For individuals who thrive on performing in front of an audience and communicating to people why something is funny a career as a comedian could be fulfilling. However becoming a professional comedian is not easy. Individuals must work long and hard to practice a routine and fine tune an act.

If they are to be successful they must develop a style that fits with their personality. For example will they tell long stories or capitalize on one-liner jokes? Will they speak in a loud or soft tone and what kind of body language will they use?

There is no formal training to become a comedian although some have attended film school or taken courses in comedy writing. Observing other comedians and determining why their acts are funny is a good way learn but it is important not to develop a reputation for stealing jokes.

Initially aspiring comedians should develop 10 or 20 minutes of material and look for an open spot at a small club which is usually unpaid. However this is a good way to become noticed and with this experience together with serious networking the beginning comedian will start to be contacted by promoters for paid gigs. Comedians must work long hours to make a living. They may do live performances as often as six nights a week.

According to the website their pay varies by location specific employer and experience but they earn an average annual salary of approximately $30000.

Unless comedians are major stars they will probably have to supplement their income with other jobs partly because they may have to pay their own expenses for travel to a gig.

Education Required: High School Diploma
Avg Salary: $30000
High Salary: $40000
Low Salary: $20000
Tasks: Practices routines to perform in front of crowds.
Explains to an audience why situations are funny.
Works long hours performing on stage.
Writes original jokes.
Also Called: Actor
Comedy Writer
Stand-Up Comic
Additional Resources: