Working situations in industrial photography are quite different from those in commercial or portrait photography. Most companies keep a 40-hour week with regular and predictable hours. However, last-minute overtime is common to get projects completed.
Most industrial photographers are paid on an hourly basis. Department managers and the top photographers are sometimes salaried. In general, the pay rates of industrial photographers are the best in the photographic field. In addition to salaries, many fringe benefits are usually provided. Company cars, pension and profit sharing, retirement benefits, paid vacation time, health insurance, and sick leave are benefits that may be offered by large companies. Only some of these benefits would be available in the small photographic studios. There are often opportunities to travel for work, but this is often not as glamorous as it sounds. A photographer, when traveling, must contend with a hard schedule, the possibility of illness in strange surroundings, and getting cases of equipment through security at airline terminals.
One disadvantage of industrial photography is sometimes slower career advancement as compared with what is typical in a commercial photographic operation. Also, many companies have dress codes and business dress is sometimes required. The hours that must be kept are strictly enforced, and people who do not have good on-time and attendance records usually don't last very long. In most companies, photography is not a full-time business, so the photographer may have less stature in the company than others who are directly involved in the production of a product.
All in all, though, the industrial or corporate photographer is usually well paid and enjoys good equipment and working conditions.
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