A Stunt Performer will stand in for actors if the action is too dangerous for the actor to complete, this could be for a film or on a TV set, or at a specific attraction or show. Rates of pay and hours can vary enormously, most stunt performers are self employed and will work for a set fee, hours can be unsociable and irregular.
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and have excellent physical fitness and a commitment to staying very fit.
You’ll also need to join the British Stunt Register. As a member you'll have access to the Stunt Grading Scheme. This shows employers that you’re recognised as a professional stunt performer and can perform hazardous or specialist stunt work.
To get onto the Stunt Grading Scheme, you’ll need to show you’ve qualifications and skills to across at least 6 different sporting areas in the following groups:
- fighting – martial arts or boxing
- falling – trampolining or high diving
- riding and driving – horse riding, driving cars or riding motorcycles
- agility and strength – gymnastics or rock climbing
- water – swimming or sub-aqua
The fighting category is compulsory.
You'll also need at least one year's experience in each of your sporting areas. Throughout your career, you'll need to keep your skills and qualifications up to date.
Probationary members are encouraged to attend shoots as observers in order to broaden their knowledge of the profession. You could do this by getting experience as an extra or a 'walk-on'.
There are no official training schemes or schools to train stunt performers, although some private ‘stunt schools’ offer short courses in skills like stage combat, working with fire and stunt driving.
These courses can be useful for building experience, but will not be accepted towards membership of the register.
You can find more details about minimum daily and weekly rates for stunt performers from Equity, the trade union for professional performers and creative artists.
Career Path and Progression
With experience, you could become a stunt arranger or coordinator.
Related careers you may be interested in:
- Circus performer
- Martial arts instructor
- Outdoor activities instructor
Although this job role does not require formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.
If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.
- a high standard of physical fitness
- an interest in sports and outdoor pursuits
- good communication and people skills
- adaptability and flexibility
- to be able to work well as part of a team
- some acting skills