There are two major unions for actors. Actors Equity Association (AEA) is a union created for stage actors. The other union is the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). The two unions merged and are referred to as SAG-AFTRA. This union represents film, television and radio artists.
Union actors are guaranteed certain pay rates for their work. The unions, to name just a few benefits, regulate working conditions, health and pension benefits, expanding work opportunities and protecting members against unauthorized use of their work. There are pros and cons of joining a union too early. To learn more about the different unions, visit www.actorsequity.org and/or www.sagaftra.org.