Successful magicians must be committed entertainers who perfect their talents through intensive practice and training. Aspiring magicians can train in the art of illusion through continuing education programs offered at a college, or by becoming a member of an organization for professional magicians. Joining a club is a good way to learn essential magic skills, such as sleight of hand and diversion techniques.
Magicians are entertainers who practice the art of illusion. Although magicians don't need to complete any formal education, they do need to learn the tricks of the trade and develop their showmanship skills. Two types of programs are available to learn the magical arts: continuing education courses at a college and training through a professional magicians' organization.
|Required Education||None, though formal training is available|
|Other Requirements||Creativity, performance skills, dexterity|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||6% for all types of entertainers and performers, sports and related workers|
|Median Salary||$80,000 for all magicians in 2016**, $17.64 per hour for all types of entertainers and performers, sports and related workers in 2015*|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Continuing Education Programs for Magicians
Rather than educational credentials, a career as a magician depends on talent, practice and experience. Like most entertainers, magicians typically have a high school diploma. Colleges generally don't offer undergraduate or graduate degree programs in the magical arts; however, some colleges may offer magician training courses through continuing education programs.
Magician training courses are usually 1-meeting survey classes that last a few hours and don't require enrollment with the school. Students learn to execute sleight-of-hand illusions using everyday items, such as playing cards, coins and ropes, from experienced magicians. They may also practice the art of distraction and develop their own routines. Instructors may provide students with additional resources and instructions for continuing magician training beyond the course. While they may offer useful introductory training, these programs are meant to teach magic as a hobby for entertaining friends, family and co-workers.
Professional Magicians' Organization Training Programs
Those interested in pursuing a career as a professional magician can seek further training through magician clubs. These clubs foster professional improvement by uniting amateur and experienced magicians. They may share techniques, discuss topics of the magical arts, perform for each other and offer constructive criticism. Organizations such as the Academy of Magical Arts (www.magiccastle.com) and the Society of American Magicians (www.magicsam.com) offer memberships specifically for young and beginning magicians who need additional career guidance.
Along with training, magic clubs offer supplementary resources and activities to connect magicians. Each club typically holds its own annual convention where magicians participate in lectures, workshops and performances. Clubs are often divided into regional chapters that hold monthly local gatherings. Some clubs create their own publications. The International Brotherhood of Magicians, for example, distributes a monthly magazine, The Linking Ring, to members and subscribers (www.magician.org). Magic clubs usually require candidates to audition and pay membership fees.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes magicians as part of the larger occupational group of entertainers and performers, sports and related workers. The median hourly wage for this group was $17.64 in May 2015, according to the BLS. As of January 2016, PayScale.com noted that magicians had a wide salary range; most magicians who provided salary data to PayScale.com earned between $11,920 and $528,506 at that time. However, it's important to note that this reflects a small sample size of magician salaries.
Magicians can entertain as a hobby or as a profession, and training can happen through college classes or membership in a club. Joining a club for magicians often requires an audition and membership fee. Not only can these clubs serve as a resource for skill building and training, but members often meet to share trade secrets, talk about themes related to magic, and to receive feedback on their performances.