How Much Do Actors Get Paid?

Paid Actors

If you’re someone who dreams of becoming an actor you’ve probably found yourself thinking about how much money you could make in this business once you land your acting auditions. It would be easy point out high earning actors and actresses like Brad Pit, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, and Scarlett Johansson but like any business you have to climb that financial ladder at some point.

That’s why we’ve decided to break down the various starting incomes for each type of acting job you could find yourself with. Now, this doesn’t mean that you will always be offered exactly this amount, but it will at least give you an idea of what you could make on certain jobs.

 

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Pay Scale for Extras/Background Actors

Some of the easiest work to get as an actor who is just starting out is as an extra or background actor. There is always a need for these types of workers for both television and film auditions, and certain projects pay pretty well. In fact, the average extra can expect to make a fixed rate $60.00 to $350.00 for 4-10 hours a day depending on the production.

Pay Scale for SAG (Union Actors) Principal TV

For those who are looking to land feature roles on TV shows you can definitely expect to see an increase in how much you’re paid. However, the pay scale still varies by program length in which case you can expect the minimum day rates for each episode. The rates are much higher, according to AuditionsHQ.com – If you’re contracted and that could lead you to be paid anywhere between $50,000 and $2 million an episode

Principal Theatrical (Film)

Actors who are looking for feature roles in film productions you can expect your payment method to vary depending on your involvement. For example:

  • Performer – $859
  • Stunt Performer – $859
  • Stunt Coordinator – $859 (employed at less than “flat deal”)

List Below you can find more payment amount for actors who may have other talents other than acting such as singing, dancing, and more.

Singers (Theatrical, on and off-camera)/ (Television on-camera)
  • Solo & Duo: $929
  • Groups 3-8: $815
  • Groups 9+: $711
  • Mouthing 1-16: $981
  • Mouthing 17+: $530
  • Sweetening with/without Overdubbing: +100% per day
  • Overdubbing Only: +33-1/3%
  • Contractor 3-8: +50%
  • Contractor 9+: +100%
Singers (Television off-camera)- 4 hour session
  • Solo & Duo: $929
  • Groups 3-8: $492
  • Groups 9+: $422
  • Sweetening with/without overdubbing: +100% per day
  • Overdubbing only: +33-1/3%
  • Contractor 3-8: +50%
  • Contractor 9+: +100%
Dancers
  • Solo & Duo: $859
  • Groups 3-8: $752
  • Groups 9+: $657
  • Rehearsal rate: $505 per day

Now I know this may not be what some of you were expecting the price break down would be for actors, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t one day make millions. Every actor has to start somewhere and eventually most of them climb the entertainment ladder to a point where they are making the big bucks. Even Brad Pitt didn’t start out making millions of dollars right away as you can see in the list below:

BRAD PITT’S SALARY RECORD SINCE GETTING INTO SAG (PRINCIPAL ROLES ONLY)
  • 1987 Less Than Zero: $38.00
  • 1989 Cutting Class: $12,000
  • 1991 Thelma & Louise: $6,000
  • 1993 Kalifornia: $500,000
  • 1995 Se7en: $4,000,000
  • 1996 Sleepers: $10,000,000
  • 1997 The Devil’s Own: $8,000,000
  • 1997 Seven Years in Tibet: $10,000,000
  • 1998 Meet Joe Black: $17,500,000
  • 1999 Fight Club: $17,5000,000
  • 2001 The Mexican: $10,000,000
  • 2001 Spy Game: $17,500,000
  • 2001 Ocean’s Eleven: $30,000,000 (10m salary + backend participations)
  • 2004 Troy $17,500,000
  • 2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith: $20,000,000
  • 2007 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: $1,000,000
  • 2009 Inglourious Basterds: $10,000,000

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10 Comments

  1. Hi my name is davine Jackson I am 15 years old and very talented. I’m good at dancing and also acting. I really wanna become a actress so I can already have my skill down pack for when I go to college. If I get pick to play in something that would be the most happiest day of my life…

  2. Hello, my name is Samantha and I am 16 years old. I am a latina living in a small town in Illinois. I honestly don’t have much acting exprience besides a few monolouges here and there, But I’ve always wanted to be an actress. I honestly believe I have the determination to accomplish my dreams. I will be so grateful is you gave me a chance, you will not be dissapointed.

  3. Hello! my name is Asiaonna Wallace , I’m 14 year’s old and my birthday June,6 I weight forty eight pounds and forty-four inches tall and can easy be mistake for a eight year old. I have been through a lot in my life from chronic heart,lung and kidney disease I didn’t even suppose to had live ,but my GOD had other plans. Although it’s not a lot I can do ,however I can color real good, acting it just comes naturally I have a big smile,I love the camera I love pink. I can be use as a teenager or a little girl for any role. If giving one chance you want regret it.

  4. Hello my name is Caitlin winzar, I’m 17 years old (Turing 18 this year) and I’ve been studying in the performing arts and I’m looking for a big break, I’m very good at ascents and impersonations, and I have the ability to turn my personality into the characters so I can perform at my level best. I’m really looking for a big break since this has been my soul passion to go into acting.

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