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Models typically do the following:
Almost all models sign with modeling agencies. Agencies represent and promote a model to clients in return for a portion of the model’s earnings. Models typically apply for a position with an agency by submitting their photographs through its website or by attending open casting calls and meeting with agents directly.
Models must research an agency before signing, in order to ensure that the agency has a good reputation in the modeling industry. For information on agencies, models should contact a local consumer affairs organization, such as the Better Business Bureau.
Some freelance models do not sign with agencies. Instead, they market themselves to potential clients and apply for modeling jobs directly. However, because most clients prefer to work with agents, it is difficult for new models to pursue a freelance career.
Models must put together and maintain up-to-date portfolios and composite cards. A portfolio is a collection of a model’s previous work. A composite card contains the best photographs from a model’s portfolio, along with his or her body measurements. Both portfolios and composite cards are typically taken to all casting calls and client auditions.
Because advertisers often need to target specific segments of the population, models may specialize in a certain area. For example, petite and plus-size fashions are modeled by women whose sizes are respectively smaller and larger than that worn by the typical model. Models who are disabled may be used to model fashions or products for consumers with disabilities. “Parts” models have a body part, such as a hand or foot, particularly well suited to model products such as nail polish or shoes.
Models appear in different types of media to promote a product or service. Models advertise products and merchandise in magazine or newspaper advertisements, department store catalogs, or television commercials. Increasingly, models are appearing in online ads or on retail websites. Models also pose for sketch artists, painters, and sculptors.
Models often participate in photo shoots and pose for photographers to show off the features of clothing and other products. Models change their posture and facial expressions to capture the look the client wants. The photographer usually takes many pictures of the model in different poses and expressions during the photo shoot.
Models also display clothes and merchandise live in different situations. At fashion shows, models stand, turn, and walk to show off clothing to an audience of photographers, journalists, designers, and garment buyers. Other clients may require models to interact directly with customers. In retail establishments and department stores, models display clothing directly to shoppers and describe the features and prices of the merchandise. At trade shows or conventions, models show off a business’ products and provide information to consumers. These models may work alongside demonstrators and product promoters to help advertise and sell merchandise.
Models often prepare for photo shoots or fashion shows by having their hair and makeup done by professionals in those industries. The hair stylists and makeup artists may touch up the model’s hair and makeup and change the model’s look throughout the event. However, models are sometimes responsible for applying their own makeup and bringing their own clothing.
Models held about 5,800 jobs in May 2014. Many models work for clothing stores. Other models work for educational services, including modeling schools.
Models work in a variety of conditions, from comfortable photography studios and runway fashion shows to outdoors in all weather conditions.
Models also may need to travel for photo shoots or to meet clients in different cities.
Models’ schedules can be demanding and stressful. Many models work part time and have unpredictable work schedules. They must be ready to work for a show or attend a photo shoot on short notice. The number of hours worked varies with the job. Many models experience periods of unemployment.
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No formal education credential is required to become a model. Specific requirements depend on the client, with different jobs requiring different physical characteristics. However, most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers.
There are no formal educational credentials required to become a model. Most modeling agencies allow applicants to email photos directly to the agency. The agency will then contact and interview prospective models who are well liked. Many agencies also have “open calls,” whereby aspiring models can walk into an agency during a specified time and meet directly with agents and clients.
Some aspiring models attend modeling schools that provide training in posing, walking, applying makeup, and other basic tasks. Although some models are discovered when agents scout for “fresh faces” at modeling schools, attending such schools does not necessarily lead to job opportunities.
Models advance by working more regularly and being selected for assignments that offer higher pay. They may appear in magazines, print advertising campaigns, commercials, or runway shows that have higher profiles and provide more widespread exposure.
Because advancement depends on a model’s previous work, maintaining a good portfolio of high-quality, up-to-date photographs is important in getting assignments.
A model’s selection of an agency is also important for advancement: the better the reputation and skill of the agency, the more assignments a model is likely to get.
Specific requirements depend on the client, but most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers. Requirements may change slightly over time as perceptions of physical beauty change.
Discipline. A model’s career depends on the person’s maintaining his or her physical characteristics. Models must control their diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to stay healthy and photogenic. Haircuts, pedicures, and manicures are necessary work-related expenses.
Interpersonal skills. Models must interact with a large number of people, such as agents, photographers, and customers. It is important to be polite, professional, prompt, and respectful.
Listening skills. Models must be able to take direction from photographers and clients during photo shoots and commercials.
Organizational skills. Models must be able to manage their portfolios and their work and travel schedules.
Persistence. Competition for jobs is strong, and most clients have specific needs for each job, so patience and persistence are essential.
Photogenic. Models spend most of their time being photographed. They must be comfortable in front of a camera in order for photographers to capture the desired look.
Style. Models must have a basic knowledge of hair styling, makeup, and clothing. For photographic and runway work, models must be able to move gracefully and confidently.
The median hourly wage for models was $13.23 in May 2015. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.20, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $26.28.
Schedules can be demanding and stressful. Many models work part time and have unpredictable work schedules. Models must be ready to work for a show or attend a photo shoot on short notice, and the number of hours worked varies with the job. Many models experience periods of unemployment.
Employment of models is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 2024.
Rising retail sales, particularly online and e-commerce sales, will encourage businesses to increase their digital advertising and marketing budgets. Models will be needed for online publications, digital advertisements, and websites to reach out to these potential customers. Although models will still be needed to promote products in print advertisements and catalogs, businesses have begun shifting away from this traditional form of advertising.
Increasing consumer confidence and spending also may encourage businesses to introduce new advertising campaigns and product launches. These ventures will require models to promote and market products in stores, television commercials, and fashion shows.
However, less expensive digital and social media options are allowing companies to interact and build relationships with customers in new ways. Companies can now promote their products and brands directly to consumers. This direct promotion will lessen the need for professional models or large-scale advertising campaigns.
In addition, businesses may cut back on their advertising budgets during economic downturns, making them less likely to develop new advertising campaigns or hire models.
Many people are drawn to this occupation because of its glamour and potential for fame. However, no education, training, or work experience is required to enter the occupation, so many applicants will be competing for very few job openings.
Although more jobs may be available in large cities such as New York and Los Angeles, competition for these jobs is expected to be very strong. Aspiring models may have the best job opportunities in smaller cities, working for smaller modeling agencies and local clients and businesses.
Age, weight, and height requirements are typically less rigid for models appearing in commercials and advertisements than for those looking to become runway or fashion models.
In addition, as the U.S. population becomes increasingly diverse and businesses become more globalized, demand for racially and ethnically diverse models will likely increase.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2014||Projected Employment, 2024||Change, 2014-24|