Picture Researcher

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Picture researchers find suitable photographs or illustrations for use in a wide range of media such as books, magazines, websites and television. Their employers include media or advertising companies, picture agencies or libraries, and museums or art galleries.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Salaries may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries for picture researchers are between £15,000 and £24,000 per year.

With experience, this could rise to around £30,000 per year. Picture editors can earn around £35,000 a year.

Freelance rates are usually per day, and vary according to the area you are working in. For example, recommended rates for books can be £160; broadcasting up to £200; glossy magazines up to £180; and national newspapers up to £180. (London Freelance Guide website, January 2020).


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland

2 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be:


Getting On

More Information

BAPLA lists job vacancies on their website as well as individual employers such as picture libraries or art galleries.

BBC Scotland runs an apprenticeship scheme for people who are keen to get into a career in the media industry. The closing date for applications is usually sometime in April or May. The one-year apprenticeship is based in Glasgow and pays £14,250 a year. As well as learning on the job at BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay in various departments, you will study towards a Level 3 Diploma in Creative and Digital Media at a Glasgow college. Ideally applicants will have National 5 English and Maths, good IT skills and a keen interest in media. You must be at least 18 at the start date of the apprenticeship. Entry is very competitive as places are limited. The selection process includes an assessment day and tests in English and Maths. For any questions and updates by following @BBCGetin on Twitter. If you would like to find out more or check on application deadline dates visit BBC Scotland Apprenticeships.


Courtesy of Penguin Books


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)
Tel: 020 8297 1198
Twitter: @baplaUK

London School of Publishing
Tel: 020 7221 3399
Twitter: @LSPPublishing

Publishing Training Centre
Tel: 020 8874 2718
Twitter: @PTCBookHouse

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