At the circus, a charismatic gentleman steps into the ring under the spotlight. Wearing a top hat and festive suit, he welcomes guests to the show and introduces each circus act. The enchanting gentleman is the ringmaster. The title of ringmaster is also used in other types entertainment and performing arts shows.
A ringmaster performs and creates enthusiasm from the audience between acts. He sings, dances and ensures the audience is entertained during their entire experience at a circus or event. A ringmaster travels from city to city for each performance with the other circus performers. Along with hosting and acting as the master of ceremonies for the circus, the ringmaster also promotes the circus by attending and entertaining at other events.
The average salary of a ringmaster was $38,240 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2010. Average hourly wages were $18.38 per hour. Some ringmaster careers are part-time or seasonal and may require international travel.
Ringmaster salaries vary greatly based on their skills and the venue they work for. Among more than 3,000 ringmasters and related professionals in the arts and entertainment industry, salaries ranged from $17,430 to $67,610 per year, according to the bureau in 2010. Hourly wages ranged from $8.38 to $32.50.
Similar to the role of a musician, dancer or actor in the performing arts industry, becoming a ringmaster is highly competitive. World-famous circuses often seek out enthusiastic entertainers to audition and become ringmasters. The bureau expects minimal growth for ringmaster and related occupations through 2010 in the performing arts and entertainment industry.