First let me say that there are two types of amateur photographers. Those who are just beginning with photography and those who have the financial stability to stay forever free and photograph what inspires them.
Professional photographer doesn’t mean that a person is master of the art, it simply means that photography is their job and they are being paid to do it.
The benefit of being the 2nd type amateur photographer is the freedom of pursuing your inspiration. That can be traveling the world, photographing family events or simply roaming the streets and documenting everyday life.
Staying an amateur photographer is an expensive thing. As mentioned above, it means that you need to have financial stability to afford it.
Professional photographers in many cases are getting free gear and also their travels are being paid by the clients, while the amateurs, need to pay for everything by themselves to satisfy their passion.
That is why many 1st type amateur photographers with low income are becoming professionals, they simply can’t afford to follow their dream if they have a day job with average salary. So the best way to stay with photography is to make it your day job.
Amateur photographers can also earn money from their work. There are masters of photography that are selling prints for thousands of dollars in art galleries or trough personal websites. The big difference is that they are selling product of their inspiration and not an image that a client demanded of them to make.