Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers
Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers entertain by portraying roles in productions, performing and composing dances, and performing a variety of other acts.
reading scripts and undertaking research to gain understanding of parts, themes and characterisations
learning lines and cues, rehearsing parts, and applying vocal and movement skills to the development of characterisation
preparing for performances through rehearsals under the instruction and guidance of production directors
acting parts and portraying roles as developed in rehearsals in film, television, radio and stage productions
practising dance routines and interpreting the choreographic content of the production
performing dances for audience entertainment, coordinating body movements and facial expression, usually with musical accompaniment
composing and notating ballet compositions and other dance routines
creating and performing individual performance routines
rehearsing, auditioning and travelling between entertainment venues
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
Informal or on-the-job
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. The latest data are for the five years from November 2021 to November 2026. Over this period, the number of workers in this occupation is likely to remain stable.
Source: Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Notes: The number employed includes people who work in this occupation as their main job. People who work in more than one job are counted against the occupation they work the most hours in.
Employment projections figures are rounded to the nearest 100. Calculations based on these rounded figures may result in differences to the numbers that are displayed on this page. Employment projections data (including occupations) can be downloaded from the Employment Projections page.
Number of Workers
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, ABS seasonally adjusted data to November 2021 and Jobs and Skills Australia Employment Projections to 2026.
Earnings and hours
Around 32% of people employed as Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 34 percentage points below the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 46 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Median full-time earnings are $2,073 per week, this is much higher than the all jobs median ($1,593):
- 3 in 4 workers earn more than $2,048
- 1 in 4 earn more than $2,789
Median hourly earnings are $53, this is more than the all jobs median ($41 per hour).
Sources: Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average. Full-time median earnings and median hourly earnings: ABS, Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021. Compared to all jobs median.
Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)
|Earnings||Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers||All Jobs Average|
Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours, May 2021, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
Most Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers work in the Arts and recreation services industry. They are also employed in industries like:
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2021.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers||All Jobs Average|
Around 74% of Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.
Victoria has a large share of employment relative to its population size.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers is 33 years. This is younger than the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 50% of the workforce. This is similar to the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||4.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A high level of performance skill is needed to work as an Actor, Dancer or Entertainer. Some workers also have formal qualifications. University and Vocational Education and Training (VET) are both common study pathways.
- Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
- ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Creative Arts and Culture VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||5.6||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||9.3||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers who have strong people skills, can communicate well with diverse audiences and are reliable.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Reading work related information.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
Talking to others.
Writing things for co-workers or customers.
48%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
43%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
39%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.
Teaching people how to do something.
36%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Bringing people together and trying to sort out their differences.
Looking for ways to help people.
Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.
Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
54%Communications and media
Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.
Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.
45%Sociology and anthropology
Group behaviour and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
41%Philosophy and theology
Philosophical systems and religions, including their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and impact on society.
37%History and archeology
Events of the past, their causes, how we learn about them, and how they influence the way we live today.
37%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
30%Sales and marketing
Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
26%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
26%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Describing land, sea, and air, including their physical characteristics, locations, how they work together, and the location of plant, animal, and human life.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
23%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
22%Therapy and counselling
Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
17%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
13%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Remember things like words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Communicate by speaking.
Listen to and understand what people say.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Read and understand written information.
Write in a way that people can understand.
Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.
Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.
46%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
39%Whole body coordination
Move your arms, legs, and body together.
See details that are far away.
Do two or more things at the same time.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
83%Working with the public
Greeting or serving customers, clients or guests, and public speaking or performing.
79%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
68%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
63%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
58%Explaining things to people
Helping people to understand and use information.
58%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
57%Communicating with the public
Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.
57%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
57%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
56%Scheduling work and activities
Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
56%Coming up with systems and processes
Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.
54%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
54%Leading and encouraging a team
Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
52%Negotiating and resolving conflicts
Handling complaints and disagreements, and negotiating with people.
47%Coaching and developing others
Working out the needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or helping them to improve.
46%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
44%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
43%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
43%Documenting or recording information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Work with people in a group or team.
92%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
92%Physically close to people
Work physically close to other people.
Talk with people face-to-face.
Talk to a group of people.
85%Indoors, heat controlled
Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.
Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.
Work to strict deadlines.
77%Contact with the public
Work with customers or the public.
71%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
70%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
70%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
70%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
Talk on the telephone.
66%Spend time standing
Spend time standing at work.
Use electronic mail.
62%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
59%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
53%Letters and memos
Write letters and memos.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-2011.00 - Actors.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.