Models work for fashion and apparel companies or as contract workers with studios who participate in shoots for many companies. If you have interest in professional modeling, the good news is the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an above-average 15 percent growth rate for modeling careers from 2012 to 2022.

Facts About Pay

The BLS reports that the average pay for all models was $26,600 per year as of May 2013. The top 10 percent of earners made at or above $45,200 per year, while the bottom 10 percent made $16,460 or less. However, top-end pay runs much higher than any of those figures. For example, Brazilian model Gisele B√ľndchen earned $45 million during a one-year period from May 1, 2011 to May 1, 2012, according to an article in Forbes. That topped the list of top-paid models for the period. If you want to achieve elite pay, develop a career with Victoria's Secret. The lingerie chain produced about half of the top-paid models featured in the Forbes earnings list.

Industry Data

Many models don't have a big window of opportunity to earn a living. A typical fashion model career might last as little as three seasons, or roughly one-and-a-half years, according to "The New York Times." Despite the growth opportunities noted by the BLS, models competed for only 5,470 jobs as of May 2013. Clothing stores are far and away the largest employer of models, accounting for 3,700 of the jobs. However, this sector had low average pay at $19,300 per year as of May 2013.