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Description: Actors and actresses portray different characters in theater, radio, television, video, or motion pictures.

Knowledge Required: Formal dramatic training, storytelling, creative writing

Skills: Creativity, research skills, poise and self-confidence, listening, communication skills

Career Path: Actors can start with smaller acting jobs (such as independent films) and work their way up to high-profile roles in theater, television, and film.

Best Cities for this job: Employment is generally centered in New York and Los Angeles. However, smaller avenues for acting exist throughout the country.

Median Annual Income: Annual wage data for actors is not available because of the wide variation in the number of hours worked and the short-term nature of many jobs. It is unfortunately very rare for actors to have guaranteed employment that exceeds 3 to 6 months.

Future Growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistic predicts a 7 to 13 percent growth in employment between 2008 and 2018.

From the field: “Do as much as possible. Bring as many skills to the table as you possibly can.”- Matthew Rhys, Actor

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