Where Can Music Take You?

Interesting Careers in the Music Industry.

Victoria Walston, Staff Writer

There are many different kinds of careers in the music industry. Many can be very lucrative, and if music is your passion, they are enjoyable. Of course, there are singers and music teachers, but what other careers are there in the music industry?  Below are just a few that may ignite your interest.

Orchestral Musician

A good career for someone who enjoys playing an instrument is an orchestral musician. Full-time orchestral musicians work for 40 weeks. These orchestras are very competitive and hard to get into, but once you’re in, you have job security. The salary depends on which orchestra you join. Someone who plays for the Alabama Symphony can make approximately $37,000 per year, while someone who plays for the Boston Symphony can earn upwards of $132,000 per year (blog.sonicbids.com). According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, orchestral musicians make $28.15 per hour (bls.gov).  

Recording Engineer 

Recording engineers deal with the science of music. This career is for someone who cannot play an instrument or sing but still wants to work in music. Someone pursuing this line of work will start as an assistant, which provides the needed training. Gradually with more experience, you will get to branch out and engineer on your own. Recording engineers make between $25,000-$150,000+ (blog.sonicbids.com).

Entertainment Attorney

Excellent career for someone interested in both the music industry and law is an entertainment attorney. Entertainment attorneys will have to go to law school. Entertainment attorneys deal with contracts, copyrights, and trademarks. The base salary is near $70,000 per year and can go up past $150,000 (blog.sonicbids.com). The median pay is $58.13 per hour (bls.gov).

Musical Therapist 

A career in music outside of the recording studio is a musical therapist. Therapists use music to help patients with issues in places like preschool, nursing homes, and even prisons. Pay starts at around $20,000 per year but can go up to $135,000 (blog.sonicbids.com).

Road Manager

A Road Manager is an excellent job for those who want to do a bit more traveling for work. The road manager manages the act while on tour. The road manager makes sure that things go according to plan. The salary depends on individual negations with the performer but is most commonly between $25,000-$125,000 per year but can be more depending on the act. For example, Beyoncé’s road manager would make more than Hugh Jackman’s road manager. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a road manager is $123,860 (bls.gov)

Booking Agent

A career that is important for the success of an act is a booking agent. Booking agents don’t need formal education; they need to be well connected. They will need to be connected with venue owners. Booking agents are typically paid on commission, 10-20% of the act’s total income. That can be between $20,000-$3,000,000, but that, of course, depends on the performer (blog.sonicbids.com). According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median wage for booking agents is $43.69 per hour (bls.gov).

Disc Jockey

A disc jockey is a good career for someone who enjoys playing popular music, listening to music, and listening to different genres. They play music at parties, nightclubs, and on the radio. Disc Jockeys for parties and nightclubs can make up to $1,000+ per night (careersinmusic.com). The median pay for a radio disc jockey is $15.38 per hour (bls.gov).

Film composer 

Film composers make the scores and music for tv shows, movies, and documentaries. Film composers start with small jobs and gradually work their way up to notable films with more experience. Some schools offer film score majors, but prospective composers will need a bachelor’s degree to get a job. The average pay is $53,000 per year (trade-schools.net) and $23.86 per hour (bls.gov), which can go up depending on the situation.

Engineering Technician

 A career involving hands-on work is a sound engineering technician. They create the best audio for concerts, songs, and film soundtracks. There is short term on the job training and 144,300 sound technicians as of 2018. The average pay is $43,660 per year and $20.99 per hour (bls.gov).

Session Musician

A session musician is like an orchestral musician but in a studio. As in the case of an orchestral musician, the career of a session musician can also be very competitive. The salary varies based on location and the amount of experience. The pay can go up to $2,500 per day and $100,000+ per year (blog.sonicbids.com). The mean hourly wage is $35.86 (bls.gov)