Careers Involving Art & Performing Artists

Jan 17, 2020

Career Options Involving Art & Performing Artists

Being involved in the arts can make for an exciting career. Some artists perform their art in live events, while others record it for future viewing. Below are great career options for people who like art or performing art for others.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Actor $17.54 per hour 1%
Singer or Musician $28.15 per hour Little to no change
Dancer $16.31 per hour 1%
Choreographer $47,800 -3%
Director $71,680 (for all producers and directors) 5% (for all producers and directors)
Set and Exhibit Designer $54,270 5%
Costume Attendant $45,900 9%
Performance Makeup Artist $64,250 (for all makeup artists, theatrical and performance) 7% (for all makeup artists, theatrical and performance)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information Involving Art & Performing Artists


Actors perform creative works written by playwrights or screenwriters for the entertainment of others. Everything they do in front of a camera or before an audience is performing an artistic piece. They work in a variety of locations, from studio sets to theme parks. They don't need a formal degree, but some formal training in drama is usually helpful for getting jobs.

Singer or Musician

Singers transform written music into song in front of audiences or inside recording studios. Musicians continually hone their skill of playing instruments, which they often play in performances either in front of live audiences or in recording studios. Each time they sing or play, they are performing art. They usually don't need a formal degree, but extensive training in these disciplines is needed in order to become successful.


Dancers express art through movement on stage in front of live audiences and or a camera for recorded sessions. They perform art every time they get on stage. In their careers, they will perform many auditions, learn many dance routines, and adapt their dance technique to each performance. Dancers need many years of formal training, although formal degrees are not required.


Choreographers create dance routines for trained dancers to perform. Once a choreographer develops a routine, they work with dancers to see their art performed on stage or in front of a camera. Choreographers almost always are dancers first, and to become a choreographer, one must study dance for years. No formal degree is required, but formal training is.


Directors work behind the scenes to bring a script or play to life. They take scripts and plays, which are the art of the writers, and craft them into performances either for film, television, or the stage by instructing actors on what they should do. Their work centers on the performing arts. Directors usually need a bachelor's degree and experience working in the film or theater industry.

Set and Exhibit Designer

Set and exhibit designers study scripts in order to produce accurate sets for performance events, from plays to films. They discuss their set designs with directors and perform research in order to produce accurate backgrounds. Their artistic efforts are part of performance art every time they are used in front of an audience. Set and exhibit designers may get bachelor's degrees in this field, but the most important thing is to have experience.

Costume Attendants

Costume attendants work in the performing arts in the capacity of dressing those who perform. They fit actors for costumes, help them dress, and take care of the costumes for the actors. They also assist with changes between scenes. Costume attendants need at least a high school diploma.

Performance Makeup Artist

Performance makeup artists use makeup to enhance the appearance of actors and make them look more like their characters and better reflect the scenes they are in. They work with performing artists and directors to make sure their makeup is on target. Performance makeup artists need training, such as attending a certificate program, but no formal degree is necessary.

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