Sport, Fitness & Recreation

Circus Performer

Circus performers display skills like acrobatics, juggling, balancing on a trapeze or clowning to entertain audiences.

  • Entry-level education

    Senior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Circus Performer do?

Circus performers display skills like acrobatics, juggling, balancing on a trapeze or clowning to entertain audiences.


Work activities

As a circus performer, you would:

  • rehearse acts
  • perform solo or as part of a group
  • specialise in one particular circus art, or combine several different skills in an act
  • develop new acts and group routines
  • maintain equipment used in your act
  • travel with a circus company.

Key skills and interests

To become a circus performer, you would need:

  • a high level of skill in your chosen performance area
  • the confidence to perform in public
  • excellent physical fitness and good general health
  • superior timing and hand-eye coordination
  • versatility and creativity
  • self-discipline, motivation and a hard-working attitude.

Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

Most circus performances take place in the evenings and at weekends. You would also spend time rehearsing, travelling and auditioning. Part-time and seasonal work is common.


You could perform in a tent, in theatres or other indoor venues, or outside in street theatre or at festivals. The work is physically demanding, and you may spend long periods away from home when touring.


How to become an Circus Performer?

Entry Level Education

Circus performance skills are usually developed through practice and experience.

The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is the only full-time circus school for young people aged 8 to 18 in Australia. You must complete an application and an audition to join. All successful applicants are required to attend the purpose-built school and training headquarters, based in Albury-Wodonga on the border of New South Wales and Victoria.

For students in years 10-12, the recommended and preferred schooling option is Wodonga Secondary Senior College. You will need your parents’ or guardians’ permission to participate in the audition process.

The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) is the only tertiary training institution of its kind in Australia. NICA provides professional training through a three-year Bachelor of Circus Arts for careers in all facets of the circus industry.

Other private circus schools run courses which might help you decide if you have the skills and interest to pursue circus performance as a career.


Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

This is a specialised occupation, and the number of available employment opportunities for circus performers appears likely to remain relatively neutral.

The number of small family circuses has been reducing for several decades. At the same time a range of major national and international circus troupes has emerged. On balance, opportunities for circus performers appear likely to remain about the same, while the standards required of top performers continues to rise.


CareerHQ Compass

Discover the path to your future

How can CareerHQ Compass help you?