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.


Quick Facts
Duties Entertain audiences with a variety of acts, including high-wire and trapeze acts, gymnastic feats, juggling, clowning, and animal acts
Alternate Title(s) None
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Circuses perform throughout the United States
Education and Training
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
Related School Subjects
  • Physical Education
  • Theater/Dance
Experience It will take 10 years or more to complete on-the-job training to become a circus performer.
Skills
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
  • Public Speaking
Personality Traits
  • Athletic
  • Creative
  • Realistic
Licensure/Certification None
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Experienced Circus Performer or Circus Manager
  • Circus Performer
  • Apprentice
  • Set-Up/Clean-Up Crew Member or Animal Caretaker