Drama

Careers

Careers directly or closely related to drama include:

  • Actor
  • Community theatre worker
  • Drama therapist
  • Stage manager
  • Teacher / lecturer
  • Theatre / film / TV director

There are other careers e.g. in performing arts and the creative / digital sectors where  drama can be helpful, although there may be other entry requirements too. They include:

  • Actor’s agent
  • Arts administrator
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Camera operator
  • Children’s entertainer
  • Cinematographer
  • Costume designer
  • Film editor
  • Film / TV producer
  • Lighting designer / technician
  • Make up artist
  • Producer (stage / TV / film)
  • Prop maker
  • Scriptwriter / screenwriter
  • Set designer
  • Sound engineer / technician
  • Special effects technician
  • Stagehand
  • Stunt artist
  • TV / film production assistant
  • TV / film runner
  • TV / radio presenter
  • Wardrobe assistant

Skills

Studying drama can help you develop wider skills such as:

  • Adaptability
  • Analytical
  • Communication
  • Confidence and self belief
  • Creativity
  • Evaluating your work
  • Dealing with / giving feedback
  • Organising
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Research
  • Resilience
  • Self awareness
  • Self-discipline
  • Time management
  • Working with others

These skills are important for many jobs at different levels and with a range of entry  routes, including apprenticeships and further or higher education. Here’s a selection:

  • Advertising account executive
  • Barrister / solicitor
  • Beauty therapist
  • Box office manager
  • Careers adviser
  • Carpenter / joiner
  • Customer service assistant
  • Electrician
  • Events manager
  • Exhibition designer
  • Financial adviser
  • Florist
  • Front of house assistant
  • Fundraiser
  • Hairdresser
  • Interior designer
  • Journalist
  • Marketing assistant / officer
  • Painter and decorator
  • Public relations (PR) officer
  • Receptionist
  • Sales representative
  • Youth / community worker

Routes

It’s important to back up drama with other subjects. English and maths are required for most  jobs and for technical careers, you will probably need some sciences. 

Most actors have had professional training although it isn’t essential. You have to pay for  some training but, depending on the course, there are loans, scholarships and bursaries that can help. Some of the creative industries are also developing apprenticeships. 

Careers in performing arts don’t normally follow a traditional path. Freelance work and short  term contracts are common and a good network of contacts is essential in order to spot opportunities. You also have to promote yourself and keep your skills up to date. You can start building up skills and contacts through youth or community theatre groups, drama or film workshops, internships or mentoring opportunities. 

Did You Know?

A number of actors have become successful politicians, including Arnold Schwarzenegger  and Ronald Reagan, who went on to become President of the USA. Oscar winner Glenda Jackson gave up acting to become an MP and then returned to the stage, at the age of 80, to play King Lear!

Find out more

For more ideas and information, visit: nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk.

If you’re thinking about higher education, visit www.prospects.ac.uk to see what drama or theatre studies graduates have done after their degree. 

Other websites