Entertainment Careers

Comparing A Variety of Occupations

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

When you think of people with careers in the entertainment industry, you might have dreamed of being one of the performers on stage or on the big or small screen, or an athlete that people cheer for on the court or on the field.

If you want an entertainment career but haven't quite amassed great skill as a performer or an athlete, you don't have to set your sights on some other occupation. There are many entertainment careers that require other talents and will still keep you involved in the performing arts or sports that you love, just from a different angle. Take a look at the following list for some ideas.

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 $28,880 in 2017.


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 $70,250 in 2017.


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 $51,370 in 2017.

Audio Engineer Technician

Audio engineer technicians mix, reproduce, and synchronize music, voices, and sound effects. To become an audio engineer technician, also known as a sound engineer, one must complete a vocational program that usually lasts about a year. Audio engineer technicians earned a median annual salary of $55,810 in 2017.

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 $39,060 in 2017.


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 $32,270 in 2017.

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 $67,420 in 2017. 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 2017, directors earned a median annual salary of $71,620.

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 $34,650 in 2017 working in the personal care industry. Makeup artists working in the performing arts field with stage and film actors have the potential to make higher salaries.

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 $62,910 in 2017.

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 $71,620 in 2017.


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 $61,820 in 2017.

Comparing Entertainment Careers (2017 Data)

Occupation Minimum Education License Median Salary
Animal Trainer HS Diploma / Bachelor's none $28,880
Animator none none $70,530
Athlete none none $51,370
Audio Engineer Tech One-year long vocational program none $55,810
Broadcast Technician Associate none $39,060
Coach Bachelor's degree to work in a public secondary school Individual state requirements for work in a school $32,270
Costume Designers Associate or Bachelor's none $67,420 (fashion designers)
Makeup Artist Cosmetology school Varies by state and work performed $34,650
News Anchor Bachelor's none $62,910
Performing Artist No formal requirements none varies
Producer No formal requirements none $71,620
Writer none No formal educational requirements $61,820