Running away a joining the circus is common for young kids to think about, however many adults actually are able to work for a circus full-time. If you are at the stage in your life where you want to make a drastic change, then consider working for a circus. If you have a true love of animals, like meeting people of all ages and backgrounds, don’t mind working hard and are able to travel then a circus job may be for you.
How Much Do Circus Jobs Pay?
Let’s get straight down to the most commonly asked question about circus jobs. How much do circus jobs pay? The amount you are paid varies drastically depending on your position. But unless you are a trained elephant handler you can probably expect to start off with an entry-level circus job.
Credit: Flickr/NCSphotographyWith an entry-level circus job you can expect to make between $300-$375 a week. As you get more experience and prove that you are a reliable and hard-working individual you may get either a raise or a bonus periodically.
You will generally work long hours each day, and be expected to work 60 hours or more each week on average. The hourly pay may even work out to be less than minimum wage; however you can improve this if you are a loyal and hardworking person. You should strive to always be an asset to the Circus Company, regardless of how menial your job may seem. If you are in charge of shoveling elephant dung, then make sure you are the best “poo shoveler” ever.
An entry-level position with a circus is truly hard work and not the dream job that many people envision, however you do get to meet a lot of really unique people, travel a lot, and build up your repertoire of funny stories that you can share with your grandkids when you are old.
How Much Travel Is Involved?
Some circuses only travel regionally, while others may traipse around the Entire United States with only a limited amount of off-time. Regardless of which circus you get a job with, you can expect to do a lot of traveling. Some American based circuses may travel into Canada for a few weeks each year. Once you get experience working for a circus you may want to get a job with a foreign circus company. The only thing cooler than working for a circus is when you work for a circus that travels around Europe.
Do Circus Jobs Drug Test?
Although most of the large circus jobs drugs test, some of the smaller circus organizations may rarely if ever drug test. Smoking marijuana and popping prescription pills such as Oxycodone may be extremely common with some circus companies, while other circus companies will strictly forbid drug use.
What Entry Level Jobs Are Available?
As an entry-level Circus worker you will be doing a lot of manual labor. You will be helping to unload the trucks when you arrive in a new town. You will help set up the big tent, animal pens and numerous other assembly jobs each week.
You may spend d a lot of time feeding and watering the various animals, as well as cleaning up after then. When the circus is done with for the week you will help to pack everything up, load all the animals, load all the equipment, and then ride or drive on your way to the nest town to repeat the process.
What to Expect
Expect the unexpected when you work with a circus. Regardless of how much planning goes into a circus, there will always be unexpected items pop up. You may work 12-16 hours a day, but if a sudden storm front moves in and starts pouring rain you may be up for well over 24 hours as you work to quickly pack up and clean the area before leaving suddenly for the next town.
How to Get a Job Working For a Circus
You can find contact information for a lot of circus companies online. You can contact them and also send them a copy of your resume. The best way for a lot of people though is to simply show up at the circus.
Make sure that you are clean, but be prepared to work by wearing boots and jeans. Contact the circus in person and explain to them you are a hard worker and would like an entry-level position with their circus. If they have need for help they may hire you on the spot to help out for the week while they are in town. If you prove yourself as a good worker they will more than likely ask you if you would like to travel with them for the rest of their season.
As an entry-level worker you can expect to have all of the crappy jobs that none of the other workers want to do. Not only are you an entry-level circus worker, but you are also the new guy. As an entry-level new guy you can expect to work all of the worst jobs the circus has to offer. Shoveling animal dung in 100 degree temperatures is truly awful work, however if you work hard and do not complain then eventually the circus will hire more people and you will no longer be the new guy.
If you work hard and prove you are a team player, you may eventually get trained in doing more glamorous positions that the circus has, including helping to train some of the animals and possible even getting involved in some of the circus acts. Being a clown for a circus is a true promotion for man y people who are spending long hours shoveling dung, but even as a circus clown you will help set up and take down the equipment each week. Regardless of your position with the circus you may always have to do menial work such as shoveling dung if the circus is short on workers.