That is not exactly a simple endeavor, as there are a myriad of factors involved.
Much depends on what style of jousting you are interested in, what your physical capabilities are, your personal finances, and how you answer a few questions:
Good jousting requires one to be an expert rider, in very good physical condition, and to have an exceedingly strong work ethic.
There is ultra-historical jousting (beautiful and expensive); full-contact American Heavy (brutal and expensive); and there is balsa jousting (frangible lances and relatively light hits). There's competitive, theatrical, hybrid styles, and variations of it all. Among all of those choices are centuries of armor periods, and you generally want a consensus of those you are going to joust with. There is a ton to consider, and we haven’t even touched on the history studies you should do.
It’s all expensive; horses, armour, training, equipment, costuming, and time. Jousting as a career is unlikely to make you wealthy in money, but does have amazing alternative rewards.
At least six of those skills are required.
No, but many folks start with helping out a joust company and see if they can learn on the job and move through the ranks. We don’t really do that, but many companies do!
Depending on the company and yourself, you could be jousting in relative short order. If you are already highly skilled in the list above, then it could be quick. Beware, some companies like cannon fodder, where you could be quickly thrown into the mix (AKA to the wolves) while you agree because “you get to perform!” Rarely does a good jouster come out of that situation; more than likely a broken body, shattered soul, and an empty account is the end result, so stay clear of that concept.
Some join a jousting club or the SCA equestrian wing (Society Of Creative Anachronisms), where they do some safe noodle jousting and gaming.
Medieval Times restaurants are a great place to learn, as they will teach you from the ground up, and many excellent jousters have wonderful entire careers there.
You can pay to train, taking it one level at a time. First, take professional riding lessons, both English and Western. If that is successful (and only if), find a jouster well-reputed as a trainer. If that works out, order custom armour in the period of your interest (usually a year of back order, then a year to make it, then a year of therapy). Along the way, you can be searching for a joust horse (if you want to be truly self-contained), then a horse trailer, truck, and horse costuming… It can go as far as your abilities …and finances allow.
Photo by John Karpinsky