How Much does the Average Actor Make?

The average actor makes about $29.05 US Dollars (USD) per hour — when he or she is working, that is. Most actors cannot live on the money they make from acting. If an actor is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG), they typically will make the rate listed. Principal performers, for example, might make $759 USD per day or $2,634 USD per week; background actor rates range from $130 USD to $163 USD per day.

Acting facts:

  • Many actors must have a steady job in addition to acting. Some jobs may include teaching in a high school or leading a community theater if the actor has the proper education.

  • There were about 56,500 active acting jobs in 2008.

  • In 1996, SAG reported that 85% of its 90,000 members had acting incomes of less than $5,000.

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More Info: CNN Money; Screen Actors Guild; Bureau of Labor Statistics

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