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Top 15 Music Degree Jobs

By Sherice Jacob

Published:

You’ve invested time, effort, and passion into pursuing a music degree. You’ve been immersed in the world of notes, rhythms, and compositions, and the echo of the question “What can you do with a music degree?” never quite fades. It’s a common misconception that a music degree only leads to a handful of narrowly-defined job roles, like a professional performer or a music teacher.

The good news is that those with a music degree have honed skills not just in music but in creativity, discipline, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. It’s no wonder that the music industry is teeming with diverse roles that are waiting for talented individuals like you.

Here are 15 of the best:

  • Concert Performer
  • Music Education / Teacher
  • Composer / Arranger
  • Music Producer
  • Sound Engineer
  • Music Therapist
  • Music Librarian
  • Talent Scout / A&R Representative
  • Music Journalist / Critic
  • Music Licensing Specialist
  • Tour Manager
  • Musical Festival Organizer
  • Film / TV Music Supervisor
  • Orchestra / Band Manager
  • Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialist
degree guide music

1. Concert Performer


A concert performer, whether a solo artist or part of an ensemble, stands at the forefront of the music world, captivating audiences with their talent and expression. They are the embodiment of artistry, and their performances can transcend ordinary experiences, creating unforgettable moments for those in attendance.

As a Concert Performer

As a concert performer, you’re tasked with interpreting and delivering compositions to an audience. You’ll be expected to practice and rehearse rigorously, collaborate with other musicians, and connect with the emotions and intent behind each piece. It’s essential to continually refine your technique and stay updated with the latest compositions or styles in your genre.

Benefits

  • Exposure to Various Cultures: Traveling and performing allow you to experience diverse audiences and musical influences.
  • Artistic Fulfillment: Bringing compositions to life provides a unique sense of satisfaction and self-expression.
  • Networking Opportunities: You’ll often rub shoulders with industry influencers, composers, and other musicians.
  • Personal Growth: Handling the pressures of live performance can boost your confidence and resilience.
  • Monetary Rewards: High-profile performances, especially for renowned performers, can be lucrative.

Working Conditions

Concert performers often find themselves in a variety of settings – from the grandeur of well-acclaimed music halls to the intimate settings of local venues. The thrill of live performance is coupled with the rigor of regular rehearsals. While touring can be a regular part of the job, offering a chance to see the world, it also means adapting to different acoustics and audiences. A performer’s life is characterized by a blend of routine and unpredictability, with each venue and audience providing a unique experience.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree or Doctorate in Music Performance for certain classical genres or advanced roles.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

To thrive as a concert performer, you should possess impeccable musical technique and a deep understanding of your chosen genre. Strong communication skills will aid in collaborations, and resilience will help you manage the pressures of live performances. An ability to connect emotionally with your pieces and your audience can set you apart, and adaptability ensures you can handle diverse venues and audiences with aplomb.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary (58,663)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, concert performers are categorized under the broader umbrella of musicians and singers. The median yearly wage for musicians and singers was $58,663 in May 2021. Employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


2. Music Education / Teacher


Music teachers play a pivotal role in shaping the musical journey of aspiring musicians, both young and old. With a unique blend of technical expertise and the ability to inspire, they light the path for students, cultivating a lifelong appreciation for music and often fostering the next generation of musical talent.

As a Music Education Teacher

As a music teacher, you’ll guide students through the basics of rhythm, pitch, and tone, progressing to more complex musical theories and practices. You’ll design lesson plans tailored to each student’s capabilities, provide feedback on their progress, and instill discipline through regular practice. Whether you’re teaching in schools, private institutions, or one-on-one settings, your primary goal will be to nurture their passion and enhance their skills.

Benefits

  • Personal Fulfillment: Witnessing a student’s growth and understanding of music offers unmatched satisfaction.
  • Flexible Work Settings: You can teach in schools, at home, in studios, or even online, offering work-life balance.
  • Continuous Learning: By teaching, you reinforce and often expand your own understanding of musical concepts.
  • Community Involvement: Engaging in school concerts or community events enhances your network and visibility.
  • Stable Income: With the rising interest in arts and music education, skilled teachers often find consistent demand.

Working Conditions

Music teachers find themselves in varied environments based on their choice of teaching platform. School music teachers have structured schedules, often working in dedicated music rooms with access to various instruments. Those in private practice or studios might enjoy more flexible hours, crafting their teaching schedules around their personal commitments. Online music teaching has also grown in popularity, allowing teachers to connect with students globally, right from the comfort of their homes.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Music Education can be advantageous for higher positions or specialized roles.
  • State Teaching License or Certification for public school positions.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your expertise in your chosen instrument or voice is crucial, but equally important is your ability to convey complex musical concepts in digestible terms. Patience is key, as each student’s learning curve will vary. Strong organizational skills will aid in lesson planning, while interpersonal skills ensure effective communication with students and, if teaching children, their parents. Adaptability will serve you well, allowing you to cater to different learning styles and needs.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($51,978)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average music teacher salary is $51,978. The projected music teacher job growth rate is 3% from 2018-2028.

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3. Composer / Arranger


Composers and arrangers are the architects of the music world. They shape the very essence of melodies, harmonies, and rhythms, creating pieces that elicit emotions, tell stories, and define cultures. From grand symphonies to catchy jingles, these professionals breathe life into the notes, establishing the soundtrack for countless moments in our lives.

As a Composer/Arranger

As a composer, your main task is to craft original pieces of music, be it for films, TV shows, video games, orchestras, bands, or individual artists. On the other hand, as an arranger, you’ll take existing compositions and adapt them for specific instruments, ensembles, or genres. This could involve changing the structure, harmony, or instrumentation to fit a particular mood or purpose. Throughout the process, you’ll collaborate with performers, producers, and directors to ensure your creations align with the desired outcome.

Benefits

  • Creative Freedom: You have the liberty to express your innermost thoughts and feelings through music.
  • Diverse Opportunities: From films to video games to stage performances, there are myriad platforms for your compositions.
  • Recognition and Legacy: Successful compositions can leave a lasting impact on audiences for generations.
  • Collaborative Environment: Engaging with various artists and industry professionals enriches your creative perspective.
  • Monetization Potential: Royalties from popular compositions can offer a substantial and recurring income

Working Conditions

Composers and arrangers often have the flexibility to work in an environment that suits their creative process. Many have personal studios equipped with the necessary software and instruments. With advancements in technology, digital tools have made the composition process more accessible and collaborative, even allowing for remote teamwork. Deadlines can be a frequent component, especially when working on projects like films or advertising campaigns, requiring a balance between creativity and time management.

Further Studies

  • Master’s or Doctorate can be beneficial, especially for academic positions or high-profile projects.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your profound understanding of music theory and proficiency in your chosen genre is paramount. A keen ear for detail, coupled with the ability to visualize the bigger picture, ensures your compositions resonate. Mastery of music software tools and technology amplifies your efficiency. Your collaborative spirit allows smooth interactions with other industry professionals, while resilience ensures you persist, refine, and excel in your creations, even amidst feedback and revisions.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($49,130)
  • Job Outlook (5%)

The median annual wage for music directors and composers was $49,130 in May 2021. Employment of music directors and composers is projected to grow 5% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


4. Music Producer


Music producers are the visionaries behind the scenes, transforming raw musical ideas into polished masterpieces. They act as the bridge between the technical and creative sides of music production, ensuring that an artist’s vision is faithfully and impressively realized. In many ways, they are the unsung heroes who sculpt the sonic landscape of the tracks we adore.

As a Music Producer

As a music producer, you’ll be involved in multiple facets of the production process. You’ll guide artists during recording sessions, making suggestions for improvements and ensuring optimal performance. Your role extends to mixing and mastering, adjusting levels, and adding effects to achieve the desired sound. Collaborating with songwriters, arrangers, and engineers is crucial, as is keeping up with the latest trends to produce music that resonates with current audiences.

Benefits

  • Creative Influence: You have a significant say in the final sound and feel of a track, allowing you to imprint your unique sonic signature.
  • Networking Opportunities: Regularly collaborating with artists, labels, and other industry professionals expands your connections.
  • Financial Rewards: Successful tracks or albums can lead to substantial earnings, especially with royalty agreements.
  • Variety of Projects: Working across genres and with different artists ensures every project is a fresh experience.
  • Recognition: While behind the scenes, celebrated producers often gain acclaim and respect within the industry.

Working Conditions

Music producers predominantly operate from recording studios, which can range from state-of-the-art facilities to home-based setups, thanks to advancements in technology. The environment is typically a mix of creativity and technicality, with sessions that can extend for long hours to achieve perfection. While the job might demand irregular hours based on artists’ availability and project deadlines, the satisfaction of creating a hit track often outweighs the rigors of the process.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Music Production or Business can be advantageous for broader roles or industry understanding.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A deep understanding of musical genres and trends is essential, ensuring your productions remain relevant. Technical expertise in studio equipment and software amplifies the quality of your output. Excellent interpersonal skills foster smooth collaborations, while a keen ear for detail ensures every element of the track aligns with the vision. Balancing creativity with practicality, and being open to feedback, solidifies your position as a sought-after producer in the industry.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($79,000)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

The median annual wage for producers and directors was $79,000 in May 2021. Employment of producers and directors is projected to grow 8% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.


5. Sound Engineer


Sound engineers, often dubbed the “technicians of the music world,” are the guardians of audio quality. Whether it’s a live concert, a studio recording, a film set, or a radio show, they ensure that the sound produced is crisp, balanced, and free from disturbances. Their expertise allows audiences to immerse fully in the sonic experience without distraction.

As a Sound Engineer

As a sound engineer, your duties revolve around capturing, mixing, and reproducing sound. In a recording studio, you’ll set up microphones, monitor sound levels, and oversee the recording process. Live shows will see you managing PA systems, adjusting on-the-fly for the venue’s acoustics, and troubleshooting any unexpected audio issues. Post-production roles involve editing, mixing, and mastering tracks to perfection, all while collaborating with artists and producers to realize their sonic vision.

Benefits

  • Technical Mastery: Deepening your understanding of sound technology can be both challenging and rewarding.
  • Diverse Work Environments: From live concerts to closed studio sessions, each setting offers unique experiences.
  • Collaboration with Artists: Working closely with musicians allows for a shared creative journey.
  • Constant Learning: The ever-evolving nature of sound technology ensures you’re always updating your skill set.
  • Career Progression: Starting as an assistant, with experience and networking, you can rise to prominent engineering roles in major studios or live tours.

Working Conditions

Sound engineers operate in a variety of settings. In recording studios, the environment is controlled, with emphasis on acoustics and sound isolation. Live events, on the other hand, present dynamic challenges based on venue size, outdoor vs. indoor settings, and audience noise. The job often demands acute attention to detail and quick problem-solving skills, especially when dealing with unexpected technical issues. While hours can be long, especially during live events or tight production schedules, the satisfaction of delivering impeccable sound quality is immensely gratifying.

Further Studies

  • Certifications in specific sound equipment or software can enhance job prospects.
  • Internships or apprenticeships at studios or with experienced engineers can provide invaluable hands-on experience.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A robust technical grasp of audio equipment and software is fundamental to your role. Your acute listening skills allow you to detect nuances and imperfections that others might miss. Being a proactive problem solver ensures smooth sound delivery, even when unforeseen challenges arise. Effective communication skills facilitate productive sessions with artists, producers, and other crew members. Additionally, patience and adaptability are crucial, especially when fine-tuning sound or navigating the dynamic environments of live events.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($48,790)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

The median annual wage for broadcast, sound, and video technicians was $48,790 in May 2021. Overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 10% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.


6. Music Therapist


Music therapists harness the power of melody, rhythm, and harmony to promote healing, well-being, and personal growth. These professionals work at the intersection of arts and healthcare, employing structured musical interventions to address emotional, cognitive, and physical challenges. Whether assisting a child with autism, an elderly individual with Alzheimer’s, or a trauma survivor, music therapists facilitate transformative experiences that resonate beyond mere notes.

As a Music Therapist

As a music therapist, you’ll design and implement therapeutic interventions tailored to your clients’ unique needs. You might guide them in creating, singing, moving to, or listening to music. Through observation and interaction, you’ll assess their emotional well-being, physical health, social functioning, and communication abilities. Based on these assessments, you’ll continually refine your approach, always aiming to enhance their quality of life and meet therapeutic goals.

Benefits

  • Deep Personal Fulfillment: Witnessing tangible progress in clients’ lives is immensely rewarding.
  • Diverse Work Settings: Opportunities abound in hospitals, schools, private clinics, and rehabilitation centers.
  • Continual Learning: Every client offers a unique challenge and a chance to adapt and grow in your practice.
  • Holistic Approach: By integrating emotional, physical, and cognitive components, your interventions have multi-dimensional impact.
  • Community Engagement: Participate in outreach programs, spreading awareness of the benefits of music therapy.

Working Conditions

A music therapist’s environment is largely determined by their client demographic and workplace. Hospitals and clinics offer structured settings, whereas schools or private homes may present more variable conditions. You’ll have access to a range of musical instruments and therapeutic tools tailored to your clients’ needs. While the role can be emotionally demanding, given the challenges faced by clients, the supportive nature of the profession and the evident positive impact often provide a counterbalance.

Further Studies

  • Board Certification in Music Therapy after passing the certification exam.
  • A Master’s or Doctorate in Music Therapy can open doors to advanced therapeutic techniques and research roles.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your foundation in music is crucial, encompassing both theory and practical application. A deep understanding of psychology and human behavior allows you to tailor interventions effectively. Compassion, patience, and empathy are essential when working with diverse clients, some of whom might be dealing with significant challenges. Strong observational skills enable you to gauge subtle changes in client behavior, while effective communication fosters trust and understanding between you and those you assist. Lastly, adaptability ensures that you can modify therapeutic methods based on individual needs and responses.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($47,940)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

The median annual wage for recreational therapists was $47,940 in May 2021. Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


7. Music Librarian


Music librarians are the gatekeepers of musical knowledge and resources. They curate, organize, and maintain collections of scores, recordings, and other musical resources. In an ever-evolving digital age, they bridge the gap between centuries-old manuscripts and the latest digital media, ensuring that music students, educators, performers, and enthusiasts have access to a rich tapestry of musical materials.

As a Music Librarian

As a music librarian, your key responsibility is to manage and expand music collections. This involves cataloging new acquisitions, digitizing resources, assisting patrons in locating materials, and often conducting research or helping others in their musical research endeavors. You’ll collaborate with music educators and institutions to facilitate programs or workshops and may also be responsible for preserving rare or fragile musical documents.

Benefits

  • Continuous Learning: Immersing yourself in diverse musical genres and eras keeps your knowledge ever-evolving.
  • Preserving History: Your efforts ensure that musical legacies are maintained for future generations.
  • Community Engagement: Foster music appreciation through workshops, exhibitions, and outreach programs.
  • Stable Work Environment: Libraries, especially academic ones, offer structured and steady employment opportunities.
  • Interdisciplinary Interactions: Engage not just with musicians, but with historians, educators, and researchers from varied fields.

Working Conditions

Music librarians primarily work in quiet, controlled environments like academic libraries, public libraries, conservatories, or archives. The role requires a blend of desk-bound tasks, such as cataloging or digital archiving, and interactive tasks, like assisting patrons or conducting workshops. As with most library roles, hours are relatively regular, but occasional weekend or evening shifts might be required, especially during special events or exhibitions.

Further Studies

  • Master’s Degree in Library Science or Information Science. Some institutions may prefer a specialization in Music Librarianship.
  • Workshops or courses in digital archiving and database management can be beneficial.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A robust knowledge of music history, genres, and theory is fundamental. Proficiency in library databases and cataloging systems ensures the smooth operation of your collection. Your attention to detail aids in precise cataloging and preservation tasks. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills foster productive interactions with patrons, educators, and researchers. Additionally, an openness to embrace technological advancements will help you keep the library’s resources current and accessible.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($61,190)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Music librarians are classified under the broader category of librarians and library media specialists as a whole. With this in mind, the median annual wage for librarians and library media specialists was $61,190 in May 2021. Employment of librarians and library media specialists is projected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


8. Talent Scout / A&R Representative


Talent Scouts and A&R (Artists & Repertoire) Representatives are the hidden connectors of the music industry, serving as the bridge between emerging talents and record labels or music executives. Their keen eyes and ears spot the next big thing before they hit the mainstream. By identifying and nurturing artists, they shape the future soundscape of the music world and drive the direction of the industry.

As a Talent Scout

As an A&R Representative or Talent Scout, your primary mission is to discover promising artists or bands. You’ll attend live shows, sift through demos, and network extensively to spot talent. Once you identify potential stars, you’ll often be involved in negotiating contracts, guiding their musical direction, and ensuring they have the necessary resources, from songwriters to producers, to shine.

Benefits

  • Front-Row to Fresh Talent: You’re often the first to witness potential chart-toppers in their raw, early stages.
  • Industry Influence: Your decisions and signings can set musical trends and influence the industry’s direction.
  • Dynamic Work Environment: From club gigs to studio sessions, every day offers something new.
  • Networking Opportunities: Regular interactions with artists, producers, and executives expand your industry connections.
  • Personal Satisfaction: Seeing an artist you discovered achieve success is profoundly rewarding.

Working Conditions

The role of an A&R Representative is highly dynamic. Much of your time is spent outside a traditional office: in music venues, studios, or on the road scouting talent. While this offers a varied work environment, it can also mean irregular hours and extensive travel. The pressure to discover the next big artist can be intense, but the thrill of finding them and the rewards when they succeed make the challenges worthwhile.

Further Studies

  • Courses or workshops in contract negotiation or talent management.
  • Internships or assistant roles at record labels or music management firms can provide real-world insights and contacts.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A deep passion for and understanding of music is essential; you need to be in tune with current trends and have an ear for what’s next. Your networking skills are pivotal in forging strong industry connections. Sharp negotiation abilities help in clinching contracts that benefit both the artist and the label. A keen intuition and trust in your judgment enable you to take risks on new talents. Additionally, resilience and patience are crucial, as not every artist you back will become a sensation, but those who do will mark your legacy in the industry.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($82,530)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

Artist and recording representatives (also known as talent scouts) make an average of $82,530 per year according to Zippia. Talent agent demand is projected to grow 10% from 2018 to 2028.


9. Music Journalist / Critic


Music journalists and critics are the narrators of the sonic landscape, providing insights, critiques, and tales from behind the scenes. Through reviews, interviews, feature articles, and more, they craft the stories that shape our understanding of artists, albums, and the broader music culture. Their words offer a lens through which audiences experience, interpret, and engage with music.

As a Music Journalist/Critic

As a music journalist or critic, your duties encompass more than just writing. You’ll listen to and analyze new releases, attend concerts, interview artists, and stay updated on industry happenings. Crafting thoughtful reviews, reporting on music events, or profiling emerging talents are daily tasks. Your objective is to provide readers with a rich, informed perspective on the ever-evolving music world.

Benefits

  • Access to New Releases: Often, you’re among the first to hear new albums or singles.
  • Engage with Artists: Interviews provide a chance to delve into the minds of musicians and industry insiders.
  • Diverse Writing Opportunities: From album reviews to in-depth features, the range of topics is vast.
  • Stay Updated: Your role ensures you’re always in the loop about music trends and breakthroughs.
  • Share Your Passion: Your love for music translates into stories that resonate with fellow enthusiasts.

Working Conditions

A music journalist’s environment can be as varied as the concerts they attend. While some work might be done in a quiet home or office space—listening to albums or writing reviews—other duties will pull you into bustling concert venues, artist studios, or music festivals. The job might entail irregular hours, especially when covering late-night gigs or meeting tight publication deadlines. Still, the dynamic nature of the role, interspersed with melodies and encounters with artists, makes it an exhilarating profession.

Further Studies

  • Workshops or courses in music theory or music history can deepen your understanding.
  • Building a portfolio of published work, even through personal blogs or local publications, strengthens your credentials.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your passion for music should be matched by your prowess in writing. The ability to dissect an album and convey its essence in words is crucial. Strong interviewing skills enable you to extract intriguing insights from artists. Your critical thinking aids in balanced and informative reviews. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the music industry ensures your work stays relevant. Lastly, adaptability is key; whether adapting to new music genres, mediums (like podcasts or video reviews), or tight deadlines, your flexibility will set you apart.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($53,043)
  • Job Outlook (1%)

Music journalists or music critics earn approximately $53,043 per year, with demand projected to grow 1% from 2018-2028.


10. Music Licensing Specialist


Navigating the complex web of music rights and permissions, Music Licensing Specialists are pivotal in ensuring that songs reach wider audiences legally and that creators are fairly compensated. Their expertise lies in the junction of law, commerce, and artistry. By facilitating the legal use of music in movies, advertisements, TV shows, and more, they play a crucial role in the broader media landscape.

As a Music Licensing Specialist

As a Music Licensing Specialist, your primary duty is to manage the permissions surrounding the use of musical works. This involves identifying rights holders, negotiating licensing fees, and drafting licensing agreements. You’ll liaise between artists, publishers, and those seeking to use the music, ensuring all parties understand their rights and obligations. Keeping a vigilant eye on copyright infringements and addressing disputes may also fall under your purview.

Benefits

  • Central Role in Media Projects: You enable filmmakers, advertisers, and other media professionals to legally incorporate the perfect soundtrack.
  • Advocate for Artists: Your efforts ensure musicians receive their due recognition and compensation.
  • Diverse Interactions: Engage with a broad spectrum of professionals, from legal teams to music producers.
  • Steady Demand: With the proliferation of media platforms, the need for music licensing expertise remains robust.
  • Deepen Industry Knowledge: Constantly evolve with the changing landscapes of music rights and media trends.

Working Conditions

The environment of a Music Licensing Specialist is typically an office setting, whether at a music publishing company, record label, or a media production house. Precision and meticulous attention to detail are essential, given the legal intricacies of the job. The role often requires collaboration with legal departments, artists, and media producers. While the job may carry the pressure of ensuring legal compliance, the structured nature of the work and the satisfaction of orchestrating fair agreements make it a fulfilling pursuit.

Further Studies

  • Courses or workshops focused on intellectual property rights or copyright law.
  • A background in law, especially in copyright or entertainment law, can be highly beneficial.
  • Internships or roles at music publishing companies, record labels, or media agencies provide practical insights.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

A robust understanding of copyright law and its application in the music industry is vital. Your negotiation skills enable you to broker fair deals, ensuring all parties are satisfied. A deep appreciation for music helps in identifying its value in various media contexts. Effective communication is paramount, given the frequent interactions with artists, legal professionals, and media creators. Your analytical abilities aid in dissecting complex licensing agreements, ensuring every clause serves its purpose. Above all, integrity and a commitment to fair practices ensure you uphold the rights and interests of all stakeholders.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($53,533)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

Projected licensing specialist job growth rate is 8% from 2018-2028 with an approximate average yearly salary of $53,533.


11. Tour Manager


Tour Managers are the unsung heroes behind successful music tours, ensuring that everything runs smoothly from city to city, venue to venue. By coordinating logistics, managing finances, and handling unexpected challenges, they play an indispensable role in making sure the show goes on. Their efforts lie at the heart of an artist’s connection with fans on the road.

As a Tour Manager

As a Tour Manager, you’re entrusted with a myriad of tasks. From organizing travel arrangements and accommodations to managing the tour’s budget, your role is comprehensive. You’ll liaise between artists, venue staff, promoters, and roadies. Ensuring the artist’s needs are met, handling emergencies, settling payments with venues, and addressing any disputes or unexpected occurrences are all in a day’s work.

Benefits

  • Travel Opportunities: Experience new cities and countries while on the road with artists.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: Witness the magic of live performances from a unique vantage point.
  • Dynamic Work Environment: Every day brings new challenges and experiences, ensuring monotony never sets in.
  • Close-knit Team Dynamics: Form lasting bonds with artists and crew members during the journey.
  • Rewarding Outcomes: Play a pivotal role in successful tours, which are memorable for both artists and fans.

Working Conditions

Life as a Tour Manager is a whirlwind of activity, often involving long hours and constant movement. From bustling venues to hotel lobbies to the confines of a tour bus, the settings are ever-changing. While the job can be demanding—balancing the needs of artists, crew, and venues—it also offers unparalleled experiences, like witnessing a stadium full of fans singing along or the camaraderie developed with the touring party.

Further Studies

  • Courses or workshops on budget management, logistics, or conflict resolution can be advantageous.
  • Experience in event management or working with music festivals or smaller tours can offer hands-on insights.
  • Familiarity with health and safety regulations and first-aid training can be beneficial.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your organizational skills are paramount, ensuring that every aspect of the tour is pre-planned and executed seamlessly. Strong interpersonal abilities enable effective communication with diverse personalities, from artists to venue staff. Problem-solving is crucial, as unexpected challenges can arise at any point. Budgeting skills ensure the tour remains financially viable. Your adaptability allows you to adjust to varying environments and circumstances. And, importantly, a passion for live music and performances ensures you stay motivated and aligned with the tour’s ultimate goal: a memorable experience for the artist and audience.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($50,476)
  • Job Outlook (8%)

Tour manager demand is projected to grow 8% from 2018 to 2028 with an average yearly salary of $50,476.


12. Musical Festival Organizer


Music Festival Organizers are the masterminds behind the large-scale events that gather thousands of music enthusiasts, celebrating diverse sounds and cultures. They curate experiences that last a lifetime, melding artists, venues, vendors, and fans into harmonious symphonies of memories. Their events become landmarks in the music calendar, awaited with bated breath by artists and audiences alike.

As a Musical Festival Organizer

Stepping into the shoes of a Music Festival Organizer, you are tasked with a multifaceted role. From selecting and booking artists, securing venues, coordinating with vendors, managing ticket sales, to ensuring safety protocols are in place, the spectrum of your responsibilities is vast. Orchestrating marketing campaigns, liaising with sponsors, overseeing stage setups, and managing teams are also part and parcel of your duties.

Benefits

  • Creative Expression: Curate unique festival themes and line-ups, setting the tone for memorable events.
  • Engagement with the Music Community: Collaborate with artists, vendors, and fans, forming deep industry connections.
  • Witnessing Collective Joy: See firsthand the happiness and connections your festival brings to attendees.
  • Influence in the Music Scene: Your events can shape musical trends and offer platforms to emerging talents.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit: Every festival is akin to launching a new project, fueling your entrepreneurial drive.

Working Conditions

The role of a Music Festival Organizer is intense, especially in the months leading up to the event. It’s a blend of office-based planning, on-ground venue inspections, meetings with artists and vendors, and overseeing the actual event. Given the scale of festivals, meticulous attention to detail coupled with the ability to see the bigger picture is vital. The culmination of months of hard work is the festival itself, a multi-day event buzzing with energy, music, and shared joy.

Further Studies

  • Courses or seminars on logistics, safety regulations, and project management.
  • Experience in organizing smaller events or working with established festival teams is invaluable.
  • Familiarity with local entertainment laws and licensing requirements.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your project management skills ensure that every facet of the festival is planned and executed to perfection. A knack for negotiation helps in securing artists, venues, and sponsors at favorable terms. Strong networking abilities are key, given the collaborative nature of festivals. Your marketing acumen drives ticket sales and event visibility. Crisis management is critical, as large events often come with unexpected challenges. Above all, a genuine passion for music and community is the heart and soul of a successful festival, ensuring that every decision you make is centered on creating unparalleled experiences for attendees.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($62,068)
  • Job Outlook (18%)

Music festival organizers earn approximately $62,068 per year, with the job projected to grow 18% from 2021 to 2031. The higher growth is likely attributed to the growth of the field after the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recovery.


13. Film / TV Music Supervisor


Film/TV Music Supervisors are the maestros behind the emotive power of visual storytelling, seamlessly integrating music to elevate on-screen narratives. They bridge the worlds of music and film, ensuring that the melodies chosen resonate perfectly with the storyline, characters, and overall mood. Their decisions play a pivotal role in creating iconic cinematic moments that linger in viewers’ memories.

As a Film/TV Music Supervisor

As a Film/TV Music Supervisor, you are the custodian of the musical soul of a project. Your tasks involve sourcing the perfect tracks, whether by identifying existing songs or commissioning original scores. Collaborating closely with directors, producers, and editors, you’ll help determine where music is placed and how it interacts with the visuals. Additionally, handling licensing agreements, negotiating with record labels, artists, and publishers, and ensuring budgetary constraints are met will be part of your role.

Benefits

  • Artistic Collaboration: Engage deeply with filmmakers, understanding their vision and enhancing it through music.
  • Broad Musical Exploration: Dive into diverse genres and eras, finding the perfect fit for every scene.
  • Influence on Cultural Moments: Your choices can turn songs into anthems associated forever with iconic scenes.
  • Recognition within Industries: Stand at the intersection of the music and film industries, garnering respect in both.
  • Tangible Impact: Witness firsthand the transformative effect of your musical choices on a visual narrative.

Working Conditions

The world of a Film/TV Music Supervisor is a blend of solitary musical exploration and collaborative discussions. You may spend hours listening to tracks, hunting for the perfect piece, and then shift to team-based settings, working alongside directors or producers. While office or studio environments are common, attending film sets, editing rooms, or even music recording studios might be part of the journey. The role demands flexibility, given the ever-evolving nature of film production schedules and post-production timelines.

Further Studies

  • Courses in music licensing, copyright law, or film production can provide deeper insights.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your profound knowledge of music across genres and periods is foundational. Equally critical is your ability to interpret a director’s vision, translating it into musical choices. Strong negotiation skills will aid in securing tracks within budget, while your understanding of licensing ensures all music use remains legal. Your collaboration and communication abilities are key in interfacing with diverse teams, from editors to producers. Lastly, an intuitive sense of storytelling allows you to gauge how music can enhance, amplify, or even shift the emotions conveyed on screen.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($62,476)
  • Job Outlook (5%)

Film and TV music supervisors earn an average yearly salary of $62,476. Music supervisor demand is projected to grow 5% from 2018 to 2028.


14. Orchestra / Band Manager


Orchestra or Band Managers are the operational pillars behind musical groups, ensuring their artistic pursuits are complemented with solid organizational support. These managers handle everything from logistics to financial planning, allowing musicians to focus solely on their craft. Their expertise ensures that the ensemble’s performances, recordings, and tours are executed flawlessly.

As an Orchestra/Band Manager

As an Orchestra or Band Manager, you’re the linchpin that keeps the ensemble functioning smoothly. Your role encompasses scheduling rehearsals, coordinating performances, managing budgets, and liaising with venues. You’ll also negotiate contracts, handle bookings, oversee promotional activities, and sometimes even mediate within the group to ensure harmony both musically and interpersonally.

Benefits

  • Close Proximity to Music: Experience the joy and intricacies of musical performances up close.
  • Diverse Role: Engage in a multifaceted job that blends administrative, financial, and interpersonal tasks.
  • Impact on Group’s Success: Play a vital part in shaping the trajectory and reputation of the ensemble.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with a wide array of industry professionals, from agents to venue owners.
  • Shared Triumphs: Celebrate milestones and successes in tandem with the musicians.

Working Conditions

The life of an Orchestra or Band Manager can be demanding, requiring flexibility in terms of hours and often involving travel. Environments can vary from administrative office settings for planning and negotiation tasks to bustling backstage areas during performances. While there’s the constant pressure of ensuring everything runs seamlessly, the reward is witnessing firsthand the musical magic the ensemble creates, knowing you played a part in making it happen.

Further Studies

  • Courses in contract negotiation, event management, and marketing can be beneficial.
  • Experience in managing smaller music groups or working with larger ensembles can offer practical knowledge.
  • Familiarity with the music industry’s legal and contractual landscape.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your organizational prowess ensures that schedules are maintained, contracts are honored, and performances go off without a hitch. Effective communication skills are key when dealing with musicians, venues, and external partners. Financial acumen helps in budget management and ensures the group’s profitability. Your negotiation abilities come into play when securing performance slots, handling contracts, or arranging tours. Crisis management is essential, given the unpredictability of live performances and touring. And most importantly, a deep appreciation for music and the ensemble’s artistic vision aligns all your efforts towards a common goal of musical excellence.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($80,932)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

Orchestra or band managers earn a median salary of $80,932 as of August 23.Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 3% and produce 53,100 job opportunities across the U.S.


15. Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialist


Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialists are the silent guardians of musical harmony. These experts ensure that instruments, whether old or new, produce the pristine sounds they’re designed for. By meticulously repairing, tuning, and maintaining instruments, they uphold the traditions of music and enable musicians to express themselves without hindrance.

As an Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialist

When you step into the role of an Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialist, you’re trusted with the preservation and restoration of musical instruments. This could mean anything from adjusting a violin’s bridge, replacing guitar strings, fixing a saxophone’s pad, to restoring a centuries-old cello. Understanding the intricacies of various instruments, conducting regular maintenance checks, recommending care routines to musicians, and troubleshooting any sound or playability issues are central to your role.

Benefits

  • Deep Engagement with Craft: Delve into the fine details of musical instruments and their unique characteristics.
  • Gratification of Restoration: Experience the joy of bringing aged or damaged instruments back to life.
  • Continuous Learning: Stay updated with the latest materials, tools, and techniques in instrument care.
  • Recognition within Music Circles: Become a go-to expert for musicians, schools, and orchestras in your region.
  • Tangible Impact: Witness the immediate results of your work in the form of flawless musical performances.

Working Conditions

Workspaces for Instrument Repair and Maintenance Specialists are often quiet, well-lit studios or workshops equipped with specialized tools. Precision is paramount, requiring a calm environment conducive to focused, detailed work. While some tasks can be routine maintenance, others might involve intricate restoration projects that span days. Interaction with musicians offers a collaborative element, understanding their needs, and ensuring their instruments are in optimal condition.

Further Studies

  • Formal training or apprenticeship in instrument repair; specific courses are available for different instrument families like woodwind, brass, or string.
  • Familiarity with the history and construction of various instruments can be beneficial.

What Skills Make You a Strong Candidate

Your meticulous attention to detail ensures that even the minutest issues in instruments don’t escape your notice. Patience is crucial, given the delicate nature of many repairs. Your dexterity and hand-eye coordination aid in handling tools and intricate instrument parts. An understanding of acoustics helps in diagnosing and rectifying sound issues. Good interpersonal skills facilitate clear communication with musicians, understanding their specific needs. Lastly, a profound love for music and respect for instruments ensures that every task is approached with reverence and dedication.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($38,150)
  • Job Outlook (2.11%)

According to Recruiter.com, “Musical Instrument Repairer or Tuner careers has been relatively unchanged since 2004. Vacancies for this career have slightly increased by 33.84 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 2.11% per year. Demand for Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners is expected to go up, with an expected 1,220 new jobs filled by 2029. The U.S. BLS notes that instrument repair and maintenance specialists earn an average yearly salary of $38,150.

Making the Right Career Choice

Recognizing your unique blend of skills, passions, and experiences is the first step towards identifying the role that resonates most with you. Each position in the music realm, be it the meticulous craft of instrument maintenance or the bustling world of festival organization, demands a distinct set of competencies. It’s not just about having a degree or a title but about possessing the innate qualities and the drive to excel in your chosen field.

Commit to continuous learning, seek mentorship, and remain adaptable. The dynamic landscape of the music industry rewards those who are prepared, proactive, and deeply attuned to both their personal strengths and the evolving demands of the sector. As you gauge your career readiness, remember that the right blend of preparation, passion, and adaptability can turn your musical aspirations into a harmonious reality.


Sherice Jacob

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