Careers

Table of Contents:

What Can I Do with an Acting Degree?

A degree in acting won't guarantee you a place in the limelight, but it has certainly helped some household names, including Dame Judi Dench, who graduated with honors in drama. Because earnings may be erratic, many actors, producers and directors supplement their incomes by working in other fields. Having an agent can make finding acting jobs much easier. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

An acting degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about acting degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Actors and Announcers.

Actors usually work on short-term or freelance contracts. Often they must move from place to place to secure work. Acting jobs may be in the theatre, TV, radio or film/video industries. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for actors in the future.

  • Amusement/Theme Park Performer
  • Cruise Line Performer
  • Summer Stock Performer
  • Impromptu Comedy Sketch Performer
  • Clown
  • Comedian
  • Disc Jockey
  • Drama Therapist
  • Mime
  • Puppeteer
  • Ventriloquist
  • Little/Broadway Theatre Actor
  • Children’s Theater Actor
  • Dinner Theatre Actor
  • Night Club Performer
  • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Animated Feature Voice
  • Industrial Video On-Screen Talent/Voiceover
  • Radio/TV/Event Announcer (news, sports, weather, public-service information, commentary, guest interviews, advertising, DJ, talk show host, public address system)
  • Master of Ceremonies
  • Audio Book Voiceover
  • TV/Film Documentary On-Screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, public/private schools, private practice, community programs)
  • Vocal Coach
  • Talent Agent
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor
  • Booking Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Media Relations Representative
  • Church/Youth Theatre Production Coordinator/Assistant
  • Script Supervisor
  • Community Arts Worker

 

What Can I Do with a Directing Degree?

Directors are in charge of creating motion pictures, television shows, live theater and other performing arts productions. Because earnings may be erratic, many producers and directors supplement their incomes by working in other fields. Having an agent can make finding acting jobs much easier. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

A directing degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about Directing Degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Producers and Directors.

Directing jobs may be in the TV, radio or film/video industries, even theater. Employment of self-employed directors is expected to grow 16 percent, faster than the motion picture industry, as the number of independent films grows. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for Directors in the future.

  • Amusement/Theme Park Performance Director
  • Cruise Line Performance Director
  • Summer Stock Director
  • Little/Broadway Theatre Director
  • Dinner Theatre Director
  • TV/Radio Director (Commercials, Dramas, News, Talk Shows, etc.)
  • Film Director
  • Animated Feature Director
  • TV/Film Documentary Director
  • Industrial Video Director
  • Theatre Business Manager
  • Production Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Theatre Consultant
  • Talent Agent
  • Special Events Manager
  • Casting Manager
  • Production Design Manager
  • Rehearsal Manager
  • Acting Coach
  • Film/Video Editor
  • Company Manager
  • Talent Manager
  • Touring Production Manager
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor

What Can I Do with a Musical Theatre Degree?

The number of people attending musical performances, such as orchestra, opera and rock concerts, is expected to increase from 2010 to 2020, increasing the number of musicians and singers needed for these performances. Musicians and singers with exceptional musical talent should have the best opportunities. Having an agent can make finding acting and musical performance jobs much easier. Unfortunately the number of musical theatre productions is declining, as audience interests have changed. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

A musical theatre degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about musical theatre career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Musicians and Singers, Actors, and Music Directors and Composers.

Musicians play in bands, orchestras, small groups, and orchestras. Those in bands may play at weddings, private parties, clubs or bars while they try to build enough fans to get a recording contract or representation by an agent. In some cases, musicians and singers write their own music to record and perform. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for performers in the future.

  • Amusement/Theme Park Performer
  • Cruise Line Performer
  • Summer Stock Performer
  • Actor in Musical Theater
  • Choral Director
  • Church Musician
  • Composer/Arranger
  • Conductor
  • Disc Jockey
  • Film Music Editor
  • Instrument Service and Repair Specialist
  • Instrumental Music Performer
  • Instrumental Music Teacher
  • Little/Broadway Theatre Actor
  • Children’s Theater
  • Dinner Theatre Actor
  • Night Club Performer
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Animated Feature Voice
  • Music Critic
  • Acting Instructor/Teacher
  • Music Instructor/Teacher
  • Music Publishing Specialist
  • Music Reporter/librarian
  • Music Software Programmer
  • Music Store Manager/Supervisor
  • Music Therapist
  • Musician
  • Acting/Music Director
  • Recording Company Representative
  • Recording Engineer/Technician
  • Singer
  • Soloist
  • Studio Musician
  • Synthesizer Specialist
  • Vocalist Performer
  • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, public/private schools, private practice, community programs)
  • Vocal Coach
  • Talent Agent
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor

What Can I Do with a Theatre Arts Degree?

Theatre majors attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

A theatre arts degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about Theatre Arts degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Actors, Announcers, Set and Exhibit Designers, and Producers and Directors.

Jobs may be found in the TV, radio or film/video industries and theater, as well as festivals, industrial shows, community organizations, nonprofit art organizations, diner and children’s theatres, cruise ships, performing art centers and touring companies. Directing jobs may be in the TV, radio or film/video industries, even theater. Employment of self-employed directors is expected to grow 16 percent, faster than the motion picture industry, as the number of independent films grows. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for theatre professionals in the future.

  • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Animated Feature Voice
  • Industrial Video On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Audio Book Voiceover
  • TV/Film Documentary On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Amusement/Theme Park Performance Director
  • Cruise Line Performance Director
  • Summer Stock Director
  • Little/Broadway Theatre Director
  • Dinner Theatre Director
  • TV/Radio Director (commercials, dramas, news, talk shows)
  • Film Director
  • Animated Feature Director
  • TV/Film Documentary Director
  • Industrial Video Director
  • Agent
  • Booking Manager
  • Casting Manager
  • Rehearsal Manager
  • Acting Coach
  • Communications Specialist
  • Media Relations Representative
  • Church/Youth Theatre Production Coordinator/Assistant
  • Script Supervisor
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, public/private schools, private practice, community programs)
  • Vocal Coach
  • Talent Agent
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor
  • Costume Design
    • Costume Designer/Costumer
    • Wardrobe Supervisor
    • Fashion Designer
    • Clothing Designer
    • Footwear Designer
    • Accessory Designer Makeup Designer/Artist
    • Hair and Wig Designer/Stylist
    • Makeup Artist
  • Scenic/Set Designer/Artist
  • Event Planner
  • Special Events Manager

What Can I Do with a Theatre Arts Education Degree?

The bachelor of arts with a major in theatre arts education prepares students for teaching theatre arts in middle and secondary schools. Theatre arts education majors attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing—as well as instructional technology, teaching methods and human development and learning.

Graduate Studies

A theatre arts education degree prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about Theatre Arts Education Degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Middle School Teachers, High School Teachers, Actors, Announcers, Set and Exhibit Designers, and Producers and Directors.

The NWU theatre arts education degree is designed specifically to prepare you to teach theatre arts in middle and secondary schools. However, a number of other opportunities are available should you wish not to work in a public or private school environment.

  • Public/Private School Theatre Arts Teacher
  • Public/Private School Drama Teacher/Coach
  • Public/Private School Speech Teacher
  • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, private practice, community programs)
  • Theatre Arts Community Workshop Teacher
  • School Performing Arts Director
  • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Animated Feature Voice
  • Industrial Video On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Audio Book Voiceover
  • TV/Film Documentary On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Agent
  • Booking Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Media Relations Representative
  • Church/Youth Theatre Production Coordinator/Assistant
  • Script Supervisor
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Vocal Coach
  • Talent Agent
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor
  • Costume Design
    • Costume Designer/Costumer
    • Wardrobe Supervisor
    • Fashion Designer
    • Clothing Designer
    • Footwear Designer
    • Accessory Designer Makeup Designer/Artist
    • Hair and Wig Designer/Stylist
    • Makeup Artist
  • Scenic/Set Designer/Artist
  • Event Planner

What Can I Do with a Theatre Design and Technology Degree?

Theatre design and technology professionals design sets, paint scenes,and make costumes that bring a theatrical production to life. They also use computers to manage lights and sound. Some costume, set and exhibit designers, as well as sound and lighting professionals, are employed permanently by theater, dance and opera companies that produce shows year round. However, many companies prefer to contract self-employed or freelancers on a show-by-show basis. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

A degree in theatre design and techology prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about theatre design and technology career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Set and Exhibit Designers, Fashion Designers, Multimedia Artists and Animators, and Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for costume, stage/set design and technology professionals in the future.

  • Costume Design
    • Costume Designer/Costumer
    • Wardrobe Supervisor
    • Fashion Designer
    • Clothing Designer
    • Footwear Designer
    • Accessory Designer Makeup Designer/Artist
    • Hair and Wig Designer/Stylist
    • Makeup Artist
  • Theatrical/Stage/Concert Lighting Designer
    • Production Electrician
    • Lighting Programmer
    • Lighting Operator/Light Board Operator
    • Stage Manager/Assistant Stage Manager
    • Special Effects Designer
  • Scenic/Set Designer/Artist
    • Theatrical Performance Set Designer/Artist
    • Properties Designer
    • Television or Movie Set Designer/Artist
    • Television Studio Set Designer/Artist
    • Trade Show or Convention Exhibit Designer
    • Museum Exhibit Designer/Artist
    • Miniature Set Designer/Artist
    • Furniture Designer
  • Engineer (theatre, meetings, concerts, sports events, conventions, broadcast)
    • Technical Services Manager
    • Sound Designer
    • Recording Engineer
    • Radio/TV Broadcast Technician
    • Sound Engineering Technician
    • Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
    • Recording Engineer
    • Sound Mixers/Rerecording Misers
    • Chief Engineers/Transmission Engineers/Broadcast Field Supervisors
  • Event Planner

What Can I Do with a Theatre Studies Degree?

Theatre majors attain a broad understanding of acting, stage management, directing, stage lighting, costuming, set design and script writing. Last year, 90 percent of the Theatre Department’s graduates found theatrical work on and behind major stages from Los Angeles to London, as well as in touring productions, film and TV.

Graduate Studies

A degree in theatre studies prepares students for graduate work in theatre or professional study in preparation for law, ministry or teaching.

Job Opportunities

For detailed information about theatre studies degree career opportunities, see also Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Actors, Announcers, Set and Exhibit Designers, and Producers and Directors.

Jobs may be found in the TV, radio or film/video industries and theater, as well as festivals, industrial shows, community organizations, nonprofit art organizations, diner and children’s theatres, cruise ships, performing art centers and touring companies. Production companies are experimenting with new content delivery methods, such as mobile and online television, which may lead to more work for theatre professionals in the future.

  • TV Actor (commercials, dramas, on-screen talent)
  • Film Actor/Extra
  • Animated Feature Voice
  • Industrial Video On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Audio Book Voiceover
  • TV/Film Documentary On-screen Talent, Voiceover
  • Agent
  • Booking Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Media Relations Representative
  • Church/Youth Theatre Production Coordinator/Assistant
  • Script Supervisor
  • Community Arts Worker
  • Drama Teacher/Coach (summer camps, private practice, community programs)
  • Vocal Coach
  • Talent Agent
  • Theatre Critic
  • Community College Instructor
  • Costume Design
    • Costume Designer/Costumer
    • Wardrobe Supervisor
    • Fashion Designer
    • Clothing Designer
    • Footwear Designer
    • Accessory Designer Makeup Designer/Artist
    • Hair and Wig Designer/Stylist
    • Makeup Artist
  • Scenic/Set Designer/Artist
  • Event Planner