The salary for actors varies wildly, from little above the minimum wage for walk-on extra work to millions of pounds for the UK's top film stars. There are several factors to consider when embarking on an acting career. Factors such as geographic location and years of acting experience play important roles in the average salary of an actor.
The average actor's salary as of 2014 ranges from £5,000 a year for supporting actors at provincial theatres to around £80,000 a year for regular TV actors in non-starring roles, according to information supplied by actors to Glass Door UK. Not every acting job will be profitable, and geographic location has everything to do with this. For example, small provincial theatres typically pay far less than establishments in London's West End theatre district or broadcast radio, TV or film work.
The more experience an actor has means the higher the average salary will be. Established actors with 10 to 19 years of experience tend to land the most work and earn the highest salaries. As actors become more well-known and popular they can also negotiate higher fees for their work. Many famous actors also receive one-off payments for guest appearances and voice-over work.
Most established actors join the industry union, Equity, which negotiates standard rates on behalf of its members. Equity sets rates in most acting areas, including ballet, opera, theatre, walk-on and supporting cast, films, TV, radio, singers and outdoor touring theatres.