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Performing and creative arts: career FAQs

Your questions answered about careers in performing and creative arts, including getting a job, applications, working life and salaries.

How can I get a job in performing and creative arts?

This is one of those competitive areas where relevant work experience is vital to getting a foot in the door. Taking the opportunity to get involved in student productions, for example, will enhance your skills and prove your commitment.

Performers are often self-employed, usually working on a contract basis. It is possible to get permanent jobs in administrative work in this field.

Most creative artists will work on a self-employed basis, although there are some job opportunities within large manufacturing companies for example. Self-employed crafts people can sell work at local markets and fairs or may get commissions from organisations, individuals or the public sector.

Job opportunities in the creative industries
Getting a job in art and design

What are the different areas of work?

The performing arts does not just offer careers for actors, dancers and musicians. You could work as a producer, writer or choreographer and there are many creative job opportunities working behind the scenes in areas such as set design, theatre management, costume design and lighting.

Creative arts has opportunities in areas such as ceramics, textiles, jewellery, wood and glass work, toys, furniture making, textiles and leather work.

Both areas also offer a range of specialist and managerial roles. In performing arts these include theatre manager, assistant stage manager, casting, production and box office. Both performing and creative arts need people with skills in PR and marketing – as well as administrative and financial expertise.

Future trends for careers in art and design

What qualifications and skills do I need to work in performing and creative arts?

Creative artists and performers are likely to have completed a relevant degree.

If you’re looking for a ‘behind the scenes’ job, useful degree subjects include English and music; training in drama, theatre studies or arts management can help you get in.

What are the opportunities for professional development?

Art and design graduates: what to expect after graduation

Other related career sectors

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