How Much Does The Average Actor Make? Less Than You Think

A new report reveals how many people are acting and how much money they earn.

Like the salaries of most working people, the sums that actors rake in each year — for the most part — aren’t public knowledge. Forbes has made a yearly habit out of posting lists of the biggest earners in Hollywood, but what about the rest of the folks?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s not nearly as much as what the likes of Robert Downey Jr. and Channing Tatum make.

In their new report on employment and wages, the bureau revealed the average salary for a bunch of different jobs within entertainment, including actors, producers and directors. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the total doesn’t come anywhere near RDJ’s $75 million, but it might be lower than you expect.

Of the 155,740 actors, directors and producers included in the survey by the Department of Labor report, the average person made $89,000 in 2013, at the rate of $42.80 an hour.

The median is a good deal lower at $30.48. For actors specifically, the median moves down to $22.15.

(And for those of you looking to enter any of those professions, that figure takes 63,230 actors and 92,510 directors and producers into account.)

The really telling number here is that median, since there are an equal number of actors that make higher and lower. And it’s also worth noting that people like RDJ and Tatum are the people driving the average up toward the higher end and making acting seem more lucrative for the average thespian than it really is.

So the next time you watch a movie and wonder how much everyone on the screen is making — at least the ones with lines — now you have a better idea.

Writer/editor for MTV. If it involves cowboys, spies, or hitmen, I'm there. All three would be ideal.