Have you ever wondered what actors get paid? I’m talking about the ones we see on television and in movies. I did a quick check and it varies. One source states an actor in Los Angeles earns an average annual salary of about $71,000 (U.S.). Of course there is a wide salary disparity among actors and a large unemployment rate. There is a union called the Screen Actors Guild that mandates daily and weekly minimum rates of pay for actors working in film and tv. Daily and weekly rates vary depending on how long an actor works, whether it’s a half or hour long tv show, high or low budget movie. An actor playing a major role in a half hour tv show for example gets paid a minimum of about $5,000/week.
Of course minimums are just that. Actors and their agents are free to negotiate higher rates and are only limited by what producers are willing to pay. Some tv actors on the Big Bang Theory are earning as much as a million $ per episode. Others on shows like Game of Thrones, Law & Order and NCIS make hundreds of thousands per episode. The A list movie stars earn millions per film but sometimes other principal actors in their movies are paid a fraction of what the leading man or woman receives. Unemployment can range upward of 50% in the industry so I wouldn’t be thinking of giving up your day job and heading to Hollywood unless you’re prepared to flip burgers or park cars while waiting for your big break.