Summary Report for:
27-2011.00 - Actors
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.
Sample of reported job titles: Actor, Actress, Comedian, Comic, Community Theater Actor, Narrator, Stand Up Comedian, Theatre Ensemble Member, Understudy, Voice-Over Artist
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Study and rehearse roles from scripts to interpret, learn and memorize lines, stunts, and cues as directed.
- Work closely with directors, other actors, and playwrights to find the interpretation most suited to the role.
- Learn about characters in scripts and their relationships to each other to develop role interpretations.
- Collaborate with other actors as part of an ensemble.
- Perform humorous and serious interpretations of emotions, actions, and situations, using body movements, facial expressions, and gestures.
- Attend auditions and casting calls to audition for roles.
- Portray and interpret roles, using speech, gestures, and body movements, to entertain, inform, or instruct radio, film, television, or live audiences.
- Work with other crew members responsible for lighting, costumes, make-up, and props.
- Sing or dance during dramatic or comedic performances.
- Read from scripts or books to narrate action or to inform or entertain audiences, utilizing few or no stage props.
- Promote productions using means such as interviews about plays or movies.
- Write original or adapted material for dramas, comedies, puppet shows, narration, or other performances.
- Prepare and perform action stunts for motion picture, television, or stage productions.
- Tell jokes, perform comic dances, songs and skits, impersonate mannerisms and voices of others, contort face, and use other devices to amuse audiences.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Camera tripods — Photography tripods
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video recorders
- Digital cameras — Digital still cameras
- Microphones — Wireless microphones
- MP3 players or recorders — MP3 digital voice recorders
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Tablet computers
Technology used in this occupation:
- Electronic mail software — Email software
- Instant messaging software — Twitter
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Video creation and editing software — Apple Final Cut Pro; Motion capture software; YouTube *
- Web page creation and editing software — Facebook *; Instagram; LinkedIn *; Website development software
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
- Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
- Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
Detailed Work Activities
- Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.
- Perform music for the public.
- Practice athletic or artistic skills.
- Study scripts to determine project requirements.
- Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
- Promote products, activities, or organizations.
- Collaborate with others to prepare or perform artistic productions.
- Entertain public with comedic or dramatic performances.
- Audition for roles.
- Write material for artistic or entertainment purposes.
- Inform viewers, listeners, or audiences.
- Work With Work Group or Team — 89% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 75% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Physical Proximity — 72% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Public Speaking — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 69% responded “Every day.”
- Level of Competition — 59% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Time Pressure — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 28% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 49% responded “Important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 33% responded “Limited freedom.”
- Telephone — 34% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Spend Time Standing — 45% responded “More than half the time.”
- Electronic Mail — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Fairly important.”
- Work Schedules — 71% responded “Irregular (changes with weather conditions, production demands, or contract duration).”
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|52||Less than high school diploma|
|28||Some college, no degree|
Interest code: AE
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$19.82 hourly|
|Employment (2012)||80,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Slower than average (3% to 7%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||28,900|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Actors . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.