How to become a Model

HBAF05Do people continuously tell you how good looking you are? Do you have a particular flair with clothing, makeup and hairstyling? Could you be one of the beautiful people? Find out by learning about a career in modeling!



Job Overview

Less than high school
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Models pose for photographers, artists, fashion industry professionals or the general public, displaying clothes, products, accessories, footwear and products of a similar vein. They display clothing during fashion shows. Often working hand in hand with hairdressers, makeup artists and photographers, models change their expressions and postures to create a particular look or image that the designer is looking for. They also travel to meet with potential clients and for photo shoots on a particular location, research a particular brand or designer and maintain a portfolio of their prior work.

Requirements and Qualifications

Though most people would think that beauty would be an important qualification in a model, of equal importance are a variety of other skills. These include courtesy, as a model often interacts with the public, discipline in diet, exercise and health to maintain their looks, organization of travel and work schedules as well as keeping a well-maintained portfolio, persistence to deal with high job competition, being photogenic not only in the sense of being beautiful, but also being comfortable in front of the camera, patience while waiting for conditions to improve on an outdoor shoot and having graceful movement and familiarity with current styles and styling techniques.

Typical Education

Models often go through a modeling academy or school, often offered by a modeling agency as they train new talent. The coursework in these schools includes poise, posture, graceful movement, makeup application, professional decorum and similar areas.

Steps to Become a Model

After completing their education, including building a small portfolio from student work, a prospective model should find an agent willing to work with them. The reputation of the agency you are considering working with is paramount, as agencies with a higher reputation will provide more opportunities and assignments for the model. From there, as new jobs are gained, the model’s portfolio must be kept up to date with high-quality photographs. As a model begins working more regularly and for higher-paying clients who, in turn, provide them more opportunities for exposure. Working with a union, usually an affiliation of similar agencies, is another possibility for a model to gain ground in the highly competitive international markets.

Similar Jobs

In a similar vein to modeling, an actor portrays a character in a play, television show or movie, and must also be familiar with conveying attitude and mood through posture, blocking, expression or other techniques. Barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists provide beautifying treatments and services to the general public, including hair design and treatments, makeup applications and skin care services. Demonstrators and product promoters provide samples, coupons and information to the general public about a particular product in order to increase its sales. Fashion designers produce original clothing and accessory design by providing sketches, fabric choices and construction techniques to bring their design to fruition. Using technical skills, composition skills and creativity, photographers create images to tell a story or record an event visually.


Models make an average of $15.83 per hour, slightly lower than the average of all occupations at $16.27 per hour. They often work part time with unpredictable schedules, needing to be available on short notice for photo shoots or fashion shows.

Job Outlook

A career in modeling is predicted to rise as fast as average at 14% between 2010 and 2020. Competition in this field is high, with a short amount of time that a model is considered hirable due to demand for new faces and youthful looks.

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