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There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a performing artist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $28.68 an hour? That's $59,654 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 155,000 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Performing Artist Do

There are certain skills that many performing artists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed speaking skills, writing skills and interpersonal skills.

How To Become a Performing Artist

If you're interested in becoming a performing artist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.9% of performing artists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 14.8% of performing artists have master's degrees. Even though most performing artists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a performing artist. When we researched the most common majors for a performing artist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on performing artist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a performing artist. In fact, many performing artist jobs require experience in a role such as sales associate. Meanwhile, many performing artists also have previous career experience in roles such as artist or internship.

Performing Artist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Performing Artist

Top Careers After Performing Artist

Average Salary for a Performing Artist

Performing Artists in America make an average salary of $59,654 per year or $29 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $150,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Performing Artist Salary
$59,654 Yearly
$28.68 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Performing Artist Education

Performing Artist Majors

20.1 %
9.0 %

Performing Artist Degrees


62.9 %


14.8 %


11.8 %

Top Colleges for Performing Artists

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Performing Artist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 30.9% of performing artists listed private parties on their resume, but soft skills such as speaking skills and writing skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Performing Artist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Performing Artist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Performing Artist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Performing Artist Demographics

Performing Artist Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among performing artists, 53.1% of them are women, while 46.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among performing artists is White, which makes up 69.0% of all performing artists.

  • The most common foreign language among performing artists is Spanish at 32.8%.

Online Courses For Performing Artist That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Artist Management for the Music Business

The Roadmap to Managing Your Own Music Career or Becoming a Professional Manager...

Electronic Music Performance Techniques

From the Moog analog synthesizers in the 1960s to the contemporary usage of computers, performance controllers, and mobile devices, Electronic Digital Instruments (EDIs) have long been capable of offering artists a new range of musical expression. In this one-of-a-kind course, you'll learn the essential skills you need to perform on an EDI. Your instructor is EDI musician and Berklee College of Music's Electronic Production and Design professor Rishabh Rajan. He will take you through the basics...

Artistic Research in Music – an Introduction
edX (Global)

Artistic research (AR) is one of the most vibrant areas of creative thought in music – in the academic and professional worlds, but also among artists of all kinds who want to develop their practice by working and thinking coherently through its implications, questions, context and potential. AR (along with its various cognate versions) puts musicians themselves – their practices, their knowledge, experience and imagination – at the centre of the production of new understanding, knowledge,...

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Top Performing Artist Employers

Most Common Employers For Performing Artist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
3The Walt Disney Company$123,578$59.413
4Independent Contractor$122,149$58.734
5Yamaha Motor$121,665$58.491
6Prairie International$106,292$51.102
7Ratner Companies$105,205$50.583
8Faces Nightclub$104,624$50.301
9Music Center Foundation$104,101$50.053