The Average Salary of Child Actors

Written by michelle renee
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The Average Salary of Child Actors
(Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

All the different streams of income, types of networks, levels of professionalism and off-screen endeavours that make up a child star's earnings make it difficult to pinpoint and confirm what the average salary of a child actor may be. No matter what calibre of thespian your child may be, or what his income is, in accordance to the "Coogan Bill" passed in 1939, 15 per cent of his earnings from acting will be put in a trust fund until he has reached adulthood.

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High Earners Of 2010

According to the 2010 article "TV's Top Kid Actor Makes How Much?" on iVillage Entertainment news website, the highest paid teen boy and girl -- both 16 years old -- on television are Angus T. Jones and Miranda Cosgrove. Jones, who stars in the CBS sitcom "Two And A Half Men" with Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer, brought in £162,500 per episode in 2010. Cosgrove makes considerably less than Jones but maintains a six digit salary for her role on Nickelodeon's "iCarly" at a whopping £117,000 an episode.

Average Earnings For A-list Television Actors

In 2010 the average salary of well-known child actors on prime television and cable networks -- such as Nickelodeon and Disney Channel -- is typically between about £7,800 and £16,250 per episode. Star of Disney's "Wizards of Waverly Place," Selena Gomez makes £16,250 per episode. Her Disney peers, Dylan and Cole Sprouse of "The Suite Life" earn £13,000 per episode each. Eleven-year-old Rico Rodriquez of ABC's "Modern Family" earns £9,750 and Atticus Shaffer of "The Middle" rakes £7,800 per show.

Unknown Actor Salaries & Considerations

Children just starting out in the entertainment industry make considerably less money than their television and movie star inspirations. Parents of up and coming young actors will have to absorb a good deal of expenses along the way too. According to the SimplyHired career and salary website, the average salary of unknown child actors in 2011 is around £33,800 per year. However, a significant amount of those earnings are spent on agents, press kits, photo shoots, management and travelling to auditions and set locations. Another consideration is that different actors in the same production receive varied wages. Main characters typically are paid higher wages than extras.

Royalties, Residuals & Merchandise

Though it varies dramatically from case to case, royalties, residuals, merchandise and other off-the-set factors have a direct effect on a child actor's income; famous or unknown. Children who act in commercials are most often paid residual fees for each time the commercial airs, on top of the initial payment for acting in it. This holds true for both famous and unknown kids earning minimal to excessive residuals. A considerable amount of an A-list child actor's salary is derived from concerts, merchandise sales, product endorsements and public appearances. A prime example is Miley Cyrus who earns a mere £9,750 per episode for "Hannah Montana" but has a net worth of £0.6 billion dollars earned from other endeavours.

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