Be the person behind the puppet.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Puppeteers do?

Puppets are often used to educate and entertain children. A singing vampire puppet can teach kids to count, and the kids may not even know a lesson is taking place. Puppets are also often used to entertain adults. The puppets may say amazingly nasty, cruel things, but their round, doll-like faces make those comments seem somehow innocent and non-threatening.

A puppet is a doll come to life, and as a Puppeteer, you pull the strings.

Like any true performer, a Puppeteer spends hours and hours coming up with material to discuss. You may study children’s books, watch news programs, or read the paper for inspiration. You come up with jokes and lines, and then think of puppets to deliver those lines. Using computer programs, Puppeteers design those puppets, or you may simply build them out of foam, wood, or papier mâché and let them take form underneath your hands.

When your puppets are made and your script is written, you rehearse. You come up with different voices for your puppets, and then you put on your show, hiding behind a curtain so only the puppets are visible. Alternatively, you may learn how to throw your voice and speak without moving your lips.

You perform your puppet shows in theaters, on television, or in the movies, if you’re particularly talented and you have a great Casting Agent. Or, you may perform in smaller venues, such as children’s parties, street fairs, or office parties, if you’re just getting started.

Should I be a Puppeteer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • How to become a Puppeteer

    Most Puppeteers 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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