What do you want to become?
Select from these music career categories, sorted by popularity.
Performing & Writing Careers
DJ (Nightclub DJ)
Alternate Titles: DJ, Deejay, Disc Jockey
Job Description: A Club DJ plays songs at a nightclub, bar, rave, or party using vinyl records, CDs, or MP3s. The traditional DJ setup includes a mixer, two turntables, a sound system and headphones, although many now use CDJs or digital mixing software.
Salary: From getting paid in drink tickets to millions of dollars a year. $300/night is normal.
Alternate Titles: Beat Maker, Writer
Job Description: Writes and records music to be used by major artists, licensed for television or commercials, or for their own projects.
Salary: $25,000 to $1,000,000
Alternate Titles: Rocker, Frontman, Frontwoman
Job Description: A Rock Star is the performer in the band who commands the most attention onstage, plays a key part in writing the band’s songs, and serves as the group’s spokesperson.
Salary: $100k-$1 million+ per gig
Alternate Titles: Producer, Music Producer
Job Description: Record Producers guide the production of a record by coaching the musicians, advising in preproduction sessions, and directing the in-studio recording and production process.
Salary: $25,000 to $1,000,000+
Alternate Titles: Audio Engineer
Job Description: A Recording Engineer operates and sets up the recording equipment used to capture and shape the sound of an album.
Alternate Titles: Recording Assistant, Mixing Assistant
Job Description: Assists recording professionals in the studio by positioning microphones, prepping mixes, carrying amps, and more.
Salary: $18,000 to $25,000+
Record Industry Careers
A & R Coordinator
Alternate Titles: A&R Representative, A&R Rep, A&R Staffer, Talent Acquisition Representative
Job Description: A&R Coordinators find fresh talent for a label and oversee the completion of new albums.
Salary: $27,000 to $85,000+
A & R Administrator
Alternate Titles: Artist and Repertoire Administrator, A&R Administration Representative
Job Description: In charge of the clerical elements of the A&R Department, including maintaining the budgets for artists and bands signed to a label, and working with accounting and legal personnel.
Salary: $27,000 to $65,000+
Alternate Titles: Promotion Director, Director of Promotions
Job Description: Develops, implements and directs promotional campaigns for the record label and its artists. They work to get radio airplay and more.
Salary: $27,000 to $95,000+
Music Business Careers
Alternate Titles: Artists Representative, Manager, Band Manager
Job Description: Represents musical acts and guides all aspects of an artist’s career.
Salary: 10% to 50% of an artist’s Earnings. Most Managers receive between 10-20%.
Alternate Titles: Booking Manager, Agent, Booking Representative
Job Description: Booking Agents negotiate deals and plans tours for the artists on their roster.
Salary: $20,000 to $1,000,000+
Alternate Titles: Talent Promoter, Promoter
Job Description: Concert Promoters organize shows by booking talent, securing venues, and marketing their events.
Salary: $0 to $1,000,000+
Music Industry Touring Careers
Alternate Titles: Road Manager, Concert Tour Manager
Job Description: A Tour Manager manages transportation, scheduling, and the financial aspects of an artist’s time on the road.
Alternate Titles: Tour Director
Job Description: Manages financial aspects of touring, including budgeting, reconciling show settlements, and negotiating band, crew, and vendor deals.
Salary: $35,000 to $175,000+
Alternate Titles: Music Publicist, Publicist
Job Description: Publicizes tour information to fans and press, handles promotions and press conferences.
Salary: $30,000 to $100,000+
Facility, Arena, & Club Careers
Concert Hall Manager
Alternate Titles: Theater Manager, Arena Director, Facility Director, Director of Hall Operations
Job Description: Manages concert hall, oversees all activities and employees in venue.
Salary: $26,000 to $90,000+
Concert Hall Marketing Director
Alternate Titles: Director of Marketing, Marketing Manager
Job Description: Coordinates marketing campaigns, oversees public relations and advertising department, develops budgets.
Salary: $25,000 to $100,000+
Film Music Careers
Alternate Titles: Melodist, Symphonist
Job Description: Composers create musical scores for TV, film, and computer games. They use live musicians and sampling to evoke the intended mood or emotion to mirror what’s happening onscreen.
Salary: $0-$2,000,000+ per film
Production Music Writer (TV Music)
Alternate Titles: TV Music Writer, Commercial Music Writer, Film Music Composer, Music Producer, Jingle Writer
Job Description: Writes music that is usually licensed or sold to a Production Music Library. This music is then placed into TV shows, commercials, and films. The music composer generally splits their earnings with the Production Music Library that owns the rights to the music.
Salary: $6,000 to $240,000
Alternate Titles: Film Music Editor
Job Description: Mixes, edits, and syncs music to film. Serves as the technical and creative liaison between the Composer and filmmakers.
Salary: $1,000 to $5,000 per week
Music Journalism Careers
Alternate Titles: Writer, Journalist, Reporter, Music Critic
Job Description: Music Journalists write music criticism and music news for print, online, and broadcast media.
Alternate Titles: Music Writer, Music Reporter, Contributor, Staff Writer
Job Description: A Music Blogger writes breaking music news stories to be posted on an online music blog.
Salary: $23,000 to $66,000
Alternate Titles: Music Writer
Job Description: Music Critics interview Musicians and review live performances and recorded albums for print or online media outlets.
Salary: $15,000 – $30,000+
Music Education Careers
Alternate Titles: Music Instructor
Job Description: Music Teachers provide instruction in music performance and theory. They can teach one-on-one or in a group setting. Some Teachers specialize in only one instrument, while others instruct pupils in a range of different instruments.
College, Conservatory, or University Music Teacher
Alternate Titles: Music Teacher, Professor, Instructor
Job Description: Educates in music theory, history, composition, and/or new advances.
Salary: $32,530 to $122,360
Private Instrument Teacher
Alternate Titles: Studio Teacher, Guitar Teacher, Piano Teacher, Vocal Teacher, Instrument Teacher
Job Description: Instructs and teaches students how to play a specific instrument in a one-on-one or small group setting.
Salary: $30 to $120/hour
Public Relations & Advertising Careers
Alternate Titles: Press Agent, PR Person, Staff Publicist
Job Description: Creates press kits, writes press releases, and contacts media to secure coverage for artists and albums.
Salary: $25,000 to $150,000+
Public Relations Counselor
Alternate Titles: Publicist, P.R. Counselor
Job Description: Establishes an artist, company, or musical group’s image, writes press releases, assembles press kits and arranges press conferences.
Salary: $25,000 to $200,000+
Radio & Television Music Careers
Program Director (PD)
Alternate Titles: P.D., Director of Programs
Job Description: Programs radio format and DJ schedule and selects radio programs.
Salary: $27,000 to $100,000+
Radio DJ (DJ)
Alternate Titles: Radio Co-host, On Air Personality, Radio Personality, DJ
Job Description: A Radio DJ plays music on-air and discusses music, news, or other subjects on the breaks between songs.
Symphony and Orchestra Careers
Alternate Titles: Chief Conductor, Principle Conductor, Maestro, Music Director
Job Description: Conductors lead orchestras, operas, and other musical ensembles during live performances.
Alternate Titles: Section Leader, 1st Violinist
Job Description: Leads an entire section of the orchestra, performs solos, tunes their section of the orchestra.
Salary: $95,000 to $517,000+
Alternate Titles: Principal Player
Job Description: Leads a section of the orchestra, sometimes supervises rehearsals with the section, and assigns parts to musicians.
Salary: $28,000 to $143,000+
Church Music Careers
Alternate Titles: Music Director, Minister of Music, Administrator of Music Program
Job Description: Coordinates church choir, recruits singers, develops and trains musical talents, plans choir budget.
Salary: $20,000 to $42,000
Music Health Careers
Job Description: A Music Therapist works with clients to improve any issues with their emotional, physical, cognitive and social wellbeing through the use of music lessons, sing-a-longs, etc.
Job Description: Works with patients to help them recover from vocal damage and to make positive lifestyle and/or vocal behavior changes.
Salary: $44,940 to $110,000+
Music Industry Merchandising Careers
Music Store Manager
Alternate Titles: Store Manager, Music Department Manager, Instrument Manager
Job Description: Manages music shop or music department, buys/sells instruments and equipment.
Salary: $27,000 to $48,000+
Music Store Salesperson
Alternate Titles: Music Store Salesman
Job Description: Educates consumers on new products and informs on product features, sells music accessories, instruments, supplies and more.
Salary: $13,000 to $50,000+
Record Store Manager
Alternate Titles: Store Manager, Music Department Manager
Job Description: Manages day-to-day operations, supervises workers, and opens and closes the store.
Salary: $24,000 to $48,000+
Instrument Work & Development
Musical Instrument Builder/Designer
Alternate Titles: Instrument Craftsman, Custom Instrument Builder, Instrument Builder/Designer, Instrument Maker, Luthier
Job Description: Designs and builds instruments, either to be sold at their own shop or for a large instrument manufacturer.
Salary: $15,000 to $65,000+
Instrument Repair and Restoration Specialist
Alternate Titles: Instrument Repair Expert, Instrument Repair Technician
Job Description: Repairs and restores broken or neglected musical instruments.
Salary: $9 to $55+ an hour
Other Music Careers
Alternate Titles: Cultural Anthropologist, Musicologist, Cultural Analyst, Folklorist
Job Description: Study social and cultural aspects of music and dance in local and global context. Document and research.
Salary: $30,000 to $90,000+
Job Description: Choreographers create and teach dances to dancers to perform on stage during concert tours, theatrical performances, or film/TV projects.
Alternate Titles: Bodyguard, Executive Protection Professional, Close Protection Officer, Security Guard
Job Description: Celebrity Bodyguards keep clients safe and happy. They must assess and deter possible threats from stalkers, paparazzi, and even ex-boyfriends (!) while also ensuring that the celebrity is relaxed and receives a high standard of service.
Salary: $25,000 to $500,000+