Career Detail


Actor, Producer, and Director
“Acting up!”
They interpret a writer's script to entertain, inform, or instruct an audience.
The Job
Actors perform in stage, radio, television, video, or motion picture productions.Producers are entrepreneurs who make the business and financial decisions involving a motion picture, made-for-television feature, or stage production.Directors are responsible for the creative decisions of a production.
Work Environment
Actors, producers, and directors work under constant pressure. Many face stress from the continual need to find their next job.
College Majors
Arts, theater, film.
Minimum Qualifications
People who become actors, producers, and directors follow many paths to employment. The most important qualities employers look for are creative instincts, innate talent, and the intellectual capacity to perform.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Physical appearance, such as having certain features and being the specified size and weight, often is a deciding factor in who gets a particular role.
Quick Facts
  • Actors endure long periods of unemployment, intense competition for roles, and frequent rejections in auditions.
  • Formal training through a university or acting conservatory is typical; however, many actors, producers, and directors find work on the basis of their experience and talent alone.
  • Because earnings may be erratic, many supplement their incomes by holding jobs in other fields; however, the most successful actors, producers, and directors may have extraordinarily high earnings.
Compensation and Outlook
Median hourly wages of actors were $16.59 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.81 and $29.57. Median annual wages of producers and directors were $64,430 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $41,890 and $105,070. Median annual wages were $85,940 in the motion picture and video industry and $55,380 in radio and television broadcasting.
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