Performing Arts

Career Areas  >  Performing Arts

The performing arts industry is ideal for you if you enjoy expressing your creative personality, such as dancing, drama, singing, or playing a musical instrument.

However, this sector is not only about performing in front of an audience; there are also great opportunities for those who have creative, practical skills that are key to staging entertainment events, such as stagehands, lighting technicians, arts administrators, or community artists.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Areas.

What areas can I work in?

This career area includes working as a performer in dance, drama, music and other forms of entertainment, from stand-up comedy to circus acts. Jobs in arts administration, community arts, music technology and theatre technology are also included in this sector. You can also teach any of these subjects from secondary school through to university level.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Working within the performing arts encompasses a wide range of organisations including:

  • local government
  • theatre, dance and opera companies
  • galleries, theatres and art centres
  • concert halls, arts festivals and community arts projects
  • schools, colleges and universities
  • orchestras and professional bands
  • TV or radio broadcasting and film companies.

What’s the job market like?

Despite the glamour of this career area, the harsh reality for performers is usually years of hard work in the face of tough competition, rejections at auditions, frequent periods of unemployment, or working in temporary unrelated jobs. 

It is not always easy to get into the music industry. There are some full-time classical music jobs, but most popular musicians do individual gigs for which they charge a fee.

Most performers, famous or not, are usually highly trained or qualified. The majority of actors have had formal training; almost all classical musicians have qualifications and a large proportion of popular musicians are trained to a high level. Dancers usually start their training at a very young age. 

Competition for non-performance jobs such as arts administration, stage management and theatre technology is also fierce.

Related job profiles

  • Arts Administrator
  • Events Manager
  • Music Promotions Manager

Related job profiles

  • Community Arts Worker

Related job profiles

  • Choreographer
  • Dance Teacher
  • Dancer

Related job profiles

  • Actor
  • Costume Designer
  • Lighting Technician
  • Prop Master
  • Scenic Artist
  • Set Designer
  • Stage Manager
  • Stagehand
  • Stunt Performer
  • Teacher - Secondary School - Drama
  • Wardrobe Assistant - Film, TV or Theatre

Related job profiles

  • Composer or Songwriter
  • Musician - Classical
  • Musician - Popular
  • Teacher - Secondary School - Music

Related job profiles

  • Disc Jockey – DJ
  • Musical Instrument Technologist
  • Piano Tuner
  • Roadie
  • Sound Technician

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