Stunt performer

stuntman stuntwoman body double stunt actor stunt actress stunt double
Create

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would stand in for actors when the script calls for anything dangerous or specialised to be done on a film or TV set.

To be able to carry out the stunts and make them look natural, you would use highly-developed physical and sporting skills, such as:

  • Gymnastics or high diving, for performing all types of falls
  • Fighting skills, possibly with weapons
  • Swimming or diving
  • Horse riding
  • Advanced driving techniques, for performing car chases and crashes

It would be your job to set up and plan stunts as well as perform them, usually under the supervision of a stunt coordinator. Every detail of the stunt would need to be planned with the production staff. This is so you could make sure that it is safe to perform and disrupts filming as little as possible.

Health and safety would be very important as the work could be dangerous. You would need to carry out a full risk assessment and complete detailed paperwork before you perform each stunt.

Working conditions

Hours

Working hours can be irregular and unsocial, depending on filming schedules. Days on set can be very long, although you may spend a lot of that time planning and setting up stunts, and waiting between scenes.

Environment

The work could be in studios or outside locations, depending on the script. Some stunts may need you to spend a long time in uncomfortable conditions, such as underwater or in hot environments. You would wear protective clothing, harnesses or helmets for some stunts.

Travel

You could travel to studios and locations all over the UK and abroad, and you may spend long periods away from home.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Accuracy
  • Being physically fit
  • Performing
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Paying attention to detail

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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

Qualifications

You do not need formal qualifications, though it is usual to have some experience of working on a TV or film set as an extra or walk-on actor.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Physical subjects such as physical education, dance and drama

You will also need

To get work you must be on the Joint Industry Stunt Committee (JISC) Register of Stunt/Action Co-ordinators and Performers.

To gain JISC accreditation you must have proven skill levels and at one year’s experience in six or more sporting categories as listed by JISC. There are eleven categories in total, which belong to five different groups. Each group relates to a specific area of skills — for example, fighting, falling and water ability.

You must also have completed 60 days work in front of a camera, but this must not be stunt work.

Once you are accepted on to the JISC register you must work for at least three years as a Probationary Member, working only under the supervision of a full member of the Register.

  • High levels of skill in all the sports you offer
  • Good acting skills to work as a stunt double
  • A member of Equity
  • Be at least 18 years old

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that:

  • show physical and mental strength such as Skills for Work Uniformed Services (SCQF level 4)
  • give you an understanding of the industry such as Skills for Work Creative Industries (SCFQ level 5)