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Casting Director

Casting directors are contracted by film, video, television and advertising companies to find suitable actors to audition for particular parts or characters. Directors or producers have the final say in who is hired for each part.

  • Avg. Salary $67,553.00
  • Avg. Wage $33.86
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 2,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Director - Theatre and Film, Talent Scout

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Directors (5131.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Producers, Directors, Choreographers and Related Occupations (F031) 
  • 2011 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
  • 2016 NOC: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (5131) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Casting Director is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).

Interest in studying scripts to determine artistic interpretations; and in co-ordinating the activities of production staff to develop desired effects


Interest in co-ordinating the activities of performers, extras and production personnel; and in advising them on the interpretation and delivery of performances, and in conferring with crew and specialists throughout production and post-production to achieve desired presentations


Interest in instructing cast members and production personnel to develop and achieve presentations that reflect desired artistic interpretations

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors work closely with performers and film production people. In general, principal casting directors:

  • Review performers' promotional materials such as photos, resumes, demo reels and voice over demo recordings
  • Review scripts, prepare a succinct breakdown of the nature of each role to be cast, describe characteristics and special requirements for each role, and distribute the information to appropriate talent agencies and self-represented performers
  • Pre-screen candidates to select the most suitable performers for the director and the producer to see
  • Facilitate the scheduling of callbacks (secondary auditions) for those performers the director and producer wish to work with further on a particular role
  • Research organizations, associations or individuals in order to cast a role requiring a specific skill or unique talent - anything from a fire-breathing unicyclist to an Olympic-calibre athlete
  • Negotiate contracts and scheduling between performers or their agents and the production company

Background casting directors find background performers ("extras") including: stand-ins for lead performers, photo doubles, and performers for non-speaking parts and crowd scenes. They must often deal with scheduling changes.

Working Conditions
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors often work under tight schedules. Conditions vary depending on the director and producer. Travel may be required to audition new talent and meet television or film production people. To save on travel, delivery costs and time, auditions are often scheduled and held online, then uploaded to private sites.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors need:

  • Knowledge of and connections in the acting industry
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • The ability to work long hours in fast-paced, varied environments
  • Communication skills, both in person and in writing
  • Interpersonal skills
  • The ability to recognize strong performances

People skills are essential; casting directors must be able to recognize the acting potential and ability in individuals during auditions.

They should enjoy compiling information from scripts and signalling cues, taking charge of situations, and negotiating.

Educational Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021

There is no particular educational route to enter this field. Casting directors come from diverse backgrounds including:

  • Theatre and film
  • Business
  • Public relations

Interested individuals may be able to arrange informal apprenticeships or mentoring with established casting directors, as casting assistants. Casting assistants learn what to look for in talent, how to negotiate terms and will eventually build up an established network of actors, producers and directors. Post-secondary education in the performing arts and contract negotiation skills are definite assets.

For union jobs, casting directors must be familiar with the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) Independent Production Agreement for film and television productions and the ACTRA National Commercial Agreement for television and radio commercials. These agreements outline standards such as wage minimums and working conditions that must be followed by members of the Canadian Media Producers Association, the Institute of Communication Agencies and the Association of Canadian Advertisers.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated May 17, 2021

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors are hired on contract for specific projects by:

  • Film, theatre and video production companies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Television and radio stations and networks

They usually have an extensive network of talent, and experience with both acting and filmic technologies, because they function as a go-between among dramatic, technical and creative personnel.

Casting directors are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations. Fewer than 10 casting directors are currently employed in Alberta.

In Alberta, the 5131: Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.2% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated May 17, 2021

Casting directors negotiate each contract separately. They may negotiate a flat rate or have hourly, daily or weekly wage rates.

Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $36.80 $27.59 $26.87
Overall $15.00 $45.67 $33.86 $34.70
Top $17.00 $47.40 $35.56 $37.14

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Communications
  • Fine Arts and Performing Arts
  • Humanities and Languages
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 17, 2021

Alberta Media Production Industries Association website:

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists website:

Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists Alberta website:

Association of Canadian Advertisers website:

Canadian Media Producers Association website:

Casting Directors Society of Canada website:

Casting Society of America website:

Cultural Human Resources Council website:

Institute of Communication Agencies website:

Women in Film and Television - Alberta website:

Women in Film and Television - International website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated May 17, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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