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Performing & Writing Careers
Careers in Music Producing, Performing, Writing, and More.
Alternate Titles: Producer, Beat Maker
Job Description: A Music Producer writes, arranges, produces and records songs for other Artists or for their own projects.
Salary: $25,000 to $1,000,000
Alternate Titles: Nightclub 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: $500 to $1,000+ per night.
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: Vocalist, Pop Star
Job Description: A Singer performs the lead vocals of a song. Although he or she may have a backing band, the Singer is the star of the show.
Alternate Titles: Songwriter, Lyric Writer
Job Description: A Lyricist writes song lyrics for performance in songs, musicals, film/TV, and commercials.
Salary: $0-$100,000 per project
Recording Group (or Band)
Alternate Titles: Band, Recording Act, Recording Artist
Job Description: Records tracks that are released on albums and as singles.
Salary: The SKY is the Limit!
Alternate Titles: Musician, Instrumentalist
Job Description: Jazz Musicians are highly trained artists who perform original or repertoire jazz works in concert and in the recording studio.
Salary: $9.20 to $68.98+ per hour
Alternate Titles: Singer, Studio Singer, Session Vocalist, Vocalist, Background Vocalist, Chorus Member
Job Description: The Background Singer performs solo or with other Singers and musicians in a recording studio or live performance.
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
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
Alternate Titles: Background Singer, Backing Vocalist, Backup Singer, Studio Vocalist
Job Description: A Session Singer sings backup with artists or provides vocals for movie, commercial, and TV scores.
Alternate Titles: Studio Musician, Backing Musician
Job Description: A Studio Musician performs a backing track for another musician, while performing onstage or recording in studio.
Salary: Varies widely, can go up to $100,000
Alternate Titles: Collaborative Pianist, Accompanyist
Job Description: An Accompanist is a pianist who accompanies singers, dancers, and instrumentalists for performances and rehearsals.
Salary: $30,000 to $45,000+
Alternate Titles: Show Group, Floor Show Group
Job Description: Professional musicians who perform at corporate events, charity galas, holiday parties, weddings, and other private celebrations.
Salary: $250 to $15,000+ Show
Alternate Titles: Bar Band, Tribute Band, Lounge Band, Production Show
Job Description: Performs music so the audience can dance and have a good time at clubs, bars, casinos, lounges, and schools.
Average Annual Salary: $200-$300 per person, per show
Salary: $50 to $1,000+ per person, per show
Cruise Ship Musician
Alternate Titles: Cruise Ship Entertainer
Job Description: Cruise Ship Musicians perform a wide variety of music to entertain guests on board a cruise ship.
Salary: $24,000 – $54,000+
Video Game Composer
Alternate Titles: Video Game Music Composer, Composer
Job Description: Video Game Composers create musical scores for video games.
Salary: $30,000 to $75,000+
Alternate Titles: Audio Designer, Sound Engineer, Audio Engineer, Audio Artist, Sound Artist, Creative Sound Designer, Technical Sound Designer
Job Description: Provides audio support for the interactive entertainment industry.
Salary: $40,000 to $120,000+