Many girls – and boys – have dreamed of becoming a professional model, and one day be a well-paid and famous personality seen on catwalks, in magazines and on TV.

In this article you can read about the step to becoming a model – and what a professional model actually does for a living (it’s not always as glamorous as it sounds). We will also look at some of the typical questions, like:

  • How tall do you have to be to be a model?
  • How much does a model get paid?
  • How many years does it take to become a model?
  • What are the steps to becoming a model?
Model Modelling Beauty Fashion
A model poses for photography, typically in clothing magazines, posters and commercials.

What does a model actually do?

As a model, you make your appearance for photography and other types of marketing material

  • A model is often booked through a model agency
  • Poses for pictures in clothing catalogs, magazines etc
  • Photography for advertising images, as a poster image for brands, typically fashion or beauty
  • Can also be hired as a “live” model, for instance to be used in exhibitions and shows

Only a smaller percentage of models that can actually make a living by being a full-time model. For many girls, it is a supplementing income. The most popular models can make a very good earning, and then there are even fewer of the so-called supermodels (like Naomi Campbell, Kendall Jenner, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima and Cindy Crawford). They are actual celebrities and can even have their own clothing brands, perfumes and so forth.

The steps to become a model

Being a professional model is not an education you can take. It is a job you are selected for through a modelling agency. The title of model is used for people who are getting paid to be in photographs, so this can be used in many types of scenarios. However, being recruited as a model, typically takes place in one of the following ways:

Get ready:

  • Be the best you can be. Eat healthy, maintain your appearance and get a good head shot/website (no Photoshop!) to share
  • Get measured and know your stats
  • Prepare yourself: Modelling is not just about a pretty face. It takes perseverance, good personality and good integrity.
  • Learn about the industry: Study the agencies, other portfolios and the types of modelling.

Then, be chosen in one of the following ways:

  • You are randomly chosen on the street, because someone from a modelling agency spots you
    You can participate in public events and be “discovered” through this – that might be a beauty contest, a TV show or something else.
  • You might also present yourself to a modelling agency if you believe you have what it takes, or to other people who hire models

What are the requirements to becoming a model?

To become a model, you typically have to meet a number of requirements.

  • The height is typically 172-184 cm for women (5 feet 8 – 5 feet 11) and
  • 183-190 cm for men.
  • The weight is typically 50-60 kg for women, but it may vary. Agencies might be looking for something different.
  • Most female models start when they are 14-15 year old, for men it is typically between 18-25 years.

What else do you need besides good looks?

Good looks are not everything. Pretty faces are everywhere. Here are some other very important factors:

  • Be photogenic
  • Have the right body proportions and
  • Has facial and bodily symmetry
  • Your body and face might also have certain special characteristics that attract a modelling agency. There is not a specific formula as to what beauty is
  • Know your stats and educate yourself on modelling
  • Have a portfolio
The most famous models make it to fashion shows and catwalks. They can make a very good living from a career on professional modeling.

How much money does a model make?

A model can make anywhere from 100-250$ an hour or 1.500$-10.000$ per day doing modelling, all depending on your agency, the client and the job in question.

Work for advertising agencies typically pays more, because the images will be used in many types of public display.

Recommended links

More you can become