What Entry-Level Salaries In Hollywood REALLY Look Like

Charlize Theron was discovered at a bank, Ellen Pompeo while bartending, and Pamela Anderson famously on a Jumbotron. That’s the stuff of Hollywood dreams. Unfortunately, entertainment industry aspirations rarely come to fruition that easily, whether they include the big screen, the little screen, or behind-the-scenes roles.

In fact, those looking to start in the business should brace themselves for a long slog of poor-paying jobs and countless hours pounding the pavement. Just how low of a salary? We sought to find out. But first, the big question: In a field that's so moneyed, why not pay junior positions more? “The entry-level wages will always be chronically low, because there will always be someone there to do it," Brad Hall, founder of entertainment industry job and internship site EntertainmentCareers.net told us. Hollywood dreamers, in other words, are killing the Hollywood dream of striking it rich. “The pool of people who will do anything to be in entertainment drives down the price,” says Kim Garstein, a vice president of staffing services firm OfficeTeam, a Robert Half Company.

Just what kind of wages are we talking about here? To give us the inside scoop on the salary one can actually expect once they graduate from intern into an entry-level role, we pressed a list of experts, plus several women and men who toil in the Hollywood trenches about the real salaries of key entertainment industry jobs. Ahead, what they revealed to us.

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