The median hourly wage for actors was $18.80 in May 2015.
The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $9.27, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $90.00.
Work hours for actors are extensive and irregular. Early morning, evening, weekend, and holiday work is common. About 1 out of 3 actors worked part time in 2014. Few actors work full time, and many have variable schedules. Those who work in theater may travel with a touring show across the country. Actors in movies may also travel to work on location.
Compared with workers in all occupations, actors had a higher percentage of workers who belonged to a union in 2014. Many film and television actors join the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), whereas many stage actors join the Actors' Equity Association. Union membership can help set work rules and with benefits, and assist actors to receive bigger parts for more pay. Union dues can be expensive; however, for actors who are beginning their careers.
Median hourly wages, May 2015
Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers
Total, all occupations
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics