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The Average Salary of an Art Picture Framer

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A picture framer puts all kinds of keepsake items for preservation inside a frame. These can include paintings, photos, certificates, baby slippers, sport jerseys and many other items. Picture framers work in a retail environment, often in art galleries or arts and craft stores. There are a number of dynamics that can impact the earnings potential of a picture framer. However the three most important factors are experience, location and industry.

Average Earnings

PayScale data from November 2010 reveals that the total salary of picture framers ranges between $19,460 and $28,815 per year. This includes bonuses plus commission, ranging widely from $295.40 to $5,602 per year.


Industry is the biggest single factor affecting a picture framers income. The November 2010 PayScale data shows that framers working in art galleries can earn up to sixty percent more than their counterparts working in lower paying industries. The earnings range for a picture framer in an art gallery is between $9.89 and $15.84 per hour. A similar individual working in an arts and craft retail store earns just $8.08 to $10.13. The frames/wall decor industry offers low rates similar to the retail industry. Framers having trouble finding work in art galleries should consider working in the art and picture framing services industry which pays from $9.82 to $13.71 hourly.

The Benefit of Experience

Experience is a major factor in an art picture framer’s potential income. Those new to the field with under one year experience earn a modest $7.56 to $8.26 per hour, based on PayScale Nov 2010 data. However, those individuals with one to four years’ experience see a substantial rise in earnings to $8.44 to $11.28 per hour. Framers with five to nine years’ experience may see another substantial increase in their income to the range of $9.80 to $13.62 hourly. The data shows that picture framers reach a plateau for the next ten years, with only a slight rise in income to between $10.47 and $14.49 per hour. With twenty years or more experience, framers may see another welcome pay increase to around $10.04 to $16.69 per hour.


The third biggest factor in the earnings of an art picture framer is location. Framers living in the highest paying states of Texas, New York and California could earn between $14.75 and $16.34 per hour on the high end, according to PayScale data November 2010. This is in contrast to lower paying states such as North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Florida, where the highest hourly rate for framers ranges between $11.17 and $12.51.

Other Factors

Art picture framers who obtain employment that offers health benefits should consider themselves fortunate. The November 2010 PayScale data reveals that only one in two picture framers have medical benefits. Even fewer still have dental benefits (16 percent) or vision benefits (10 percent).


Stephen Jeske began writing professionally in 2010 for various websites. He is a former partner in a 49-year-old family business and has been a private investor for over three decades. Jeske holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Specialized Honors Music from York University.