How Much Do Actors Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries


Actors play parts in stage, television, radio, video, or film 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.

$31 per hour
Becoming One
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Hourly wage
$31 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level hourly wage
$11 to $14 per hour

Entry-level Actors with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $11 to $14 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Actors to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $65 $*
Senior (Top 25%) $30 $*
Middle (Mid 50%) $22 $*
Junior (Bottom 25%) $14 $*
No experience (Bottom 10%) $11 $*
* Actors are generally paid on an hourly basis.

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
NY $48 $*
NC $44 $*
GA $34 $*
CA $32 $*
CO $30 $*
NV $29 $*
MI $27 $*
IL $24 $*
MO $24 $*
WA $23 $*

* Actors are generally paid on an hourly basis not yearly.

Another simple way to increase your salary as an Actor is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at NY might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Actors are in the states of NY, NC, GA, CA and CO.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Radio and Television Broadcasting $ $*
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events $ $26.73
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services $ $39.57
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers $ $36.21
Scientific Research and Development Services $ $22.09
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions $ $14.37
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $ $16.89
Amusement Parks and Arcades $ $17.53
Employment Services $ $29.91
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries $ $12.93
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services $ $*
Traveler Accommodation $ $16.54
Elementary and Secondary Schools $ $17.36
Junior Colleges $ $17.13
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land $ $19.21
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $ $26.35
Motion Picture and Video Industries $ $32.99
Other Schools and Instruction $ $28.78
Sound Recording Industries $ $*
Performing Arts Companies $ $29.36

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