The music industry is starting to bounce back after taking a hit during the coronavirus pandemic and with that means jobs that need to be filled. If you are already in the field and looking for work or starting a new career altogether, we’ve put together a list of some popular positions available right now and what to look out for throughout the year.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believes the employment of musicians and singers will increase by 1 percent from 2019 to 2029. While there is expected to be a decrease in demand for musicians in performing arts companies, there will likely be a need for session musicians and singers to sing backup and make records for commercials, films, and TV. When looking at the same span of years for music directors and composers, employment is expected to increase by 2 percent, and composers are especially needed to write and arrange original music while directors are needed to lead orchestras, ballet troupes, and more.
Six String put together a list of the top 10 careers in the music business for music lovers. First up is the music producer, the man or woman with the control. Their job is to oversee most aspects of creating a song or album and choose the instruments, musicians, and vocalists on a track and are usually responsible for the final edit. According to Berklee Online, it’s all about being a jack of all trades and understanding both the creative and commercial sides of the business. A producer should develop relationships with both musicians and the record label and create an environment that enables artists to express themselves. There’s always a need for a music producer, and it made Profitable Venture’s list of the 50 best high-paying career ideas that involve music in 2021.
Ever thought about being a music composer? It made both previously mentioned lists and is basically the person behind a good song. Many musicians can sing but don’t know how to write music. A music composer writes, creates, and arranges music notes together while often advising musicians and working with producers on the overall project. It’s not just about the classical music genre — composers can write for film, TV, video games, and more. Berklee Online says the important thing is to have a masterful understanding of music theory plus be able to play an instrument or two and be able to capture your compositions effectively.
If you can play music and sing but don’t want to be the center of attention necessarily, being a session musician may be the perfect job for you. It’s also on the list of top 50 jobs this year. Some important skills you should have are mastery over an instrument, being flexible, and having discipline, according to Six String. You don’t necessarily need an education but do need a lot of practice and should have a knowledge of music in order to play different genres, styles, and sounds. You’ll be able to interact and form relationships with other musicians and may even be able to start a solo career. Berklee Online tells how Stevie Ray Vaughan was once a session musician for David Bowie, Sheryl Crow sang backup for Michael Jackson and Jimmy Page played in countless recording sessions.
It’s not all about being in front of the microphone or on a stage. Another job forecasted to continue to be big this year is the audio engineer. They’re responsible for capturing sound and manipulating it in studio while organizing recording sessions and dealing with any technical problems that may arise. You’ll need to know how to mix and edit. The audio engineer position made the list of the 50 best high-paying music jobs in 2021, and so did the location sound engineer and the broadcast engineer. The former is the person on set of a music video in charge of speakers or instruments, and the latter is the staff member in charge of setting up and maintaining sound equipment for concerts, shows, and other performances. As in-person events continue to come back, there will certainly be a need for this. There will additionally be a need for tour directors, road managers, promoters, and backup singers, just to name a few, as artists start to tour again.
A musician is all about the team around them, especially the musician’s manager. This means you’ll take bookings, manage schedules, negotiate bookings and receive payments on their behalf. Leadership skills are key, and you’ll be helping the artist build a successful, strong, and sustainable career. It makes pretty much every list of jobs in the music industry. Beyond the manager is the publicist. A publicist works closely with media outlets, marketers, and venues to ensure musicians’ concerts, releases and announcements are covered in a positive way, according to Berklee Online. This is a communications and marketing-based role, so you should have an education in that plus good writing skills. Another person that will come in handy is a social media manager. As we discussed in a previous blog post, it’s very important for musicians to use social media to promote themselves and know their way around TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Nowadays, many artists hire a specific person to do this, and it’s an excellent way to make announcements, go live with fans, or release a new music video.
These are just some of the music positions proven to be popular this year. For the latest job listings, music-jobs.com is a great place to start along with job boards like Indeed, this article highlights 12 jobs in the music industry. Happy hunting!