Actors


Overview

Introduction

Actors play parts or roles in dramatic productions on the stage, in motion pictures, on television or radio, or on the Internet. They impersonate, or portray, characters by speech, gesture, song, and dance. There are approximately 63,800 actors working in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$36,483

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Employment Prospects

Good

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

School and community theater


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Skills

Interpersonal


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Personality Traits

Artistic

Earnings

The wage scale for actors is largely controlled through bargaining agreements reached by various unions in negotiations with producers. These agreements normally control the minimum salaries, hours of work permitted per week, and other conditions of employment. In addition, each artist enters into a separate contract that may provide for higher salaries.

In 2019-20, the minimum daily sal...

Work Environment

Actors work under varying conditions. Those employed in motion pictures may work in air-conditioned studios one week and be on location in a hot desert the next. Working hours also vary, and evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. About 1 in 4 actors worked part time in 2019.

Those in stage productions perform under all types of conditions. The number of hours employed per day or w...

Outlook

Employment in acting is expected to show little or no change through 2028, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. There are a number of reasons for this. On the positive side, the rise of online streaming services and proprietary content has led to an uptick in acting opportunities in film and television. However, employment for actors in theater is expected to grow more slowly than for act...

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