Page updated 3/30/2015
Actor Jobs | Actor Careers | Auditions and Casting
Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, movies, television, and other performing arts media. They work at theme parks or other live events. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.
Most work under pressure and are often under the stress of having to find their next job. Work assignments are usually short, ranging from 1 day to a few months, and actors often hold another job to make a living. While working on location for a movie or television show and sometimes in a studio, actors may perform in unpleasant conditions, such as in bad weather or while wearing an uncomfortable costume.
Work hours for actors are long and irregular. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. Few actors work full time, and many have variable schedules. Those who work in theater may travel with a touring show across the country. Film and television actors may also travel to work on location.
Please choose the City or State in which you would like to search our Actor Jobs Board Listings. Once you choose the City or State in the USA below the link will take you to Actor Jobs postings. These Jobs Listings allow you to search a broad category of Actor related employment. Actors typically perform acting in movies, on stage, or on television.
Many actors enhance their skills through formal dramatic education. Many who specialize in theater have bachelor’s degrees, although a degree is not required. Although some people succeed in acting without getting a formal education, most actors acquire some formal preparation through an acting conservatory or a university drama or theater arts program. Students can take college classes in drama or filmmaking to prepare for a career as an actor. Classes in dance or music may help as well.
Actors who do not have a college degree may take acting or film classes to learn their craft. Community colleges, acting conservatories, and private film schools typically offer these classes. Many theater companies also have education programs. A bachelor’s degree in theater is becoming more common among stage actors.
It takes many years of practice to develop the skills needed to be successful as an actor, and actors never truly finish training. They work to improve their acting skills throughout their career. Many actors continue to train through workshops or mentoring by a drama coach.
Every role is different, and an actor may need to learn something new for each one. For example, a role may require learning how to sing or dance, or an actor may have to learn to speak with an accent or to play a musical instrument or sport. Many aspiring actors participate in high school, college, and local community plays. In television and film, actors usually start out in smaller roles or independent movies and work their way up to bigger productions.
As an actor’s reputation grows, he or she may work on bigger projects or in more prestigious venues. Some actors become producers and directors.
The median hourly wage for actors was $20.26 in May 2012. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $8.92, and the top 10 percent earned more than $90.00 in May 2012.
Work hours for actors are long and irregular. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. Few actors work full time, and many have variable schedules. Those who work in theater may travel with a touring show across the country. Actors in movies may also travel to work on location
Compared with workers in all occupations, actors had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2012. Many film and television actors join Screen Actors Guild/American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG/AFTRA), whereas many stage actors join the Actors’ Equity Association. Union membership can help actors receive bigger parts for more money, although dues can be expensive for actors who are beginning their careers.
Employment of actors is projected to grow 4 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Job growth in the motion picture industry will stem from continued strong demand for new movies and television shows. However, employment is not expected to keep pace with that demand.
Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as video on demand and online television, which may lead to more work for actors in the future. However, these delivery methods are still in their early stages, and it remains to be seen how successful they will be.
Actors who work in performing arts companies are expected to see slower job growth than those in film. Many small and medium-size theaters have difficulty getting funding. As a result, the number of performances is expected to decline. Large theaters, with their more stable sources of funding, should provide more opportunities.
Actors face intense competition for jobs. Most roles, no matter how minor, have many actors auditioning for them. For stage roles, actors with a bachelor’s degree in theater may have a better chance than those without one.
|State||1st Largest City||2nd Largest City|
|Arkansas||Little Rock||Fort Smith|
|California||Los Angeles||San Diego|
|Iowa||Des Moines||Cedar Rapids|
|Louisiana||New Orleans||Baton Rouge|
|Missouri||Kansas City||Saint Louis|
|New Jersey||Newark||Jersey City|
|New Mexico||Albuquerque||Las Cruces|
|New York||New York||Buffalo|
|South Dakota||Sioux Falls||Rapid City|
|Utah||Salt Lake City||West Valley City|