Jobs directly related to your degree
- Actor - uses speech, movement, expression and body language to convey characters, emotions and situations. May perform before a live theatre audience or through audio, TV and film recordings.
- Dancer - often works freelance in contemporary dance, classical ballet or other forms such as modern stage, street, African or Asian dance. Most work is stage based and in front of an audience although film, television and music video performances are also a possibility. Collaboration projects with other art forms, such as drama, music and multimedia, are common.
- Theatre director - has responsibility for the overall practical and creative interpretation of a dramatic script or musical score, taking into account the budgetary and physical constraints of production. They work closely with the producer, creative and production teams and performers.
- Dramatherapist or music therapist - combines dance, drama or music with therapeutic techniques to help patients recover from emotional, psychological or physical conditions. Extensive training in therapy and counselling is needed after a performing arts degree.
- Community arts worker - engages various community groups to adapt and perform different types of work including plays, festivals and musicals, which may be given a local slant. The umbrella term ‘community arts worker’ encompasses arts development and youth engagement officers and creative practitioners, amongst others.
Jobs where your degree would be useful
- Arts administrator - manages activities and services supporting the arts sector involving initiatives provided by arts premises and bodies. This could include programming, funding, marketing and finance. Often has theatre experience or a postgraduate qualification.
- Theatre stage manager - responsible for ensuring that rehearsals and actual performances run smoothly in terms of timing, props and technical coordination. May have drama training, come from vocational courses or begin as an assistant stage manager.
- Broadcast presenter - is the public face - or voice - of programmes broadcast on TV, radio and the internet and/or provides the announcements and continuity links between these. Often has drama training/experience or comes from a performance career.
- Secondary school teacher - teaches dance, drama or music to 11-18 year-olds, giving a broad general education in these areas and preparing others for examinations such as GCSE and A-level. Private teaching for professional examinations is also possible.
- Higher education lecturer or further education lecturer - lectures on the practical and academic aspects of the performing arts. Often works part time and carries on a performance or production career.
Performing artists will generally supplement their training, generate opportunities and enhance their creative knowledge by participating in voluntary projects and work experience. Many of these will take the form of community projects in a local community centre, unfunded charitable organisations' projects and supporting industry professionals in developing their creative process.
Often actors and dancers will organise workshops and creative laboratories to expand their art form, as well as applying for funding for self-created art projects. Many dancers and actors will also start their own company with a particular art form style they want to explore.
These unpaid projects or workshops are valuable ways to grow as an artist while creating opportunities for the exchange of ideas and these open forums/performances are often attended by industry professionals.
Although some of the jobs listed here might not be first jobs for many graduates, they are among the many realistic possibilities with your degree, provided you can demonstrate you have the attributes employers are looking for. Bear in mind that it’s not just your degree discipline that determines your options. Remember that many graduate vacancies don't specify particular degree disciplines, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here. Look at your degree... what next? for informed advice on career planning and graduate employment, or login/register with My Prospects to find out what jobs would suit you, a helpful starting point for self-analysis.
Explore types of jobs to find out more about the above options and related jobs.