Acting Diploma and Training

Acting diploma programs offer short-term, specialized training in acting for the stage or screen. Explore what you'd study and practice in an acting diploma program. Get info on the employment options for actors. Schools offering Acting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Do I Need an Acting Diploma?

You are not required to have an acting diploma to find work as an actor. However, diploma programs instruct you on basic and advanced acting techniques for different mediums, such as theater or film. While some programs may require an audition, a high school diploma or GED may be the only educational requirement needed to enroll. If you are enrolled in a diploma program offered by a college, you are not required to meet all other liberal arts requirements that would be needed for a degree program.

Diploma Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent; sometimes an audition
Key Topics Discussed Character development, acting methods, film, dance, stage management
Potential Work Environments Television, film, theater, education
Median Salary (2018)$49,988 (for actor/actress)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)12% growth (for all actors)**

Source: *, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Study?

In an acting diploma program, you will be instructed on the history and principles of acting techniques, character development and the differences between stage/film acting. You will do some performance work as a student, but the more detailed performances will come as you continue your education. You may also take dancing, singing and voice classes as well. Some programs may require that you take filmmaking or stage management courses to earn an appreciation of other parts of the industry.

As you advance in your program, your studies will move away from basic instruction, and you will spend more time at rehearsals, readings and performances. You may also be required to work extensively with playwrights. Opportunities will also be available to learn the different acting methods to perform both classic and contemporary plays. Keep in mind that an acting for the stage diploma program may have different curriculum, outcomes and objectives than an acting for film program.

However, many diploma programs teach film, television and stage programs to cross-train you on all aspects of the entertainment industry. This cross-training can be a viable tool when you begin to audition. Diploma programs also prepare actors with professional assistance as well.

Where Can I Work?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there are a multitude of opportunities for actors, but they may not always be consistent or well-paying ( The BLS also states that in many cases, actors need to have another job in order to sustain themselves financially. Actors can work in theater productions, both professionally or locally. Opportunities are also available in TV, film and videos. Some actors may choose one area to practice, while others may enjoy the versatility and greater job opportunities to work in all mediums. As an actor, you may also find work as an instructor. Finding jobs as an actor is highly competitive, so you will need to be able to handle rejection well as a result.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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