Quick Facts: Actors
2012 Median Pay $20.26 per hour
Entry-Level Education Some college, no degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2012 79,800
Job Outlook, 2012-22 4% (Slower than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 3,300

What Actors Do

Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, television, and other performing arts media. They also work at theme parks or other live events. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.

Work Environment

Most actors work under pressure and are often under the stress of having to find their next job.

How to Become an Actor

Many actors enhance their skills through formal dramatic education, and long-term training is common.


The median hourly wage for actors was $20.26 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of actors is projected to grow 4 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations.


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