Circus Performers

Circus performers entertain with a wide variety of unusual acts that terrify, amuse, and amaze their audiences. Circus artists appear to defy death as they swing from a trapeze or walk a tightwire high above the ground. Some perform gymnastic feats on the ground, and clowns entertain with their absurd antics. Others train and perform with animals, such as elephants and tigers. Most circus performers are able to perform a variety of circus skills. Though "running away to join the circus" may seem like a fun way to earn a living, in reality, it is grueling, hard work.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Entertain audiences with a variety of acts, including high-wire and trapeze acts, gymnastic feats, juggling, clowning, and animal acts
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Circuses perform throughout the United States
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • Physical Education
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Several years' experience
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Creative
  • Realistic
Skills
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
  • Public Speaking
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Experienced Circus Performer or Circus Manager
  • Circus Performer
  • Apprentice
  • Set-Up/Clean-Up Crew Member or Animal Caretaker

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