In our day and age, entertainers and journalists have many platforms which allow them to showcase their work.
However, these industries are highly competitive, and building a successful career requires a lot of work.
If you want to start a career in the entertainment or media industry, this page is for you.
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Find Your Career Path
If you want a career in the entertainment industry or the world of media, this page will provide you with a lot of information about a variety of occupations, so keep reading.
These fields cover a variety of professions, from singers and actors to agents and managers.
Musicians and singers held 157,300 jobs in the United States in 2020.
Actors occupied 51,600 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many of the workers in the entertainment industry are self-employed, but some work for a company.
Their biggest employer for musicians was the field of religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, or similar organizations, which hired about half of them.
About 36 percent of all musicians and singers were self-employed.
Many workers in the entertainment industry work irregular hours and may have to face periods of unemployment.
Dancers, musicians, and theater actors may work long workdays during tours, spending most of their day in rehearsals and performing at night.
Some professions give you the possibility of becoming a teacher later in your career.
For example, choreographers may teach dance lessons in a dance school.
Getting a second job is a way to make end meets, especially for beginners who try to become known and build a reputation in this highly competitive field.
For most entertainment occupations there are no formal education requirements, however, taking classes can help perfect your craft.
Many actors learn acting skills through dramatic education, and some participate in long-term training.
Although you can achieve success as an actor without any formal education, many theater actors complete a formal preparation period through an acting conservatory or theater arts university program.
There are no formal education requirements for musicians or singers in popular music but performers of classical music usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in music theory or performance.
Undergraduate music programs are available at many colleges, and they usually teach students about music theory and styles as well as methods of improving instrumental and vocal techniques.
Diction classes are also included in voice training programs.
Regardless of the type of music you want to create and/or perform, musicians and singers need extensive training and regular practice to perfect their skills.
Entertainment professionals also need special skills, such as creativity, physical stamina, persistence, and communication skills.
Marketing skills can also help you succeed in the entertainment industry.
You need to know how to promote your art through local communities, word of mouth, and social media.
Building a fan base is important, especially for musicians and singers.
Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree and a few years of experience in an occupation related to the motion picture industry, in television, or as theater actors, film editors, or a related position.
Among the degree fields that can help you become a producer or director are film, cinema, communications theory, theater, or arts management.
Education and training requirements for dancers and choreographers vary with the type of dance they practice.
Regardless of the type of dance, they need many years of training and practice.
Ballet dancers, especially girls, start at a very young age, usually before they turn 8, and most of them begin their professional career at the age of 18 or even sooner.
Professional dance companies usually offer full-time training programs, and they select their students through an intensive summer training program.
Most choreographers begin their careers as dancers.
Some dancers and choreographers pursue a form of post-secondary education and earn a degree in dance or choreography.
Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in dance are available at many colleges and universities across the nation.
Most programs cover a variety of dance styles, from modern dance and hip hop to jazz and ballet.
You will need previous training before admission to a college program in dance.
If you want to become a model, you may have to start preparing in your teens.
Specific requirements for models vary depending on the employer and the physical characteristics needed for a specific project.
Most models have to remain within a certain height, weight, and clothing size throughout their careers.
Modeling agencies usually allow applicants to email photos directly to the agency.
There are also modeling schools that teach those who want to start a career in this field about posing, walking, makeup, and other tasks.
In the entertainment industry, advancement usually means becoming better known, finding work easier, and earning money for your performances.
This section also includes media careers.
News analysts, reporters, and journalists usually have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communication.
Completing an internship or working for your high school or college newspaper can help you start a career in journalism.
Salaries in the entertainment industry vary widely depending on a variety of factors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage reported by actors was $21.88, with hourly wages ranging between less than $11 per hour and more than $65.
Famous actors, especially those who make movies, earn much more than this, but most actors earn hourly wages that are in the range mentioned above.
The median hourly rate for singers was $31.40- higher than the one reported for actors.
The lowest 10 percent of all singers and musicians reportedly made less than $11.17 per hour, while the highest 10 percent made more than $87.47 per hour.
Lower hourly wages were reported by choreographers and dancers who made $21 and $18.58 per hour respectively- on average.
The highest hourly wage was reported for dancers who worked in the field of educational services- where the median annual wage for workers in this profession was $25.37- higher than the median for this profession across all industries.
Producers and directors earn $76,400 per year on average as of May 2020, with most salaries ranging between $36,000 and $185,000.
Salaries vary widely depending on the industry of employment.
Directors and producers in the advertising field reported a median annual wage of $95,260, while those in performing arts were remunerated with $62,860 per year.
Some directors and producers earn a percentage of ticket sales, and those who are very successful have impressively high earnings, but most producers and directors do not.
The modeling profession is remunerated with $15.34 per hour, on average, according to BLS.
Rates for models vary between less than $12 and more than $60, and as with any entertainment profession, the most successful models make much more than this, but those who achieve a high level of success are few.
Successful entertainers usually rely on agents or managers to help them find new projects and negotiate contracts on their behalf.
According to BLS, the median annual wage reported by agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes in 2020 was $75,420, with salaries ranging between less than $36,000 and more than $190,000.
The median annual wage for news analysts, reporters, and journalists was $49,300 as of May 2020.
Salaries for these media occupations range between less than $26,000 and more than $125,000, depending on reputation, the region, employer, the level of experience, and many other factors.
Careers in the media industry are usually more financially stable than those in the entertainment field, but beginners don’t make much money either.
Most journalists work full-time with varying schedules.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for entertainment and sports occupations is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.
About 160,600 new entertainment and sports jobs will appear in the next decade.
This growth is explained by the strong demand for movies and televisions and the increasing popularity of sports.
Employment growth varies depending on the occupation.
The actor profession will grow 32 percent from 2020 to 2030, with 8,200 new job openings each year.
Employment of musicians and singers will grow 11 percent by 2030, with 20,800 new job openings occurring each year.
Digital downloads and streaming platforms make it easier for musicians to make their music accessible to more public.
Music will also be needed for advertisements or other commercial purposes.
Musicians and singers may find additional work opportunities as backup artists and session musicians for recordings and tours.
Much of this expected job growth for entertainment occupations is caused by the recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
Many theater and production companies stopped performances during the pandemic, but new job openings are expected to occur as the industry recovers and operations resume.
The employment demand for actors will also be driven by streaming services and other online-only platforms.
In this section, we have also included reporters, news analysts, and journalists, a profession that will grow by 6 percent from 2020 to 2030.
While many new job openings will appear as the world recovers from the COVID 19 pandemic, the long-term demand for workers in the media industry will be affected by the declining advertising revenue.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I start a career in the entertainment industry?
Most entertainers discover their passion in childhood and begin their training at an early age.
For example, ballet dancers usually start at a very young age, and many musicians also begin in childhood.
There are also undergraduate programs in music, acting, and dance for those who want to earn a degree.
Are there any training programs that can make me a better entertainer?
Although there are no formal education requirements for most entertainment careers, there are schools that can help perfect your skills.
Some professions, such as classical music performer or music conductor, usually require a bachelor’s degree.
Regardless of the profession, you need a lot of practice before becoming successful, and you need to continue to perfect your skills throughout your career.
You also need to know how to build and maintain a fan base, especially if you want to become a musician or singer.
Will entertainment and media careers continue to be needed in the future?
Most entertainment and media careers will grow in the future decade, with rates that vary between 6 and more than 30 percent.
Much of this expected job growth for entertainment occupations is explained by the recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
Many entertainment companies stopped performances during the pandemic, but the demand is expected to recover as operations resume.
Is it possible to have a stable career as an entertainer?
Many musicians, actors, singers, and other performers find work only part-time and may face long periods of unemployment.
There are only a few who make a very good living from practicing their art.
Despite this, there are also ways to have financial stability as an entertainer.
For example, if you have experience as a dancer, you can become a dance teacher at a school and thus have a fixed wage.
However, many entertainers have a side job in another occupation and perform only part-time.