No formal education is required and training is limited. Specific requirements depend on the client, but most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers.
Some aspiring models attend modeling schools that provide training in posing, walking, applying makeup, and other basic tasks. Attending such schools, however, does not necessarily lead to job opportunities. Some models are discovered when agents scout for “fresh faces” at modeling schools, but most agencies have “open calls” and allow applicants to email photos directly to the agency. Models who are well liked are then invited to be interviewed and seen in person by an agent. Some agencies sponsor modeling contests and searches.
Because models' advancement depends on their previous work, maintaining a good portfolio of high–quality, up-to-date photographs is important to getting assignments.
Models advance by working more regularly and being selected for assignments that have higher pay. They may appear in magazines, print campaigns, commercials, or runway shows with higher profiles. They may work with clients who will provide them with more widespread exposure.
A model's selection of an agency is an important factor for advancement in the occupation: the better the reputation and skill of the agency, the more assignments a model is likely to get.
Specific requirements depend on the client, but most models must be within certain ranges for height, weight, and clothing size to meet the needs of fashion designers, photographers, and advertisers. Requirements may change slightly from time to time, along with common public perceptions of physical beauty.
Courteous. Models must interact with a large number of people, so it is important to be polite, professional, prompt, and respectful.
Discipline. A model's career depends on the preservation of his or her physical characteristics, so models must control their diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to stay healthy and photogenic. Haircuts, pedicures, and manicures are necessary work-related expenses.
Organized. Models must be able to manage their portfolios and their work and travel schedules.
Persistence. Competition for jobs is strong and clients' needs are specific, so patience and persistence are essential.
Photogenic. Models spend most of their time being photographed. They must be comfortable in front of a camera for photographers to capture the desired look.
Style. Models must have a basic knowledge of hair styling, makeup, and clothing. For photographic and runway work, models must be able to move gracefully and confidently.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition