In a studio or stadium, at a quiet wedding or at world championship. Do you have a knack for crafting artful photos that capture the key moment or evoke the essence of the person. From celebratory moments to landmark events – the OCC Career Advantage program in Applied/Commercial Photography will make sure you and your camera are equipped to capture them. The OCC Career Advantage Applied Photography program can help you start a career as a professional photographer, or build your skills with our state-of-the art technology if you are already a working professional. Choose a certificate program or earn an associate degree. The field is wide open for commercial photographers in California. Read on to learn more about your options at OCC.

A sampling of courses for these careers

Imaging with Photoshop
Professional Digital Techniques

Social Media Marketing
Video Workshop
Art Photography

Did you know?

Employment of self-employed photographers is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Program Details

Complete one of our certificate programs, and you’ll be well-prepared to enter a career in photography. Or earn an associate degree for even greater advancement opportunities.

See Evening, Weekend and Online Courses

In less than 2 years
you can earn:
Certificate of Achievement

Prepare for an entry-level position as a photographer and videographer. Become skilled at using DSLR cameras, storytelling, event documentation, lighting, sound, post-production and business practices. View program detail in course catalog.

Prepare for a position as a digital tech assistant or photo assistant in the professional photography community. Learn digital photography, digital work flow, large-format digital capture and studio photography techniques. View program detail in course catalog.

Prepare for a career in photography through this program, which prepares you for an entry-level position as a photographer or photography assistant. Learn the technical skills of photography, evaluate photographic aesthetic strategies and create photographs that illustrate a critical understanding of visual language. View program detail in course catalog.

Build on your certificate
of achievement with a:
Certificate of Specialization

Or earn your
associate degree
in under 4 years

Complete the Photography-Still Certificate of Achievement and the Associate in Science graduation requirements to earn an associate degree. This program will prepare you for an entry-level position as a photographer or photography assistant. Learn the technical skills of photography, evaluate photographic aesthetic strategies and create photographs that illustrate a critical understanding of visual language. View program detail in course catalog.


To enroll in a Career Advantage program, you must first apply for admission to Orange Coast College. To apply, go to the Admissions Application Information webpage and review the information and requirements for admission. A link at the bottom of that page will take you to the CCCApply website, where you will be prompted to create an account so you can begin the application process.

Classes cost $46 per unit for residents of California. Classes vary in their unit value, but an average 3-unit class costs $138. There are additional fees required to register and additional costs associated with each program. Click here to view the estimated total costs of the program in this career cluster.

View this chart for the length of the core program.

This program offers online, evening and weekend courses. For details about offerings in this program, speak to a counselor or consult the class schedule. The class schedule tool searches through all Orange Coast College course offerings and includes a filter for online classes.

You can make an appointment in person, online or by phone.  Click here for more information about Counseling Services and how to make an appointment.

For general questions about enrollment, availability of classes and other services for prospective and current OCC students, call The Answer Center at 714-432-5772. For answers to specific questions you can speak to a counselor or to the faculty member listed on this program page.

Other Programs That Might Interest You

Man in t-shirt films actors in front of a brick wall

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Female student works at a monitor

Choose from our graphic design or user design programs to prepare for a career in the digital arts

Art student draws buildings with pencil

Prepare for a creative career in narrative illustration or art services

Did you know?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a certificate as
their highest level of education earned, on average, 20 percent more than
those whose highest education level is a high school diploma.

Our Team

Christina Anchondo, M.S.

CTE Outreach Specialist

Katie Ottoson

Katie Ottoson, M.S.

Counselor, CTE and
Career Services

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