Entertainers perform for audiences in stage, cabaret or comedy shows.
Salary range: Variable
How to become an entertainer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- applying directly
- a specialist course run by a private training organisation
You could do a degree in a relevant subject like:
- contemporary theatre and performance
Qualifications may not be essential if you show enough talent at an audition.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
It may be useful to do a college course in:
- performing arts
- musical theatre
- drama and theatre
This would help you to develop your talent and learn some of the skills you may need.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
Volunteering and experience
Some entertainers are self-taught. You could get experience as an entertainer in different ways, including:
- taking part in open-mic spots or talent competitions
- working at a holiday centre or theme park
- performing in local clubs – you may have to work without pay at first
- taking part in street performance or fringe festivals
You can apply directly for jobs. The most important thing is to have a skill or talent that an audience will enjoy.
You do not need formal qualifications, although you may find it useful to have trained in music, dance or acting, perhaps from taking a performing arts course or graded exams.
You can develop your skills by doing a specialist course in a particular area of entertaining like comedy, puppetry or circus skills.
You’ll often have to pass auditions to get work. It may help to find an agent who can market your talents.
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join Equity for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming an entertainer from Creative Choices.
You can get more information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of the fine arts
- the ability to work well with others
- persistence and determination
- the ability to use your initiative
- to enjoy working with other people
- to be flexible and open to change
- knowledge of English language
- knowledge of media production and communication
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- pass enhanced background checks, as you may be working with children and vulnerable adults
What you’ll do
Depending on where you work, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- singing or playing music
- stand-up comedy
- entertaining children
- finding and rehearsing new material for your act
- promoting your act and attending auditions
- dealing with your finances and administration
You could work at a social club, in a theatre, on a cruise ship, in the community, in a hotel or at a client’s home.
Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
You could move into related roles like entertainment agent, talent spotter, venue management, or TV or radio presenting.