Photo Lab Technician

Print and process pictures from digital files.
picture of Photo Lab Technician

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$17,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Photo Lab Technicians do?

Ever wondered how a physical photograph comes from the digital image you find on a camera? The answer to that question lies in this job. A Photo Lab Technician uses different chemicals, machines, and one dark room to turn negatives and memory sticks into photos you can hold in your hand.

Places that hire Photo Lab Technicians include drugstores, camera shops, and photo labs. The amount of technical knowledge you need will depend on where you work. In drugstores, for example, the majority of your time is going to be spent taking digital pictures and printing them out. You might do a bit of editing on photos, like changing their dimensions or fixing red eyes. But for the most part, your duties as a Photo Lab Technician will consist of pretty basic things that you can accomplish with a few touches on a computer. In a lot of these places, you also function as the Cashier who takes the money for the services you performed.

In camera shops and photo labs, however, there’s a little bit more involved, though the basics are the same. You can make slides or transparencies for use in classes or business presentations, or blow pictures up to poster size. In these places, you work predominantly in a darkroom. There’s a lot of computer manipulation of photographs, but you also work with actual film. When film gets dropped off to be developed, you mix different chemicals to pull the picture to the surface and clarify it.

Should I be a Photo Lab Technician?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Lab Associate, Photo Lab Manager, Photo Lab Specialist

    How to become a Photo Lab Technician

    Photo Lab Technicians generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Photo Lab Technician-related education!
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