Average Salary: $40,000
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,900,000
At the top of the magician heap you can earn seven figures. But this is a very big heap, and a very small top. Magicians who earn five, six, and seven figures typically have their own travelling show or perform out of a large auditorium.
However, the annual salary for a full-time magician is around $50k. The amount you make depends greatly on your own business skills. Oftentimes, magicians sign contracts with entertainment companies who book them at venues. It is important to read the fine print whenever signing a contract, because it may prevent you from being able to book your own gigs—which is the ironic thing about fine print, because that sort of sneakiness is not fine.
The amount you make also depends on your own ability to market yourself. Performing magic tricks in front of your rabbit's cage isn't going to pay the bills. (Besides, he's a terrible tipper.) One way to break into the entertainment world is to perform your act at a variety of venues, private parties, corporate events, and concerts. Starting small allows you the ability to build up your on-stage character. Note what works by paying attention to your audience's reaction. 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. You don't want to become known as the magician who uses cats in all of his tricks, and then suddenly remember you have a crippling cat dander allergy.
The more experience you have, the more you can ask per show. Making a name for yourself around town gives you the upper hand when negotiating a contract with a venue.
Because you are working for yourself, you'll have to deduct taxes from your pay and purchase your own healthcare. Keep receipts. That new trap door might be tax deductible. Your new rope trick might have a loophole.