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Life As an Actor

Actor Job Description Play parts in stage, television, radio, video, motion picture productions, or other settings for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.

Daily Life Of an Actor

  • Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.
  • Attend auditions and casting calls to audition for roles.
  • Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
  • Study and rehearse roles from scripts to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed.
  • Collaborate with other actors as part of an ensemble.
  • Work with other crew members responsible for lighting, costumes, make-up, and props.

Skills Needed to be an Actor

These are the skills Actors say are the most useful in their careers:

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

  • Ring Conductor
  • Stunt Person
  • Double
  • Movie Star
  • Vaudeville Actor

Job Opportunities for Actors

In the United States, there were 63,800 jobs for Actor in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 7,400 new jobs for Actor by 2026. The BLS estimates 7,400 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Actor are Utah, Georgia, and Iowa. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Nebraska, or Idaho. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools & Technology do Actors Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Actors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Linux
  • Facebook
  • FileMaker Pro
  • YouTube
  • Apple Final Cut Pro
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Website development software

Becoming an Actor

Learn what Actor education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become an Actor?


Actors Sector


The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.


Are you already one of the many Actor in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Donald Judge via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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