How Much Money Do Actors Make?

Actors are known for their extravagant lifestyles. Seeing that this career is lucrative, people are interested in knowing how much money actors make.

Our favorite Hollywood actors live in multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills mansions, but how much do actors make? Truly, not every actor earns millions of dollars for a film.

In this article, you’ll learn how much money actors make.

Who Is An Actor? 

An Actor plays roles in television, theater, and film. They study their character and read the script for certain productions. To perform well in a part, an actor must first comprehend the character’s personality and motivations. 

Then he/she must replicate those traits in their performance.

In small productions, an actor may be in control of their makeup and costume in addition to their acting role. Every production collaborates with other actors, producers, directors, writers, makeup artists, costume designers, and acting coaches.

What Are The Responsibilities of An Actor?

Actors commonly do the following activities:

  • 1. Before accepting a role, they read scripts and meet with agents and some experts.
  • 2. Perform in front of producers, directors, and casting directors during an audition.
  • 3. Conduct research on their character’s characteristics and circumstances to display them more real to an audience.
  • 4. Learn their lines by heart.
  • 5. Practice their lines and performance with other actors, whether on stage or in front of the camera.
  • 6. To boost the performance of the show, discuss their part with the producer, director, as well as other actors.
  • 7. Follow the director’s instructions when performing the role.

Many actors struggle to get consistent employment and only a few gain stardom. Some work as “extras,” (actors who don’t have lines but are featured in scenes to create a more realistic scene). For animated films, audiobooks, and other forms of electronic media, some actors perform voiceover or narration work.

Actors sing, dance, or perform a musical instrument in certain stage and film productions. Some parts require actors to master new skills, such as horseback riding or stage combat.

Most actors go through lengthy periods of unemployment between roles and must work multiple jobs to support themselves. As a side gig, some actors instruct acting workshops.

Related: 15 Highest Paid TV Stars |Updated

Why Do Actors Get Paid So Much? 

Have you ever questioned why actors get paid so well? The truth is that some actors earn more than others. However, how much money an actor makes is measured by the value he adds.

How much money an actor makes is influenced by the number of actors that can play the role. And also depends on whether the role they play offers prestige or more cash to the company.

Celebrities are usually appreciated for their talents, dress sense, and disposition. As a result, brands profit from their fame through brand partnerships and contracts. Hence, their monetary value rises.

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In the entertainment industry, actors work abnormal hours. Daily soap actors, for example, work 20 hours per day and only get 4 hours of sleep. They spend roughly 12 hours filming, 4 hours commuting, and the rest of the time in the gym.

How Much Money Do Actors Make? 

How much money actors make is determined by how much the audience values the role. It also relies on their prominence, the type of film they’re in, and the importance of their role.

Let’s take a peek at what actors earn according to various sources. The following is how much money actors earn.

How Much Money Do Actors Make Per Episode?

How much money actors make per episode depends on the value they offer their company and their contract with them.

Additionally, the length of an episode and where it will air play a role in determining how much money actors earn per episode. 

Again, how much money actors make per episode varies depending on the contract, individual, and agreement parameters. As a result, actors earn no set amount of money per episode. They can, however, earn at least $25,000 per episode.

How Much Money Do Actors Make Per Year? 

Actors in the United States make an average of $32,367 per year as of May 16, 2022. According to ZipRecruiter, how much money actors make per year ranges from $11,000 to $88,000. 

However, most actors earn between $17,000 (25th percentile) to $35,500 (75th percentile). And top earners make $61,500 (90th percentile) across the U.S. 

The typical average salary for an Actor ranges widely (up to $18,500). This implies that there may be several prospects for promotion and higher pay based on talent, location, and experience level.

Salary.com says that actors in the United States make an average salary of $58,972 per year. In contrast, their salary range is from $48,596 to $72,002.

Additionally, payscale.com asserts that actors across the United States earn a base salary of $51,219 per year. However, it depends on certification, education, expertise, etc. 

Also read: Top 10 Highest Paid Comedians in the World

How Much Money Do Actors Make a Month?

Actors make around $2,697 a month, says ZipRecruiter. Whereas, they earn $622 a week.

How Much Money Do Actors Make An Hour?

Actors make around $28 an hour, according to salary.com. But the range is often between $23 and $35. The hourly rate is determined by a lot of factors, including education, certifications, and so on.

Meanwhile, ZipRecruiter says that actors make $16 an hour. And according to payscale.com, actors make about $21.58 an hour. But the hourly pay ranges from $11.39 to $100.88.

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How Much Money Do Entry Level Actors Make? 

The average annual wage for entry-level actors in the United States is $43,691 per year.

If you need a quick salary calculator, that will be about $21.01 per hour. This works out to be $840 per week and $3,641 per month.

Annual incomes as high as $70,000 and as low as $15,000 have been reported on ZipRecruiter. Most entry-level actors’ salaries now range from $30,500 (25th percentile) to $46,000 (75th percentile). Whereas top earners (90th percentile) make around $55,000 annually.

The typical salary for entry-level actors ranges widely (up to $15,500). This implies that there may be several opportunities for growth and greater pay depending on skill, location, and other factors.

You can also check the 20 Highest Paid Person on TV |

10 Highest Paying Cities For Entry Level Actor Jobs

We discovered ten cities where the amount of money entry-level actors make is higher than the national average. Richmond, CA is at the top of the list, with Stamford, CT, and Bellevue, WA coming in second and third, respectively. 

Bellevue, WA surpasses the national average by $8,248 (18.9%). And Richmond, CA continues the pattern by surpassing the national average by $9,768 (22.4%).

Because the average incomes in these cities are greater than the national average, chances for economic advancement as an entry-level actor appear to be abundant.

Finally, the average pay in these top ten cities differs only by 9% between Richmond, CA. And Glendale, CA, emphasizing the limited opportunity for wage advancement. 

When comparing the salary for an entry-level actor, you may want to consider the location and career prospects. Below is a table of the 10 highest paying cities for entry-level actor jobs.

CityAnnual SalaryHourly Wage
Richmond, CA$53,459$25.70
Stamford, CT$52,056$25.03
Bellevue, WA$51,939$24.97
Lakes, AK$50,117$24.09
San Francisco, CA$50,105$24.09
Palmdale, CA$49,566$23.83
Santa Clara, CA$49,378$23.74
Hartford, CT$49,280$23.69
Pasadena, CA$49,100$23.61
Glendale, CA$48,812$23.47

How Much Money Do Senior Level Actors Make?

The average annual salary for a Senior Level Actor in the United States is $82,611 per year.

If you need a quick salary calculator, that works out to be about $39.72 per hour. This equates to $1,589 a week and $6,884 a month.

What Is The Average Salary For Actors By State?

In taking up a job as an actor, location is one factor to consider with caution. However, you should also consider the cost of living.

Here’s a table displaying the average actor’s salary by state.

StateAnnual SalaryHourly Wage
New York$62,632$30.11
New Hampshire$60,788$29.22
Vermont$57,542$27.66
Wyoming$55,855$26.85
West Virginia$54,418$26.16
Massachusetts$54,367$26.14
Pennsylvania$53,497$25.72
Hawaii$53,069$25.51
Montana$52,721$25.35
Washington$52,567$25.27
Arizona$52,178$25.09
Connecticut$52,031$25.01
New Jersey$52,006$25.00
Indiana$51,844$24.92
Rhode Island$50,960$24.50
Alaska$50,417$24.24
Georgia$50,334$24.20
North Dakota$50,185$24.13
Wisconsin$50,088$24.08
Tennessee$50,048$24.06
Nevada$50,020$24.05
Minnesota$49,983$24.03
Maryland$49,741$23.91
Ohio$49,684$23.89
Alabama$49,158$23.63
Nebraska$48,919$23.52
Utah$48,861$23.49
South Dakota$48,720$23.42
Louisiana$48,473$23.30
Virginia$48,278$23.21
Oregon$48,024$23.09
California$47,697$22.93
New Mexico$47,615$22.89
Iowa$47,482$22.83
Florida$47,440$22.81
Kansas$47,388$22.78
South Carolina$46,786$22.49
Colorado$46,658$22.43
Delaware$46,495$22.35
Oklahoma$45,466$21.86
Kentucky$44,706$21.49
Idaho$44,649$21.47
Maine$44,484$21.39
Mississippi$44,404$21.35
Arkansas$43,850$21.08
Michigan$43,776$21.05
Illinois$43,612$20.97
Texas$43,093$20.72
Missouri$42,809$20.58
North Carolina$39,869$19.17

Highest Paying Actors Industries 

BLS reportedly has it that the following are the highest paying industries for Actors. See the table below.

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IndustryEmployment% of Industry EmploymentMean wage (per hour)
Motion, Picture, and Video industries15,9705.06$33.54
Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll services3,4200.34$31.01
Colleges, Universities, and Professional schools3,1500.11$25.17
Performing Arts companies1,8302.64$28.64
Museums, Historical Sites, and similar institutions6400.49$15.74

Factors Influencing Actors’ Salary 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70,100 actors worked in the United States in 2019. And they earned a median hourly wage of $21.88. Also, the Bureau expects a 3 percent increase in actor employment by 2029.

So, what factors influence an actor’s salary?

1. The role’s level of difficulty. Larger parts with more lines necessitate more time from the actor in both preparation and execution. And the actor will most likely be paid accordingly.

2. Actors make more money in some cities than in others. If you work as an actor in Los Angeles, California, for example, you will have more options and get paid. Whereas that’s not the case if you work as an actor in Tampa, Florida.

3. Actors are compensated based on their experience. For example, a newbie may be paid less than the national median wage, whereas an experienced actor may be paid more.

Read: How Much Money Do Photographers Make?

FAQs

Do Actors make a lot of money?

The majority of actors make very little money and struggle to make ends meet. Though some actors earn millions of dollars, the average actor earns rather less.

Is being an Actor hard?

Being a professional actor is difficult, and actors must put up with a lot of rejections. 
But that doesn’t rule out the possibility. It is very possible to become a professional actor if an actor is committed to learning and persistent enough.

How are Actors so rich?

Viewers watch actors because they are paid well to do so, which is why they are paid so well. 
Acting is a rewarding profession, which is why many people feel it is synonymous with affluence. For the world’s greatest actors, a single movie can bring in millions of dollars.

Do Actors pay for their travel?

There is no payment for your commute to work if you are shooting in a studio or within a studio zone. 
Also, there is no compensation for travel fees incurred for an audition. However, a producer must compensate you for trips outside of the studio zone.

How much do actors work?

Early mornings, evenings, holidays, and weekends are all possible work hours for actors. 
Filming days might last anything from twelve to twenty hours. Feature films can take up to three months to shoot and may require five days of work per week.

Bottom Line 

Granted, actors make tens of thousands of dollars. But how much money an actor makes depends on a range of factors including skill level. So if you want to be among the top-earning Actors, you must be well equipped.

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