Do gag routines in a silly costume and elaborate makeup.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Clowns do?

Clowns are entertainers. Armed with costumes, props, and a sense of humor, they’re paid to perform in front of audiences, either by themselves or with other Clowns.

Forget the staid shirts, ties, slacks, skirts, and blouses. Instead, how about giant shoes, face paint, a fluorescent wig, a bowtie, suspenders, and a big red nose? It’s not your typical corporate uniform, but that’s what you wear to work when you’re a Clown. Although your pink hair and polka-dotted pants probably wouldn’t go over too well in a traditional office, they go over perfectly at theaters, arenas, rodeos, amusement parks, and parties — and, of course, circuses — all of which are classic Clown cubicles.

No matter where your “office” is, your job is to entertain people through your act — called a “gag” — which is a rehearsed routine that might include any or all of the following components: jokes, juggling, balloon art, miming, magic tricks, animal stunts, impersonations, pranks, and visual puns.

Really, what you do depends on what type of Clown you are. If you’re a Whiteface Clown, for instance, you’re considered the head Clown in a troupe, which entitles you to direct the gag as chief troublemaker. If you’re an Auguste Clown, on the other hand, you’re the butt of the joke (Whiteface Clowns throw the pie in the face; Auguste Clowns take it!). Meanwhile, if you’re a Character Clown, you play an exaggerated character like a Cowboy, Baker, housewife, or hobo.

It’s simple: Whiteface, Auguste, or Character, performing freelance at birthday parties or full-time at the circus, your job quite literally is “clowning around”!

Should I be a Clown?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.

  • Also known as: Circus Clown

    How to become a Clown

    Most Clowns 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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