Careers for Actors

Jan 19, 2020

Actors have skills that can be advantageous in other career fields, and those that are looking for a different career may want to consider opportunities in entertainment, education, communications and sales.

Career Options for Actors

Actors are entertainers who assume the roles of characters. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that as of May 2016, the median hourly wage for actors was $18.70, and that in 2014 approximately 33% of all actors worked part time. Since full-time work is not always available, actors may pursue work in other career fields in which they can take advantage of their acting abilities.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Models $17.54 1%
Producers and Directors $71,680 5%
Postsecondary Drama Teachers $69,960 (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers) 8% (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers)
Writers and Authors $62,170 0%
Announcers $31,990 -15%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Actors


Models do not need formal training. They present products in a way that's intended to make people interested in those products. Since actors have experience taking direction from camera crews they will understand how to follow direction while posing for photographs or preparing for other modeling tasks, such as walking on a runway. Actors also understand how to use their facial expressions and body movements to communicate with an audience, which can make them effective models.

Producers and Directors

Producers and directors are involved in making film or theater productions. They typically need to have a bachelor's degree and prior experience in a related career, such as acting. Actors work with producers and directors when they're hired for roles, and may want to explore opportunities in this line of work to expand their filmmaking skills. While producers are involved in the practical aspects of filmmaking, such as hiring staff, directors oversee actors and crew members and provide direction so that the production is a success.

Postsecondary Drama Teachers

While many institutions expect postsecondary teachers to have a doctoral degree, it can be possible to enter this profession with a master's degree and work at a community college. Postsecondary drama teachers hold classes in which they instruct students about drama and acting. Actors may want to pursue a career teaching drama so that they can take advantage of their acting skills.

Writers and Authors

Writers and authors produce things such as blog posts and film scripts. Writers and authors normally need a bachelor's degree for salaried work in this field. Since actors work from scripts they understand how scripts should be structured and they also have insight about how characters and stories should be developed. This can be an advantage for actors who decide to pursue a writing career.


Depending on where they're employed, announcers may only need a high school diploma or may be expected to have a bachelor's degree. They often work in radio or television and introduce information to their audience. They may conduct interviews or discuss topics. Actors typically have good vocal skills and may be suited to this type of work since they understand how to verbally present information so that their delivery is clear and compelling.

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