Program Fact Sheet

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Associate Degree Program, Diploma and Certificates

What is Photography?

Gwinnett Tech's Photography programs include engaging, hands-on instruction, lecture, demonstration, critique and dynamic lab time. The photography program provides learning opportunities which introduce, develop, and reinforces academic and relevant occupational knowledge, skills and attitudes required for job acquisition, retention and advancement. The structure and length of the program allows for a practical, focused, intensive photography education. Additionally, the programs provide opportunities to upgrade present knowledge and skills or to retrain in the area of photography. Students leave the program with professional photographic and business skills represented in substantial marketing materials, pertinent resume, print portfolio, and website. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science Degree, Diploma in Photography and/or Specialized Certificates.
The program entrenches students in a solid foundation of photographic technical and creative skills. Emphasis is place on strong understanding and proficiency in basic camera exposure & capture, lighting control, video production basics, creative & visual acuity, and digital image post-processing & output skills. Degree and diploma students, in their second year, choose an area of interest and specialization. The intention is to cultivate and refine creative acumen, along with teaching relevant, marketable, occupational skills preparing students for a successful career as a professional photographer.

  • The associate of applied science degree program includes commercial photography courses and college-level general education courses. This program is offered as full or part-time, with day, evening and workshops courses. (Program Length: 6 Semesters Minimum)

  • The photography diploma program includes commercial photography courses and diploma-level general education courses. This program is offered as full or part-time, with day, evening and workshops courses. (Program Length: 6 Semesters Minimum)

  • The certificate programs include photography courses emphasizing specific photographic skills. These programs are offered as full or part-time, with day, evening and workshops courses.(Program Length: 3 Semesters Minimum)

Prerequisite Courses
Diploma level proficiency in English, Reading and Math

Degrees and Certificates
  • Photography, AAS
  • Photography, Diploma
  • Digital Photographic Technician, Certificate
  • Portrait Photography Specialist, Certificate
  • Video Photography Specialist, Certificate
  • Event Photography Specialist, Certificate
  • UAV/Drone Photography Specialist, Certificate

Length of Program
  • Degree/Diploma: 6 semesters minimum
  • Certificates: 3 semesters minimum
  • 69 Semester Hours, AAS
  • 57 Semester Hours, Diploma
  • 17-19 Semester Hours, Certificates

Semester Program Begins
Fall and Spring Semester

Application Process

Applicants to the Photography Program must meet all Admissions requirements; complete an application and pay the application fee. Apply to Gwinnett Technical College at and submit all transcripts from high school and previous college work, and take the ACCUPLACER test if required.

Program Deadlines
You may enter in the Fall, Spring, or Summer Terms.



Photographers use creative and technical skills to expertly make images that preserves and tells a story to display in a variety of published mediums. At Gwinnett Tech, students are engaged in hands-on instruction, learning the technical and creative aspects of commercial photography that includes portraits and events, still life products for advertising and magazines, architecture, photojournalism and video production, as well as various other commercial and industry applications. Degree, diploma and certificate tracks are available.

QUICK FACTS: Photographer

2016 Median Pay $25,000 - $90,000/year
Entry level Education Associate of Applied Science degree, Diploma, Certificate
Number of jobs, 2014 124,900
Job Growth, 2024 7 to 13%

Salary/Job Growth Numbers courtesy of and

Based on a survey on, the median annual Photographer salary is $59,997, as of December 28, 2016, with a range usually between $48,220-$68,558, however this can vary widely depending on a variety of factors. Their team of Certified Compensation Professionals has analyzed survey data collected from thousands of HR departments at companies of all sizes and industries to present this range of annual salaries for people with the job title Photographer in the United States.

Employment Trends
Opportunities and employment are increasing with more businesses interested in working with skilled photographers and videographers to market their goods and services. With Georgia’s growing economy and healthy economic outlook, prospects are increasing for creating advertising and self-promotions for service individuals, retail and real estate marketing, virtual walk through, products in use, news, corporate and industrial marketing materials and training videos, as well as photos and videos using drone technology for construction, military, agriculture, land management, energy, real estate, law enforcement, film industry, events and weddings. Feature film and TV production companies are working with photographers for location scouting, and production stills.

Based on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers as Photographer is a growing field. Although the job outlook for 2014-2014 has a growth rate of 3%, the need for skilled workers is paramount. The listed median pay for 2015 was $40,280 per year and $19.37 per hour, however, self-employed individuals and those with enhanced skills have higher earning potential. [Click here to view Source]

Related Career Fields
Professional photographer, photojournalist, advertising photographer, commercial photographer, portrait photographer, videographer, photographer’s assistant, digital technician, digital imaging specialist, digital retouching artist, aerial/drone photographer, medical or scientific photographer, location scout, forensic photographer, photo editor, custom printer and architectural photographer.