Music jobs vary as much as the individuals employed in the field. This exciting industry offers creative people a way to express themselves and earn a living.

Education & Training

Music skill applies to more than just the ability to play an instrument.

Some jobs focus solely on computer work, while others involve business management and marketing.

Music education can help students determine the right path for them.

Trade Schools with Music Programs

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Music trade school programs provide students with the skills they need to build a fulfilling career. Job placement for musicians depends on playing ability, while business roles rely on specialized training.

Whatever the path, success hinges on training and experience.

What Training Is Required for a Music Career?

For instance, performance majors hone skills by practicing instruments and learning music theory. Audio engineers train by recording and mixing songs using digital workstations.

Most importantly, music job duties require employees to work well with others to create a quality product. Patience, creativity, and willingness to step outside a comfort zone all serve potential musicians well.

Regardless of the position, music resumes that showcase a well-rounded applicant go a long way to impress potential employers. Successful candidates also need a basic understanding of how other related jobs function.

What Is A Music Career?

Future music professionals have a wide variety of options when choosing an area of study. From touring and session work, to audio production and music education, careers exist to suit every interest.

The diverse industry of music needs stars behind the scenes and in the spotlight.

Audio Engineer

Music trade schools often specialize in different music degree programs. Among the fastest growing is audio engineering. This exciting career allows students to pair technical skills with their ear for music, resulting in a crucial role within the industry.

Job duties for audio engineers vary. They include assisting players with song structures, recording performances, and mixing and mastering. Engineers also lend their talent to film, radio, and television. Expert knowledge of recording software is a must for these music careers. While formal music training is not always required, it can increase productivity and provide more job opportunities.

Session Musicians

Though many performers pursue music work with the dream of touring the world, a growing number do session work. These players typically have proficiency with multiple instruments, providing one-time studio assignments for professional artists. Session musicians rely on building and maintaining relationships with coworkers, leading to more stable and higher-paying jobs.

Music Education

Careers in music education also make fine choices. Being a well-rounded musician proves important for this music job, as does the ability to improvise techniques based on student needs. As an instructor, hopefuls guide both children and adults along their musical path. Staying current with genre trends and new technologies helps individuals thrive in this role.

Music Therapy

Those interested in offering therapeutic support through music often study music therapy. Hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, and mental health facilities hire therapists to assist with patient recovery. A graduate in this position offers individualized care for each client.

Music Business

For those interested in the inner-workings of the music industry, a career in business makes a great choice. Employees scout talent, manage bands, and monetize music. Some jobs also utilize accounting and bookkeeping skills. Music schools may require business majors to have basic musical knowledge to qualify for courses.

Depending on their course of study, other careers music school graduates pursue include:

  • Ghost songwriting
  • Live performance
  • Symphony and Orchestra Conductor

How Do Music Professionals Maintain Their Workspace?

Since gear can be expensive, each facet of music work involves a level of upkeep. Audio engineers work with computers and mixing consoles daily, so keeping food and drink away from the equipment prevents damage.

For musicians to perform accurately, music tools and instruments need regular maintenance. For example, guitarists and violinists should know how to replace strings and perform basic repairs. Brass players should keep their instruments polished and frequently clean mouthpieces.

Why Do Music Professionals Need to Practice?

Regardless of the application, music training is a life-long pursuit. Developing a practice schedule allows performers to hone their craft, leading to increased skill and musical knowledge. Session musicians need to be proficient enough to play employer-specific songs, as well as learn challenging material in a brief amount of time. In short, a musician’s livelihood relies on their ability to improve.

For audio engineers, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the newest music tools. As the musical climate shifts, so too does the approach of capturing sound. Amplifiers, digital workstations, and computer plug-ins evolve constantly, requiring staff to always be on the cutting edge.

How Do Music Graduates Promote Their Work?

Writing and recording music makes up only one part of a professional’s job. To an extent, all musicians have to be marketing specialists. They must learn how to promote their work effectively. Networking offers a prime chance to make sure music reaches its intended audience.

Social media and digital content distribution has changed how and when the public consumes music. Promoting session work and live performances through the internet is one of the most effective ways to grow a music career.

What Types of Skills Should Musicians Possess

  • Knowledge of audio interfaces
  • Sight-reading
  • Transcribing pieces
  • Ear Training
  • Composition and songwriting skill
  • The aptitude to read sheet music
  • Improvisation

Are There Special Requirements for Professional Music Jobs?

While some music job requirements do not involve receiving a diploma, a vast majority of employers look for credentials when choosing candidates. A music certificate in the right hands can make a lasting impression, leading to future work opportunities. However, music work in hospitals and education do involve attending music schools to obtain employment.

What Is the Outlook for Music Jobs?

The demand for all media consistently grows, and digital streaming services make it easier than ever to find new music. Due to this, the demand for audio engineers, musicians, and business managers increases. Obtaining music degrees at trade schools gives potentials a head-start in the field.

Depending on popularity, successful artists make a living from music downloads and CD sales. Many also do licensing work for commercials and other advertisements. Session musicians and independent songwriters create their own fees based on time spent in the studio or number of songs requested.

Some music careers have a more stable income. Music therapists typically make about $50,000 annually, while music teachers at public schools earn between $20,000 and $55,000 per year. Private instructors, such as vocal coaches and guitar instructors, average an income of roughly $45,000 each year. However, factors like location, skill level, and reputation can affect these figures.

Music job benefits professionals often receive include:

  • Healthcare coverage, paid vacation, and 401(k) where applicable
  • Improvement of musical ability
  • Creative freedom
  • A varied music resume
  • Collaborating with other artists
  • Extensive travel opportunities

What Should Workers Expect?

Music can be a fulfilling career option, though it comes with a few unique challenges. Job security constitutes a concern for some employees, especially those in freelance roles. These jobs call for artists to steadily advertise their services, often acting as their own boss. Remaining relevant must also stay a priority, as changes in commercial music styles means always learning new techniques.

For music teachers at public schools, budget cuts and other financial situations can affect pay. For similar reasons, hospitals may not always hire music therapists at consistent rates. Choosing large cities with healthy economies is one tactic these specific job seekers use when looking for work.

Navigating the music landscape involves careful planning. Trends shift regularly, and embracing change is the key to a satisfying career.

The entertainment industry has been a constant source of enjoyment for many people, and hardworking music students can surely make their mark.

Where Can You Find Music Jobs?

When seeking employment as a music professional, explore areas with active music scenes. For performers this can mean bars and nightclubs that need talent for nightly shows. Self-employed music teachers usually find students through music stores and college campuses.

Other viable career options for music work include:

  • Roadies – Touring bands need technical staff to set up music equipment during gigs
  • Recording Studios – Audio engineers often intern at a studio, leading to full-time work
  • Concert Halls – Venues require workers with music knowledge to assist during concert events

Can You Work Remotely?

In today’s musical climate, composing and sharing work remotely is a necessity. Everyone from rock stars to film composers use the internet to produce pieces when distance becomes an issue. Many bands have members who live in different states or countries, requiring them to write songs during video calls or by emailing music tracks back and forth.

In many ways, working remotely has made it easier than ever for music instructors to gain and keep students. Music classes through video calls are now a standard method of receiving guitar or piano lessons. Music teachers are no longer restricted by travel distance, making it an increasingly profitable career choice.

Do Music Professionals Have Any Other Options?

Music education qualifies students for more than simply playing an instrument. For instance, writers can pair their literary talent with a love of music and become music journalists. Entertainment magazines and newspaper columns consistently hire these employees. While this option may involve extra coursework, it proves a worthwhile career path for creative people.

Other unique music jobs include:

  • Video game composer
  • Computer software sound engineer
  • Stock music composer for production libraries
  • DJ or radio personality