How to Become a Circus Performer

From Best Jobs Info Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

A circus performer entertains the public by performing one or a combination of many circus skills such as juggling, aerial tricks, acrobatic exercises, or balancing work. Besides major circuses, circus performers can work in live shows, cruise ships and amusement parks. [1]They often travel the world in these entertainment jobs, delighting young and old with their performances. A circus performer is one of job that doesn't require a college degree, but performers often need specialized training.


Flickr: timlewisnm
Education Specialized training
Starting pay $300 per week[2]
Median pay $55,000 per year[2]
10 yr growth Slower than average
Related professions Stuntman
Author Selena Robinson

Interested in learning how to make money online FAST? Sign up for our newsletter here to learn about the best ways to earn online that are working right NOW


Circus Performer Job Overview

A circus performer develops and performs original acts showcasing great skill, humor, and emotive depth for the general public. Circus performers may specialize or combine any of the following skills: juggling, clowning, acrobatic tumbling, aerials (cord lisse, rope, Chinese pole, static trapeze), acro-balance, contortionism, object manipulation, tight or slack-rope walking, or flying trapeze.[1]A circus performer may also interact with animals, such as elephants, horses and tigers, during a performance.

When not performing, a circus performer polishes existing skills and acts, works on new abilities, maintains strength and flexibility, devises new performance choreography, collaborates with directors and other performers, goes to auditions, and communicates with agents.[1]

Circus Performer Education

Specific circus jobs usually require a particular set of skills. Clowns have certain talents, for instance, most of which can be learned at a clown school. Community colleges and the theater departments of some schools also frequently offer clown training. In addition, there are other types of circus schools throughout the world, some of which even provide online training resources. The types of training and classes that they offer can vary, but most of them include acrobatics, juggling, trapeze work, and other skills related to circus performances.[3]

Circus Performer Training

Circus performers usually train at circus schools, where they are coached on putting together a repertoire to show circus companies. Employers usually hold auditions where aspiring performers demonstrate their acts. Circus performers generally enter into employment contracts for one or two years. Some performers work with an agent to find a job with the circus and the agent can help them negotiate salary terms.[3]

A Unique Circus Act

A juggler performs with his dogs.

Also See: How to Become a Director, How to Become a Singer, How to Become a Dancer


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. 3.0 3.1