10 jobs to do with music (Plus duties and salary info)
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The music industry can provide a wide range of career opportunities for creative and business-minded people alike. The music business is at the forefront of the arts scene, and the arts and culture sector is one of the UK's most successful industries. If you're interested in the music industry, there are numerous career options available to you, from casual work to long-term careers, and from creative roles to positions on the business side of the industry. In this article, we introduce some of the most popular jobs to do with music, along with qualifications, key responsibilities and average salaries.
Top 10 jobs to do with music
There are many jobs to do with music, depending on your interests, skills and qualifications. These can include recording, performing and producing music, organising music events, working in music management or entering marketing or journalism. The industry is competitive and attracts people from a variety of backgrounds, from creatives to business executives. Anyone can work in the music industry, though knowledge and interest in the music scene are undoubtedly helpful to get you started. Here are 10 of the most popular jobs in the music industry:
National average salary: £30,352 per year
Primary duties: Music events managers are responsible for organising and delivering events and concerts. Their duties may include booking performers, finding and booking venues, handling ticketing and ensuring they deliver a successful event. Live music events play an important role in the music industry. Touring and performing live is one of the most reliable income sources for musicians and bands. Jobs in music events could be anything from managing a single venue, organising festivals and events for multiple performers or managing performances and tours for a single artist.
National average salary: £29,618 per year
Primary duties: A music manager is primarily responsible for overseeing the business affairs of a musician or band. The role of a music manager involves promoting artists so that they can make as much money as possible from their creative talents. The job often includes booking and managing tours and live performances and working with record labels to secure recording contracts. Duties may also extend to managing diaries, negotiating contracts and working on marketing and public relations (PR) for the artist.
Related: How To Become A Band Manager
National average salary: £20,217 per year
Primary duties: Earning paid work as a musician requires a great deal of investment in learning and perfecting the craft. Whether they play an instrument, sing or both, there are employment opportunities available for those with the right talent. There are also qualifications and courses they can take to improve their chances of gaining employment as a musician.
Musicians may be part of a band or work as solo artists, but there are also a variety of other roles. Other artists hire session musicians to play in their recording sessions or live performances. Jobs for musicians can also include recording music for advertising, television or film, while classical musicians often work as part of a larger orchestra.
Related: How much does a musician make?
National average salary: £8.58 per hour
Primary duties: Music promoters play an important role in the organising of live music events. They may work on booking concerts, negotiating pay for performers and, crucially, promoting the event to boost ticket sales. Promoting work can include working with the local press, putting up posters, handing out flyers or working on social media to ensure the event gets as much publicity as possible. As a promoter, they're usually involved on the day of the event, ensuring everything goes well from admissions to meeting the needs of the artists and performers.
National average salary: £23,599 per year
Primary duties: A music director is responsible for arranging musical elements of a show, concert or theatre production. This can involve hiring musicians, planning a performance, leading rehearsals and, if working with an orchestra, conducting the performance. A music director is a specialised role requiring a high degree of musical knowledge and experience.
The music director is directly responsible for the overall quality of the musical performance, so an in-depth understanding of music and theatre is essential for the role. In addition to their musical talent and experience, music directors are also likely to be strong leaders, creative thinkers and excellent problem solvers.
National average salary: £29,186 per year
Primary duties: There are various places to teach music. It can be taught in a school, college or specialist music school, or as a private tutor. Music teaching can include instruction in music theory, or it can focus on teaching a single instrument. Teaching music usually requires in-depth knowledge of the theory of music and the ability to play at least one instrument to a high standard. Teaching in schools requires professional teaching qualifications, though it's possible to become a private tutor on a more informal basis.
National average salary: £25,626 per year
Primary duties: A music journalist typically writes about music news and developments in the music industry, and they may also write reviews of new releases and live performances. They could write for a newspaper, a magazine or a music website, and the job involves attending live music events.
A passion for music is essential. Journalism is an extremely competitive industry, so for candidates that are interested in music journalism, it's important to build up writing experience and portfolio. A degree in journalism can help with career prospects, but alongside any academic qualifications, employers are likely to focus on writing style and experience.
National average salary: £28,440 per year
Primary duties: Audio engineers have technical knowledge of audio equipment and work mainly in recording studios or at live events. An audio engineer's work involves setting up and managing audio equipment for the best possible sound, including microphones, speakers, amplifiers and sound decks. An audio engineer may also work on the final mix of a recording, adding effects and editing a piece of music to prepare it for release.
Becoming a sound engineer typically requires a degree in sound engineering, audio production or electronics, though there are sometimes entry-level jobs available without a degree. Apprenticeships and specialist courses can also help to gain experience and knowledge of the role.
Related: How to become a music producer
9. Music agent
National average salary: £23,960 per year
Primary duties: A music agent is responsible for promoting artists and performers, increasing their profile and maximising their earnings. Agents usually work closely with performers or band members to secure them the best recording deals and negotiate the terms of live performances. They may also help musicians to monetise their image through endorsements and advertising. Being a music agent is a demanding job, and only a few agents have the privilege of representing the most high-profile acts, but it can be a rewarding role.
Agents have leadership skills and a strong background in business. It's also beneficial to possess in-depth knowledge of the music industry, interpersonal skills and an extensive list of contacts in the music scene.
10. Music publicist
National average salary: £30,254 per year
Primary duties: A music publicist plays a critical role in promoting artists and performers. A publicist's role involves helping artists cultivate and maintain a positive public image. By working closely with media outlets and marketing professionals, publicists ensure artists get the best media coverage possible to help grow their following and increase sales. The job involves building solid relationships with the media and developing a narrative for the artist that increases their public exposure.
Music publicists typically start by gaining qualifications and experience in marketing or PR. A degree in marketing or communications can help to gain entry-level roles, and experience working in marketing, advertising or PR can also be a route into being a music publicist. This career requires a strong interest in music and experience working in the music industry, which can help to build a network of valuable contacts.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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