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Modeling Requirements for Teens

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blonde teen fashion model image by Lisa McKown from

Sales advertisements, websites, television and cable advertising are always using teen models to promote and sell their products with an eye toward their audience, which are young teen customers. Companies promote thousands each day geared toward a teen audience, from skateboards to movie-related fashion and every item in between.

Working Requirements

Interested teens must first have parental consent to work in the modeling industry, and it’s important for teen models to have a strong support group to face the challenges involved in the often fast-paced industry. There is no set age requirement for models because advertisers need infants, preteen and teen models to sell their products. Likewise, there are no required educational minimums; however, background, training and experience are always another advantage toward getting work as a model. Many models who intend to add acting to their career path will attend acting, dance and other entertainment-related classes. This additional education often helps models secure further work, but it is no guarantee. According to the Teen Fashion Advice website, a teen model must be able “to move well in front of the camera and be animated.”

Making Your Modeling Career Work

Aspiring teen models and their parents should learn as much as possible about the modeling industry before trying to obtain work. Teen models need to create a portfolio of photos, which includes shots from previous work, because better paying and more work come from previous assignments. Another important factor to making your modeling career work is to develop a repetition for being good to work with; this can be the one item that sets you apart from the rest of the young models competing for the limited open positions in the modeling world. Be a professional—listening to the photographer and other creative people you will work with will vastly improve your ability to find work as a model. If you have a repetition as someone who is confrontational or demanding, you will get fewer job offers. This is also true if your parent or agent is difficult to get along with.

Working Environment

The job can be stressful and demanding, and employment is usually short term with some jobs only lasting a few hours. Models work in a variety of locations from the air-conditioned comfort of a studio to foreign countries in adverse weather conditions. Modeling can be an exciting and rewarding career choice that can last a lifetime.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010 to 2011 Edition, “Median hourly wages of models were $13.18 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $10.09 and $17.23. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.32, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $21.10.” Female models typically make more than their male counterparts for similar assignments, but the BLS projects that opportunities for male models will increase as society becomes more receptive to showcasing men’s fashion. Models often receive pay on a per-project rate. On some modeling assignments, models may receive free or discounted clothing in replace of or in addition to their regular pay. Models represented by a modeling agency may, in some cases, receive advances toward future earnings from agents to cover living and promotional expenses, but this is not always available.

Employment Outlook

According to the BLS, modeling jobs will increase faster than average between 2008 and 2018 because of the continued need by companies to advertise and promote goods and services. The BLS projects employment opportunities for models will increase by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018.


Steven W. Easley began writing professionally in 1981 as a newspaper reporter with the "Chester County Independent" in Henderson, Tenn. He is a freelance writer, screenwriter and professionally trained truck driver whose work has appeared in "P.I. Magazine" and "American Forests."