Education and Training Requirements

High School

There are no formal educational requirements for becoming a magician. People generally do not take college or high school courses to learn magic, although courses in acting or public speaking can help a magician become more effective. Business classes will help aspiring magicians learn the basics of running a business. Some magic clubs or magic stores may offer basic classes on performance techniques.

Postsecondary Training

Most magicians work part time, which is why they may have college degrees in unrelated fields, such as business, law, or political science. Other magicians have degrees in more related fields, such as drama or speech communications.

Although there are few formal training options, magicians usually work independently at becoming proficient at their craft. They are skilled entertainers. It can take years of practice and training to become an accomplished magician, yet it is often possible to learn some of the more basic tricks in just a short time. They should be able to learn tricks from a variety of sources (primarily other magicians, DVDs, or books on magic) and refine their techniques through practice.

Magicians should have at least a basic understanding of mathematics and good business skills in order to handle their own financial affairs.

Other Education or Training

Magicians can hone their magic skills by attending conventions held by the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Society of American Magicians, and other organizations.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There is no certification or licensing available for magicians.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Those who want to become magicians should gain experience by mastering as many magic tricks as they can and developing an act with a beginning, middle, and end. A magician should have a strong imagination, not only to visualize tricks that may not have been tried before, but also to be able to perform standard tricks in a somewhat new and creative fashion. Many tricks or stunts have been performed for more than 100 years, yet with a unique flair, these tricks can be performed in a fresh manner.

It is important for a magician to be comfortable performing before various groups of people. They may perform at a children's birthday party one day, for example, and the next day perform before a group of adults in a nightclub. For magicians who perform frequently, it is important to be able to do the same tricks over and over while retaining a fresh approach to the performance.

In a magic show, the actual illusion might not be as important as how it is executed. For this reason, it is vital that a magician has a strong stage presence and effective speaking style. Creating an atmosphere requires the ability to tell a story, interweaving tricks throughout the performance. Many magicians use music, colored lights, curtains, and other enhancements to create a festive or mysterious mood.

Magicians need good hand-eye coordination to perform tricks smoothly. They also should be agile to quickly move wooden boxes, tables, or other props. Many magicians build their own equipment; as a result, woodworking and other related skills are useful.