For photographers: further training as a certified technician for photo and media technology

© manusapon /

For photographers, there is hardly anything better than capturing moments and emotions. If you are happy in your job, but would like to receive further training, you can do this by training to become a certified technician for photo and media technology. We show which prerequisites have to be fulfilled and what the prospects look like after the qualification.

Solid basis: training as a photographer

Anyone who has always enjoyed capturing the most beautiful moments on birthdays, on vacation or at weddings often chooses to train as a photographer after graduation. Always with the camera in your luggage, you learn the basic functionality of the camera during training. Basic technical understanding is an important prerequisite. After all, you have to be able to make the right camera settings depending on the situation. Just as important: being able to coordinate the camera, film, lens, lighting and subject.

In the three-year training as a photographer, a solid basis is laid in order to later develop freely. Depending on your interests, you can choose one or more photography focus areas. You can choose from portrait photography, product photography, industrial and architectural photography as well as science photography. This creates a variety of employment opportunities.

Training opportunities for photographers

New challenges, a higher salary or more responsibility – there can be many opportunities for further training as a photographer. The question of which further training is suitable depends on individual points of view. Perhaps as a photographer you could have sniffed a branch or two and found out that you want to change the focus of your work? Although further training initially means financial expense, there are now good opportunities for funding further training. Those who meet the requirements can start the digital future with the Qualification Opportunities Act. Because this funding is primarily intended for industries that are affected by advancing digitalization, it is ideally suited for photographers.

Experts agree: Now is the best time for further training. The reason for this is the corona crisis, which has caused the rapid development of digitalization. While Finland started to train the population in future skills through online courses in 2019, Germany is still lagging behind. By assuming responsibility yourself and wanting to learn more about digitization, you can prepare yourself well for the world of work 4.0.

Training opportunities for photographers

What further training opportunities are there for photographers? After a few years of professional experience, many choose to become their photographer master. He lays the foundation stone for taking on responsible tasks in photo studios, in photo retail and in large photo laboratories. The training content includes, for example, customer advice, design and image conception as well as the basics of business administration. Even if this is the highest form of further training for photographers, the master’s degree is not absolutely necessary for a career. Taking into account the individual career plans, it can also make sense to decide on another training course.

In addition to the master, you can also choose one of the four following training alternatives:

  • State-certified designer specializing in advertising and media design
  • State-certified technician specializing in photo and media technology
  • Certified media specialist in digital
  • Certified specialist for commercial management according to the trade regulations

Training to become a photo and media technician is particularly popular. With the newly acquired qualifications you can develop, produce, maintain and repair photographic and laboratory equipment as well as other photographic products. Remain in the job and continue your education in parallel? That is also possible. The state-regulated further education can be completed full-time or part-time. If you opt for full-time training, you have your degree after 2 years, part-time training can take the state final examination after 3 to 4 years.

Is the training as a photo and media technician suitable for me?

Before deciding on further training, you should make sure that it suits you. We show what interests prospective technicians should have and to what extent they are needed for later work.

Interest in organizational auditing activities such as:

  • careful inspection of image quality and documentation of defects
  • Organization and monitoring of work processes in the photo laboratory to meet deadlines and quality specifications

Interest in commercial and organizational activities such as:

  • cost-conscious use of cameras, projectors, lenses etc.
  • Classification and guidance of employees to ensure an efficient working method for maintenance and repair of photo and laboratory equipment

Interest in theoretical and abstract activities such as:

  • Design, construction and testing of photo and media technology devices and systems
  • Development and improvement of processing methods for laboratory work or for digital image processing

Interest in practical, concrete activities such as:

  • Maintenance and repair of cameras and other technical devices

What are the requirements?

The advanced training as a certified technician in the field of photo and media technology takes place at a technical school. Accordingly, a degree in a relevant recognized training profession is required. In addition, at least one year of professional experience must be demonstrated. As far as school requirements are concerned, there may be differences from state to state. In some schools you can apply for a lower secondary school leaving certificate, in others a medium level qualification is a minimum requirement.

In order to pass the advanced training exam at the end of further training, it may be helpful to have in-depth knowledge in the following areas:

  • Arithmetic / mathematics (e.g. for carrying out quotation calculations)
  • Chemistry / physics (e.g. for the determination of materials)
  • Electrical engineering and electronics (knowledge of how phototechnical devices work)
  • Economics / law (business accounting and business organization)

Working as a photo and media technician is very diverse and also includes physical requirements. Which exactly these are depends on the respective job profile or area of ​​application. Here is a selection:

  • good color vision to be able to check photographs with regard to their color quality
  • Proximity for monitoring and control of photo technical laboratory work
  • healthy, resistant skin when working with fixation and bleaching tapes
  • intact nervous system in order to be able to assume responsibility for employees, trainees and specialists

Perspectives for photo and media technicians

The photo and media landscape is subject to rapid and extensive change. A lot has happened here in recent decades. Consumers now place completely different demands on the television and media landscape than in the past. This is where photo and media technicians come in. With their qualifications, they have the opportunity to help shape the change in the digital world.

Due to the high demand, photo and media technicians have good professional prospects. Potential employers can come from a wide variety of industries, for example from public or private radio (radio and TV), photographic laboratories or publishing. But engineering firms, machine builders, software providers, advertising agencies or printers could also be potential employers.

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  • Fotoapparat_Laptop_SD-Karte_Fotographieren: © manusapon /

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