Entertainment Careers

Comparing occupations

Male make up artist applying lipstick to model for photo shoot
••• Gpointstudio / Getty Images

When we think of people with careers in the entertainment industry those that come to mind are the performers we see on stage or on the big or small screen or the athletes we cheer on the court or field. Let's say you want an entertainment career but have no talent as a performer or an athlete. Should you just set your sights on some other occupation? You don't have to. There are many entertainment careers that don't require that kind of talent but instead require other talents.

Take a look.

Animal Trainer

Animal trainers train animals including dogs, horses and marine animals. To work in this field one generally needs only a High School diploma, although working with some animals requires a bachelor's degree. Animal trainers earned a median annual salary of $26,930 in 2009.


Animators create animated images. Some use computers to do this while others draw images by hand. Formal training isn't always required, but a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts can help one advance in this field. Animators earned a median annual salary of $58,250 in 2009.


Athletes compete against each other in organized sports, either individually or as part of teams. Very few actually compete professionally. Athletes earned a median annual salary of $40,210 in 2009.

Audio Engineer

Audio engineers mix, reproduce and synchronize music, voices and sound effects. To become an audio engineer one must complete a vocational program that usually lasts about a year.

Audio engineers earned a median annual salary of $46,370 in 2009.

Broadcast Technician

Broadcast technicians bring us the images we see on television broadcasts and the sounds we hear on radio broadcasts, making sure they are clear and strong. Those who aspire to work in this field must earn an associate degree in broadcast technology, electronics or computer networking.

Broadcast technicians earned a median annual salary of $32,960 in 2009.


Coaches organize and train athletes. They work with both professionals and amateurs, teaching them the fundamentals of the sports in which they compete. The most important qualification to work in this field is experience as a participant in the sport which one wants to coach. Public school head coaches and sports instructors must have a bachelor's degree. Coaches earned a median annual salary of $28,380 in 2009.

Costume Designer

Costume designers are fashion designers who have specialized in creating costumes for television, movie and theater productions. Usually, those who work in this field have associate or bachelor's degrees in fashion design. Fashion designers, in general, earned a median annual salary of $64,260 in 2009. Costume designers' earnings may differ.


Charged with making sure the creative aspects of productions run smoothly, directors are responsible for hiring and supervising cast and crew. They select scripts and collaborate with the producer and writers. While directors don't have any formal educational requirements, many earn bachelor's degrees in communications, writing or acting to prepare for this occupation.

In 2011, directors earned a median annual salary of $70,660.

Makeup Artist

Makeup artists use makeup to enhance the appearances of actors and other performers. Aspiring makeup artists receive their training at schools of cosmetology. It will take from several months up to a year. Makeup artists earned a median annual salary of $31,450 in 2009.

News Anchor

News anchors introduce videotaped and live reports on television news broadcasts. Some analyze news stories. Employers prefer to hire job candidates who have earned bachelor's degrees in journalism or mass communications, but those with other degrees may also be considered. News anchors earned a median annual salary of $50,400 in 2009.

Performing Artist

Performing artists play musical instruments, sing, dance or act. There are no formal educational requirements, but most performing artists take classes and spend many hours practicing.

Earnings vary widely depending on the type of work they do and their level of fame. While famous performers earn a lot of money, most performers are not as well-known and may earn far less money.


Producers tend to the business and financial side of making movies, television shows, and video games. Producers don't have any specific educational requirements, but employers prefer to hire those who have earned bachelor's degrees. Producers earned a median annual salary of $66,720 in 2009.


Writers produce content for print and online media. Some writers author fiction or non-fiction books and articles and others create poetry, song lyrics or plays. While there isn't a formal educational requirement for writers, many employers prefer to hire those who have a college degree, generally in communications, English or journalism. Writers' earnings vary significantly, particularly among those who are freelancers. Median earnings for salaried writers were $53,900 in 2009.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition 
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Onet

Explore more Careers By Field or Industry

Comparing Entertainment Careers
 Minimum EducationLicenseMedian Salary
Animal TrainerHS Diploma / Bachelor'snone$26,930
Athlete nonenone$40,210
Audio EngineerOne-year long vocational programnone$46,370
Broadcast TechnicianAssociatenone$32,960
Coach Bachelor's degree to work in a public secondary schoolIndividual state requirements for work in a school$28,380
Costume DesignersAssociate or Bachelor'snone$64,260 (fashion designers)
Makeup ArtistCosmetology schoolVaries by state and work performed$31,450
News AnchorBachelor'snone$50,400
Performing ArtistNo formal requirementsnonevaries
ProducerNo formal requirementsnone$66,720
WriternoneNo formal educational requirements$53,900