If you went to college and majored in Performing Arts, only to discover theatre, TV, and film is not for you, do not worry. There are plenty of options if you are seeking well-paid careers in which your performing arts degree will help you.
Let’s face it. The United States is responsible for 84% of the world’s media. So, an understanding of the media is always beneficial in today’s world. You can also get some really good paying jobs, too.
Lawyer | Average Salary: $160K
Believe it or not, when I was in college for my Performing Arts Degree, our group of majors was scouted by several law schools. While some students were thinking, ‘This will help me when I get on Law & Order!”, other students were listening to why the law school chose to scout actors.
The main reason? Lawyers who know how to sway the emotions of a jury have a better chance at winning cases. Lawsuits and trials are dramatic by nature, and any lawyer who understands “performing” and “drama” is better equipped to memorize facts, scripts, and speeches.
They are better at presenting facts than someone who is dull, nervous, and unfeeling. Myself, I know several lawyers with well-paid careers who were inspired by the film, “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
Judge | Average Salary: $175K - $225K
Judges often have a great deal of charisma and understand people better than anyone. The profession of Performing Arts is all about studying “the performance of life”. And the performance of life is playing out in front of the judge every day. The judge has to maintain control over all of it.
Judges have to maintain order in their own courtroom over lawyers, jury, courtroom officers, plaintiffs, and defendants. They are all there to either argue or maintain control. And the judge must be sharp enough to spot certain behaviors and respond justly.
Performers are known for charisma, dealing with audiences, confidence in dramatic situations, and captivating attention. Judges are required to do the same thing. See for yourself the next time you have jury duty.
Meteorologist | Average salary: $100,000
There is a difference between a “TV Weather Presenter” and a “Meteorologist”. One is a performer, and the other is a scientist.
If you are that excited scientist with that desire for drama you can explore being a TV weather presenter. You will actually be paid more because you have a deeper understanding of how to present. You also have a love for the science of Meteorology, so your predictions and explanations may be more exciting to watch and listen.
TV weather presenters, on average, make $20K less than scientists in the field of “performing weather knowledge to millions”. Meteorologists can also have well-paid careers working for the government.
Politicians | Average salary: $150K - $400K
Politics and media go hand-and-hand in the United States. Politicians spend a great deal of time meeting new people, going on interviews, and campaigning. They ideally represent the people and have to argue on behalf of them. More so, they have to win elections to stay employed. That means winning people over with charisma, looks, ability to make a point, and overall “likeability”.
Performing Arts Degrees also involve courses on the reality of how people are perceived, based on clothes, looks, age etc. It can be an unforgiving business. And politicians are not exempt from these standards. Knowing how to get a point across in the media has been important since the dawn of radio.
The ranges for your well-paid careers in politics can vary from Federal, State, and Local politics. Here are the salaries at the very peak of a politician’s career in Federal Government:
- Congress Members (Representatives and Senators): $175K
- Senate and House Majority/Minority Leaders: $195K
- Cabinet Members: $200K
- Speaker of the House: $225K
- Vice President: $230K
- President: $400K
Local and state politicians’ salary vary greatly. In the US, the highest paying jobs in state politics goes to the governor, ranging between $150K and $190K.
The lowest paid politician’s salary known is a state representative from New Hampshire, who makes $100 (dollars) a year. As you can assume, this is a part-time job. And if you are an actor, you are used to getting paid very little.
College Professor with Ph.D. | Average salary: $127K
This requires little explanation. People do have doctorates in dramatic arts. If you prefer teaching performing arts, you can stay in school longer and eventually earn a Ph.D.
This will make you valuable to any high paying university with a strong performing arts program. There are many really good paying jobs out there for anyone with a Ph.D.
It may not be the well-paid career you had expected, but you still get to stay in performing arts. You give back to others like you and that can be rewarding.
What they all have in common
People stay in these well-paid careers due to their ability to communicate emotion, creatively express, sway audiences, understand feelings, almost predict behavior, and when called for...entertain a little.