performer performing artist creative practitioner YouTuber
Performing arts and media

Career outlook for entertainer

Average UK salary


Currently employed in Scotland


"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

If you’re a talented performer, you could have a future in the world of entertainment. There are opportunities for comedians, musicians, YouTube streamers, magicians and more.  

It’s a competitive industry so you’ll need to continually work on your performance to make it as professional as possible. That might mean hitting local comedy clubs to put your new stand-up act to the test, or seeing a vocal coach to extend your singing range.  

Where you perform is up to you – you might thrive in the buzz of bars and clubs or prefer the control of streaming all your performances online. Either way, you’ll need to promote yourself. Being on as many social media channels as possible is a good idea. You might also want to seek representation or make connections with a booking agent to help you grow your career. 

Once you’ve built a loyal following, it’ll be easier to find good gigs. It pays to think beyond the obvious – corporate events, where companies book performers to entertain their clients and guests, can be a particularly lucrative source of income.  

What you’ll do 

  • Rehearse your act  
  • Come up with new ideas – material, songs, routines etc.  
  • Livestream through online channels like YouTube or Twitch 
  • Record and edit videos to publish online 
  • Audition for paid gigs  
  • Perform for an audience at bars, clubs, and corporate events – you might even tour different venues across the country   
  • Promote your act and manage your online presence 
  • Maintain relationships with agents and bookers 
  • Interact with fans and followers on social media 

Working conditions


As a performer, you won’t often work traditional office hours. Most of your work will happen on weekends and evenings, as well as a few late nights.


Depending on your act, you could perform in bars and clubs. Or you might make a living from the comfort of your own home as a streamer.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Persevering
  • Positive attitude
  • Networking
  • Verbal communication
  • Creative
  • Innovative
  • Self esteem
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.


You can develop the necessary skills for this role through a variety of routes.

While there’s not usually any formal qualifications you need to get into this role, entertainers will often have gained qualifications in order to develop their skills and to demonstrate their talents to others.

There are many courses available through workshops, summer schools and online, as well as at colleges and universities.

Entertainers will often have completed courses in:

  • Performing arts (dance, drama, music)
  • Comedy
  • Video editing (useful to create Youtube content)

You could gain work experience and start to build a fan base and gain popularity through:

  • Open-mic sessions at comedy clubs/local venues
  • Working as an entertainer in holiday parks, resorts or on cruise ships
  • Taking part in street festivals


You can gain skills and qualifications in the workplace through options such as:

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are chosen as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 but include hands-on learning at a local employer or college. They are the same level as a Higher.

You might want to consider an FA in areas such as:

  • Creative and Digital Media 

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) mean you learn on the job. You get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider an MA in areas such as:

  • Creative and Digital Media

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institution websites for specific entry information.

 Useful subjects for this job would be:

  • Drama
  • Music
  • English​​​​​​​

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that show a range of transferable skills.

As entertainers will normally be self-employed, an understanding of business would be useful. You will also need to be determined as there's strong competition in the entertainment industry.

You may want to consider joining Equity - a trade union for the entertainment industry - and you can then use their resources to find castings and vacancies.