Photographic Imaging Technology

Photographic Imaging Technology

Program Overview

Awards/Outcomes Credits Location
 Photographic Imaging Technology - A.A.S. Degree 60 cr. Rosemount
 Photographic Imaging Technology - Diploma 32 cr. Rosemount
 Digital Imaging Technician - Certificate 24 cr. Rosemount
 Photographer Assistant - Certificate 23 cr. Rosemount

Major Description

Photography is a creative visual industry that requires highly trained people. The unique program at DCTC provides opportunities for students to learn all major aspects of photography through hands-on application of image capture, lighting, computer software, portraiture and print production. Required courses in design skills, video, color management, and business principles round out your experience as you get ready to enter the industry as a professional photographer. Whether you choose to start your own home-based business, or work for a large organization, you will find that your education at DCTC will provide both the foundational and advanced technical skills you need.

Camera Requirement

Effective fall semester 2015 all students enrolling in a photography program will be required to own a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) at the start of their first semester.

Recommended camera

Nikon D5300 with 18-55mm lens
Students entering the program who already own a DSLR camera must obtain instructor consent that their camera is a reasonable equivalent within the first week of class.

Credit for Prior Learning (CPL)

This program offers Credit for Prior Learning (CPL). Seek credit for life experience to accelerate your progress toward a degree, diploma, or certificate. Visit the CPL page to learn more.

Photographic Imaging Technology Advisor & Instructors
Amy Eppen
Amy Eppen
Enrollment Advisor and Financial Aid Specialist
Darrell Tangen
Darrell Tangen
William Eilers
William Eilers
Peter Latner
Peter Latner
See yourself in the Photographic Imaging Technology Program at DCTC!

Program Costs*

Photographic Imaging Technology
  Photographic Imaging Technology
A.A.S. Degree – 64 credits
Photographic Imaging Technology
Diploma – 32 credits
Digital Imaging Technician
Certificate – 24 credits
Photographer Assistant
Certificate – 23 credits
Tuition $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr. $168.95/cr.
Fees $21.45/cr. $21.45/cr. $21.45/cr. $21.45/cr.
Tools/Equipment $1,700 $800 $800 $800
Textbooks $700 $250 $250 $250
Supplies $650 $325 $325 $325
Personal Property Fee $500 $250 $250 $250
Grand Total $15,735.60 $7,717.80 $6,194.60 $6,004.20

Put Your Tuition on Ice!

That's right. Tuition will remain the same for the next two years, making your degree even more affordable. Learn more about the tuition freeze.

Scholarship Opportunities

Each year, Dakota County Technical College and the DCTC Foundation make more than $200,000 in scholarships available to our students. Students are encouraged to create an account and apply for scholarships online.

Work-Study & Student Worker Positions

Students looking for ways to help finance their college education can find part-time jobs on campus with various DCTC departments and programs. Deliver your completed Work-Study Application to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid and search for openings at College Central Network Services. For more information, you can review Work Study Procedure.

Financial Aid

Step 1: Apply now for financial aid. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
DCTC's Federal School Code: 010402

Step 2: After receiving an official award letter from DCTC, you may apply online for a Federal Stafford Student Loan. Visit the Loans page for more information.

Financial Aid Inforgraphic
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Photographic Imaging Technology

Work Environment

Graduates become photographers of all types as well as traditional and digital imaging specialists. Opportunities in new technologies and niche areas continue to grow as clients expect a more sophisticated variety of products and services. Advanced computer and software skills along with solid equipment operation provide the graduate with the foundation needed to advance and grow with the industry.

Job Outlook

The world of photography is replete with specialized niches. The best photographers find their niche and excel at providing superb examples of their art, but they are also versatile with a broad, working knowledge of many photographic subjects. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professional photographers perform six typical duties during their workday (the list is by no means complete):

  • Market and advertise services to attract clients
  • Analyze and decide how to compose a subject
  • Use various photographic techniques and equipment
  • Capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs
  • Enhance the subject’s appearance with natural or artificial light
  • Maintain a digital portfolio, often a website, to demonstrate work

ISEEK, Minnesota's career, education and job resource, reports that the outlook for photographers varies by employer. ISEEK: "The number of jobs in the newspaper and magazine industry will drop. In contrast, the demand for portrait photographers is increasing as the population grows. Additional job growth will be with news and wire services. Photographers will be needed to use digital equipment to transmit digital images. Rapid growth of Internet versions of magazines, journals, and newspapers will require commercial photographers to provide digital images. Use of the Internet will also allow freelance photographers the ability to market directly to customers. This will increase the opportunities for self-employment."

Salary Data

Potential Job Titles

  • Studio Photographer
  • Commercial Photographer / Assistant
  • Digital Production Assistant
  • Digital Printing Specialist
  • Digital Asset Management Technician
  • Freelance Photographer
See yourself in the Photographic Imaging Technology Program at DCTC!

Transfer Options

Photographic Imaging Technology

Articulation Agreements

Articulation Agreements are formal agreements between two or more colleges and universities to accept credits in transfer toward a specific academic program. DCTC has articulation agreements in place for this program with the following schools:

Transfer To Degree Major Offered  
Minnesota State University Moorhead BS Operations Management View

Transfer Resources

TransferologyDo you want to see how your courses transfer to programs at participating colleges and universities? Add the coursework you've taken and use Transferology to find out how it might transfer to any of the participating schools in the Transferology network. Get an account and create a plan now!


Minnesota Transfer.orgMN Your official guide to a seamless transfer experience in Minnesota Higher Education.

Transferring to DCTC?

Whether you're a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or an international student or transferring from high school or a four-year university, DCTC will help you through the process. Visit our Transfer Students page for more information.

See yourself in the Photographic Imaging Technology Program at DCTC!

News & Events

Photographic Imaging Technology

The Photographic Imaging Technology program at DCTC is active throughout the year and makes headlines in college publications. Read about student success in design competitions and student field trips, the accomplishments of our photographic imaging technology instructors, and the careers of program alumni.

Photographic Imaging Technology News

Upcoming Events

See yourself in the Photographic Imaging Technology Program at DCTC!

Clubs & Organizations

Photographic Imaging Technology

As a student in DCTC's Photographic Imaging Technology program, you have many opportunities to make connections in the photography industry through your involvement in professional clubs and organizations.

Getting Connected on Campus

DCTC features active, industry-relevant clubs for Photographic Imaging Technology students right on campus. Getting involved in these clubs allows you to make the most of your college experience and gives you an edge when seeking employment in the photography field. The following clubs are a must if you're at all interested in boosting your competitive moxie as a professional photographer:

SkillsUSA is a national nonprofit organization for students at community and technical colleges across the U.S. The organization focuses on students in academic programs that lead to careers in the trade, industrial, technical and health care fields. Nearly 100 SkillsUSA competitions at the state and national levels relate to leadership skills or programs of study at DCTC.

In 2012, DCTC fielded four national champions at the SkillsUSA National Championships at the National Leadership and Skills Conference in Kansas City, Mo. For more information about the competition, read "Students Dominate SkillsUSA Championships" in DCTC News, a DCTC publication.

In 2013, DCTC fielded 17 students at the nationals who ranked in the top 15 in the nation. For more information about the competition, read "DCTC Students Rock at SkillsUSA Nationals" on DCTC News.

DCTC Photons
The DCTC Photons is a student run organization that is open to all students and faculty who are interested in photography and the visual communications field. The club offers hands on opportunities to learn more about the visual communications field, through networking, workshops, volunteering and photo walks. You must be a current or registered student at Dakota County Technical College to be a member. All DCTC students and faculty are encouraged to become DCTC Photons.

For a complete list of extra curricular opportunities at DCTC, visit our Campus Life page.