USA Career Guide - Actor

Education and Training of an Actor in the US

No particular academic degree is required for an actor. Some are born actors; some need training to perfect the job. However, these days most actors receive formal training. Actors hone their skills over years of performance.
Actors take formal training through an acting conservatory or a university drama or theater arts program. They can also train in colleges by taking classes in drama or film making. Community colleges, acting conservatories, and private film schools offer classes in drama, film making, production and acting.

Aspiring actors begin their career by acting in high school and college plays. In television and films, actors usually start out in smaller roles before moving on to bigger productions.

Related Instructional Programs for Acting in USA

  • Acting
  • Directing and Theatrical Production
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theater Arts
  • Dramatic/Theater Arts and Stagecraft
  • Musical Theater

 Pay of an Actor in the US

Median hourly wages, May 2010

Entertainers and Performers, Sports and Related Workers: $17.93
Actors: $17.44
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics)

Industry Overview

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of actors is expected to improve by only 4 percent from 2010 to 2020. Production companies in the US are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may result for more work for actors in the future. However, online television and mobiles is at a very nascent stage and will take time to flourish. Theaters and stage productions have funding problem and therefore lesser scope of employment. Larger theater productions, however, have scope for employment.

Job prospects of an actor in the US

  • Theater companies
  • Motion Picture companies
  • Television and video shows
  • Performing arts companies

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