Have you ever been told that it’s impossible to get a job in the music industry? That only the “really lucky” people can ever get paid to pursue their dreams?
They were wrong. Although it’s difficult to make it as a breakout musical artist full-time, there are lots of jobs in the industry that can supplement your passion (or be a full-time job in and of themselves). Consider one of these options:
1. Music Teacher – What better way to become a great musician than to teach others? Although the job opportunities might seem constrictive at times (e.g. if you limit yourself only to school teaching jobs), there are more options than you might think! Consider doing both salaried music teaching work and private lessons on the side (which can easily make you $50 an hour or more). Average salary: $55,727 per year.
2. Music Producer – Want to learn more about the technique of crafting a great song recording, and get paid while you’re at it? Consider becoming a music producer! Combine your knowledge of popular music with your technical skills and help other artists get heard. It can help you in your own musical endeavors, should you decide to record your own album. Average salary: $55,991 per year. Keep in mind, however, that most music producers make under $43K per year – the best and most experienced can command salaries of $70K+ per year, occasionally even into the six-figure range.
3. Worship Leader – If you’re part of a church and you’ve got some musical chops, you might just have access to one of the most stable music jobs in the business! Worship leaders make a median salary of $52,083 per year and enjoy relatively stress-free work. Aside from the musical side of things, the hiring church might want you to help in other manners of production—so ideally you’d have some A/V experience as well. And you might find it easier to get a foot in the door if you take a part-time, lower paying worship leader job at a smaller church, and then work your way up to a full-time gig at a larger church. (If the church has multiple services, there’s a stronger chance you could get a full-time job.) You can easily find worship leader jobs on any job search website, such as www.indeed.com.
4. A&R Representative – Do you have an interest in the business side of music? If so, being an A&R Rep could be a great way to leave your mark on the music industry while also enjoying more financial stability than gig musicians. Job duties include helping record labels find new talent, and helping to market those artists so that they can find their audience! The best way to get in might be to become an intern at a record label and move up the ladder. Average salary: between $27K to $175K!
5. Session Musician – Do you want to be self-employed? Are you able to keep a flexible schedule, working nights and weekends when needed? Do you like the idea of recording or playing live with multiple bands from different genres? If you answered “Yes” to each of these questions, you might consider becoming a Session Musician! Job duties include running your own business—which means finding your own clients and staying on top of taxes—as well as sitting in for recordings, and playing for live bands when they need a little extra help. It can take some time to break into the field, but if you’re good at networking you just might be able to make this your dream job. Average salary: $74,598.
If you’re in college and interested in the music industry, talk to an academic advisor right away! Consider getting a music major, or a business major if you’re more interested in marketing.
If you want help understanding your career path, get in touch with us!