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Salary

Average Salary: $49,000

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $2,045,652


At the top of the magician heap you can earn seven figures. But this is a very big heap with a teeny tiny top. Magicians who earn seven figures typically have their own traveling show or perform somewhere on the Vegas Strip.

 
For my next trick you're going to give me all of your allowance. (Source)

Thankfully, you don't have to be at the top to earn a decent living. The annual salary for a full-time magician is a not-terrible $50,000 per year (source). Since a magician is basically selling the ability to fool a lot of people, the amount you make depends greatly on your own business skills. This may be why great magicians have an overdeveloped stage presence—they've learned to talk their way to a better pay day.

Performing magic tricks in front of your rabbit's cage isn't going to pay the bills (and besides, he's a terrible tipper). One way to break into the entertainment world is to pound the pavement, performing your act at private parties, corporate events, and whatever venue will let you backstage. Starting small allows you the ability to perfect your on-stage character, not unlike a stand-up comedian.

Also like a stand-up, note what works by paying attention to your audience's reactions. You don't want to brand yourself early on in your career without putting some thought into the persona you'll use the rest of your life.

The more experience you have, the more you can ask per show. Making a name for yourself around town gives you the upper (sleight of) hand when negotiating a contract with a venue operator.

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