The puppet profession has a long history dating back to the ancient Egypt but it is still alive and well today. Puppeteers design puppets from drawings or computer diagrams and many puppeteers actually construct the puppets they design using wood paper mache styrofoam wires metal and rubber. Many dress their puppets in clothing they sew by hand or machine. However their work does not end there because puppeteers develop ideas for puppet shows with imaginative story lines in which their puppets play roles on stage. During these shows puppeteers work behind the scenes using hand motions so that puppets come to life physically. Puppeteers also speak for their puppets with a wide range of emotional expression so that the puppets can convey humor romance or tragedy. Highly skilled puppeteers are able to work more than one puppet at a time. Puppeteers work in hospitals community theaters amusement parks or for traveling puppet shows private parties or fund raisers. A small number are employed by film and television studios. Puppeteers must have vivid imaginations because the scripts they write must be interesting and entertaining. Also they need excellent hand coordination because they must manipulate the puppets while making them dance sing and perform tricks on stage. According to the website www.jobmonkey.com there is no formal training to become a puppeteer but a degree in theater arts can be helpful. Puppeteers usually earn between $17000 and $22000 annually. Those employed by television or film companies must be members of a union such as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists or the Screen Actors’ Guild and their salaries are usually at the higher end for this profession.

Education Required: Associate's Degree
Avg Salary: $19500
High Salary: $22000
Low Salary: $17000
Tasks: Develops story ideas.
Writes scripts.
Manipulates puppets' actions.
Plays the role of a puppet's voice.
Also Called: Theatrical Artist
Performance Artist
Puppet Master
Additional Resources: http://www.jobmonkey.com/uniquejobs/puppeteer.html