvania, where the average annual salary was $116,988
- New Jersey, where the average annual salary was $122,920
- Rhode Island, where the average annual salary was $112,336
- West Virginia, where the average annual salary was $120,042
According to Zippia, the worst states to be a model were Utah, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota.
29% of models in the United States were employed by colleges, universities and professional schools. 12% of models in the United States were employed by junior colleges, 8% were self-employed workers and 2% were employed by the arts, entertainment and recreation industry.
Models work in a variety of conditions, from comfortable photography studios, to the bright lights of a runway fashion show to outdoors in all weather conditions. Models will probably spend a lot of time travelling for photo shoots or to meet clients.