Top 15 entertainment industry jobs & who's hiring
Entertainment jobs have always held a certain allure, captivating audiences with glitz, glamor, and storytelling. In Los Angeles, New York, or on social media, it’s a world where imagination comes to life, dreams are realized on the big screen, and music, art, and performance create moments of pure magic.
Whether in front of the camera as an actor, cutting records as a musician, or behind the scenes as an operations manager or administrative assistant for an entertainment company like Live Nation, working in an entertainment industry job is the ultimate dream. Here are the top 15 roles in the business.
Drama kid, this is your gig. From compelling dramas to light-hearted comedies, actors have been captivating audiences since time immemorial. You’ll be attending auditions on-site, vying for roles, and delving into a character to bring their story to life. You are your own marketing manager, focusing on a particular guest experience: wowing the casting director.
What’s it take? An education in theater or acting can be beneficial, but one of this job’s perks is that it has no strict requirements. Many actors have gained experience and success through community theater, school productions, or independent projects.
The average actor’s salary in the United States is $60,617.
2. Camera operator
There is no action without lights and a camera. As a camera operator, you’ll work in partnership with directors and cinematographers to frame shots and compose evocative visuals. Attention to detail, patience, and the ability to stay focused during long shoots will come in handy. Many camera operators start out in internships or find roles as production assistants and assistant camera operators and work their way up through hands-on experience.
The average camera operator salary in the United States is $44,008.
3. Film producer
Producers are involved in the initial stages of a film project, including identifying potential scripts, securing rights, and assembling a team of creative professionals (like directors, writers, and actors). They’re the reel deal in turning movie dreams into reality. While there is no strict educational requirement, many successful film producers have a bachelor's or master's degree in film production, product management, or project management. Practical experience through internships, related entertainment jobs, or working on independent productions is also highly valuable.
The average producer salary in the United States is $62,067.
If you have a passion for storytelling, look no further. Screenwriters develop story concepts, brainstorm ideas, and create compelling narratives. Many successful screenwriters have a bachelor's or master's degree in film, creative writing, or a related field. Writing workshops, courses, or specialized screenwriting programs can also provide valuable training and knowledge in the craft.
The average annual screenwriter salary in the United States is $56,371.
5. Entertainment lawyer
As an entertainment lawyer, you will specialize in providing legal services and advice to clients in the entertainment industry. After obtaining your law degree, you can gain practical experience through internships or working at law firms specializing in entertainment law.
The average annual entertainment lawyer salary in the United States is $149,066.
6. Casting director
As a casting director, you’ll throw your net far and wide to find talent that fits your roles. Analyzing scripts, organizing auditions, and collaborating with directors are a taste of what’s to come.
The average annual casting director salary in the United States is $72,815.
As an animator, you’ll use a combination of artistic skills, technical expertise, and digital tools to breathe life into static images and create captivating and dynamic animations. Many animators have found a bachelor’s degree in animation, fine arts, or graphic design advantageous when job hunting, as well as a strong work portfolio.
The average annual animator salary in the United States is $62,041.
8. Set manager
Set the stage for success! As a set manager, you’ll ensure everything is in place for a seamless production experience. Your responsibilities will include creating schedules and timelines for set construction and decoration, and preparing everything from props and furniture to handling lighting and logistics. A bachelor’s degree in theater management, film production, or even public relations can give you an edge in this role.
The average annual set designer salary in the United States is $54,751.
9. Film editor
Film editors are unsung heroes of many historic blockbuster hits. They collaborate with directors to assemble footage, refine stories, and create an engaging visual experience from hours of film. A bachelor’s degree in film editing or production will help you land this role. Again, internships and practical experience are key, but you can also work on independent projects for your portfolio.
The average annual film editor salary in the United States is $60,100.
10. Film crew runner
As the job title implies, these adrenaline-fueled sprinters are the liaison between the production team and crew members. Their job description includes ensuring the set and equipment are organized, so you must be a problem-solver who can bring energy and enthusiasm to the set. A high school diploma is typically all that’s expected. Experience with student productions is a great way to gain insight and hands-on experience to land this job type.
The average annual film crew runner salary in the United States is $55,642.
Cinematographers are the visual architects of a film, using their technical expertise and artistic sensibilities to craft captivating and visually stunning images. Many cinematographers have a bachelor's degree in film production, cinematography, or a related field. As always, hands-on experience gained through internships, independent projects, or working as a camera assistant is great for attaining valuable industry insights.
The average annual cinematographer salary in the United States is $44,667.
12. Makeup artist
Ready to work your magic and transform team members into unforgettable characters? As a makeup artist, you'll be responsible for enhancing appearances, creating special effects, and bringing the director's vision to life through makeup and prosthetics. While formal education is not always required, many makeup artists complete specialized training programs, workshops, or courses in makeup artistry. Obtaining a cosmetology or esthetics license can also go a long way in enhancing job prospects.
The average annual makeup artist salary in the United States is $22,434.
As a choreographer, you'll be the creative mastermind behind dance and fight sequences on the screen (in the film industry) or on stage (for live entertainment). This role is perfect for those with a deep love for movement. Many choreographers have extensive training and experience in dance, often with a bachelor's degree in dance or performing arts or years of experience as professional dancers.
The average annual choreographer salary in the United States is $41,232.
14. Booking agent
Booking agents represent artists, bands, or performers and serve as the primary point of contact for securing live performances, appearances, or other entertainment opportunities. This involves regularly connecting with performing talent, event organizers, promoters, and venues. Negotiate contracts and fees on behalf of your clients and enjoy being the behind-the-scenes powerhouse, securing the best possible terms, fees, and arrangements for them. Music business and entertainment management are both excellent bachelor’s degrees to work toward. Internships and entry-level positions at talent agencies can also help you secure the best role.
The average annual booking agent salary in the United States is $41,530.
15. Voice-over artist
As a voice-over artist, you'll use your vocal talents to create engaging audio content in film, TV shows, podcasts, and more. This role is perfect for those with a versatile voice, a flair for storytelling, and a passion for expressing emotions through sound. Full-time and part-time voice-over artists can usually work remotely or on-site in a studio. Formal education is not always required, but voice-over artists benefit from training and experience in acting, vocal techniques, and audio recording. Many pursue classes, workshops, or courses tailored to voice-over work to develop their skills and learn industry best practices.
The average annual voice-over artist salary in the United States is $49,032.
Which entertainment companies are hiring on Handshake?
Your entertainment dream job awaits
Entertainment industry jobs offer a wide range of exciting and fulfilling career opportunities. Whether you dream of new jobs in New York or Los Angeles or want to use social media to step into the spotlight as an actor or voice-over artist, there's a role for everyone in this dynamic field.
The spotlight awaits. Join Handshake today and let your journey into the world of entertainment industry jobs begin.