Page menu

Career Opportunities in Drama

General Areas of Service
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. The best way to prepare for a career as an actor, especially in the theater, is through formal dramatic training. Producers, and especially directors, need experience in the field, either as actors or in other related jobs.

Education and Training
*Formal dramatic training, either through an acting conservatory or a university program, generally is necessary for these jobs, but some people successfully enter the field without it. Most people studying for a bachelor's degree take courses in radio and television broadcasting, communications, film, theater, drama, or dramatic literature. Many stage actors continue their academic training and receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree. Advanced curricula may include courses in stage speech and movement, directing, playwriting, and design, as well as intensive acting workshops.

Job Outlook
*Employment in these occupations is expected to grow 4 percent during the 2010–20 decade, slower than the average for all occupations. Expanding cable and satellite television operations and increasing box-office receipts of major studio and independent films will increase the need for workers. Additionally, a rising demand for U.S. films in other countries should create more employment opportunities for actors, producers, and directors. Also fueling job growth is the continued development of interactive media, online movies, and mobile content produced for cell phones or other portable electronic devices. Attendance at live theater performances should continue to be steady, and drive employment of stage actors, producers and directors.

Median Earnings – United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics
*Actors: $17.44 per hour

*Directors and Producers: $68,000

*Motion Picture Directors and Producers: $85,940

Sources of Additional Information

* United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Academic Advisor: David Crawford

Last update on October 4, 2017