Acrobat

Do amazing dance-athletic acts for the entertainment of audiences.
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Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Acrobats do?

Acrobats perform gymnastic feats that require tremendous strength, balance, agility, and motor coordination. As an Acrobat, therefore, you’re equal parts Performer and Athlete. Employed by circuses, acrobatic troupes, and other performance groups—variety shows, for instance, or dance companies—you turn your body into performance art by combining elements of dance, gymnastics, and contortionism.

This job has a long history. Though it’s hard to imagine a world without electronic entertainment, people were having fun—courtesy of Acrobats—long before there were televisions to watch, movies to see, videogames to play, or social networks to browse. In fact, Archaeologists in China and the Mediterranean have discovered drawings of Gymnasts dating back more than 2,000 years.

The daily work of an Acrobat consists of an act, or repertoire, that you create, rehearse, and perform on a regular basis. Depending on your talents, that act might include juggling, trapeze, contortion, tightrope walking, or gymnastic stunts, including flips, handstands, tumbling, and trampolining. Sometimes you perform on a bare stage, but often you can be found on top of props, including platforms, bicycles, balls, and even animals, like horses and elephants.

Whether you’re performing or competing—many Acrobats participate in acrobatic competitions, either for prize money or prestige—your goal is always the same: to entertain people by making your body do unbelievable things, the result of which is a series of audible “oohs” and “aahs” from your audience!


Should I be an Acrobat?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become an Acrobat

    Most Acrobats have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Bachelor's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9cakac&chl=no+college+%2860%25%29|certificate+%2828%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2810%25%29||doctorate+%282%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,60,60
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