How to Become a

Nude Modeling

The complete career guide to be a Nude Modeling: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $37,240
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • Get to Travel
    Career Attribute
  • Skill-Based Work
    Career Attribute

When people think of nude modeling, they often think of publications like Playboy and Penthouse. But posing for erotic magazines is just one facet of nude modeling. Nude models also commonly pose for art projects: for a class of art students, or for professional photographers collecting photos for an art show.

What is a Nude Modeling?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in nude modeling roles:

  • Pose for photos, drawings, or paintings without clothing
  • Hold poses for long periods of time in order to allow artists to capture features accurately
  • Alter facial expressions, poses, and gestures to create the impression the photographer or artist is aiming for
  • Sit for hair styling and makeup application prior to photo shoots
  • Maintain a portfolio and composite card, and actively seek new modeling opportunities

A Day in the Life

Within the career field of nude modeling, there are two major opportunities. The first is posing for erotica publications and magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. For these opportunities, models pose with little or no clothes on. They may pose with their entire bodies in view, or they may mask certain body parts with their arms or legs. Like any other type of model, nude models must engage in long photo shoots, expressing a variety of emotions and posing their bodies to represent the theme or impression the photographer wants to create with the published photograph.

Another type of nude model is an art model. While art models may pose for photographs, they more often pose for classes of art students who draw, sketch, or paint the model. Art models may pose with their clothes on, but more often their purpose is to teach students how to capture all aspects of the human body through their chosen art medium. Nude art models may also work with individual artists who specialize in painting, drawing, or photographing nude models.

In addition to modeling, nude models must work to find new jobs frequently. Often, a nude model’s job lasts for a day, a few weeks, or a few months, so they frequently must go out and scout for new opportunities. Many choose to work with modeling agencies to handle this part of the work. Nude models who work with modeling agencies pay a commission to the agency on all jobs the agency finds for them, so the agency takes care of a considerable amount of the work of scouting opportunities and submitting model portfolios and composite cards.

Typical Work Schedule

There is no typical working schedule for nude models, and most will work whatever hours are needed in order to secure opportunities. They may be required to work during the day, in the evening, or on weekends, and their schedules may vary between part-and full-time throughout the year. They may also be required to travel for some photo shoots or to meet with potential clients for auditions.

Typical Employers

For the most part, nude models are self-employed, though they typically have contracts with agencies that help them find and secure work. Their clients often include erotic magazines like Penthouse and Playboy, art instructors, colleges, and professional artists.

How To Become a Nude Modeling

A high school diploma is normally a sufficient level of education for finding work as a nude model. In many cases, having an attractive physique, interesting characteristics, and a willingness to be naked in front of an audience is sufficient to succeed as a nude model. Unlike other types of models, there aren’t necessarily height and weight requirements. The desires for the look, height, and weight of the model varies greatly depending on the client, and artists tend to look for models of all body types as muses.

Though no formal education is required, some aspiring nude models find it beneficial to attend modeling school at trade or vocational institutions. Modeling school teaches aspiring models how to vary facial expressions and how to pose to aid photographers in capturing the best possible photographs. However, one of the bigger benefits of attending modeling school is the ability to start building a portfolio and composite card, which will be needed to find clients and apply for modeling agency representation.

While being represented by a modeling agency isn’t required for nude models, having an agency can help lighten the burden on the model of constantly seeking new opportunities. While modeling agencies may not work to find positions for nude art models, they may have connections in the industry that allow models they represent to find work in major publications that need nude models for photo shoots. For this reason, many nude models choose to contract with modeling agencies during their careers.

Nude Modeling Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Nude Modeling salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Nude Modeling's can make an average annual salary of $37,240, or $18 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,780 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #579 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Nude Modelings

  • 0.4%   Doctorate
  • 2.4%   Masters
  • 18.4%   Bachelors
  • 8.8%   Associates
  • 27.6%   College
  • 30.7%   High School
  • 11.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Nude Modeling job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of --- jobs for a total of 5,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a --- change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #594 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Nude Modelings

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Clothing stores 2,700 -300 0%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 1,000 --- 0%
Self-employed workers 500 --- ---

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