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songwriter playing a songmusic producer at work stationrock star performing on stagetour manager making phone callmusic teacher with studentmusic therapy session

Performing & Writing Careers

Maybe you were born to perform. Or maybe, for you, there's nothing better than hearing a famous artist sing your songs. Welcome to the world of performing and writing careers!
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Music Producer

Music Producer

A Music Producer writes, arranges, produces and records songs for other artists or for their own projects. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$82,554Salary Range:$82K-$83KAlt Titles:Beat Maker, Producer
Singer

Singer

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. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$46,571Salary Range:$17,680 – $40,000,000Alt Titles:Vocalist, Pop Star
Lyricist

Lyricist

A Lyricist writes song lyrics for performance in songs, musicals, film/TV, and commercials. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$25,627Salary Range:$20K-$54KAlt Titles:Lyric Writer
Rock Star

Rock Star

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. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:Millions of dollarsSalary Range:$100k-$1 million+ per gigAlt Titles:Pop Star, Frontman, Frontwoman
Jingle Writer

Jingle Writer

Writes music for commercials. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$56,980Salary Range:$36K-$89KAlt Titles:Commercial Jingle Composer, Jingle Composer
Composer

Composer

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. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$40,452Salary Range:$20K-$115KAlt Titles:Melodist, Symphonist
Cruise Ship Musician

Cruise Ship Musician

Cruise Ship Musicians perform a wide variety of music to entertain guests on board a cruise ship. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$31,500Salary Range:$24K-$39KAlt Titles:Cruise Ship Entertainer
Songwriter

Songwriter

A Songwriter crafts songs for another artist in hopes of creating a hit. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$65,280Salary Range:Alt Titles:Writer
Nightclub DJ

DJ

A 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... Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$40,000Salary Range:$18K-$102KAlt Titles:Nightclub DJ, Deejay, Disc Jockey
Session Musician

Session Musician

A Session Musician performs a backing track for another musician, while performing onstage or recording in studio. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$54,600Salary Range:Varies widely, can go up to $100,000Alt Titles:Studio Musician, Backing Musician
Opera Singer

Opera Singer

An Opera Singer sings and acts out operatic pieces in a theatrical setting. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$70,000Salary Range:$60K-$200KAlt Titles:Singer, Classical Singer, Operatic Singer, Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Countertenor, Baritone, Bass
Production Music Writer

Production Music Writer

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... Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$56,980Salary Range:$36K - $89KAlt Titles:TV Music Writer, Commercial Music Writer, Film Music Composer, Music Producer, Jingle Writer
Sound Designer

Sound Designer

Provides audio support and sound design for the interactive entertainment industry. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$40,827Salary Range:$25K - $68KAlt Titles:Audio Designer, Sound Engineer, Audio Engineer, Audio Artist, Sound Artist, Creative Sound Designer, Technical Sound Designer
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Copyist

Transcribes musical parts from a score, either by hand or by using a computer program. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$35,503Salary Range:$20K-$56KAlt Titles:Music Copyist, Music Prep Person
Session Singer

Session Singer

A Session Singer sings backup with artists or provides vocals for movie, commercial, and TV scores. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$40,000Salary Range:$15,000-$65,000Alt Titles:Background Singer, Backing Vocalist, Backup Singer, Studio Vocalist
Background Singer

Background Singer

The Background Singer performs solo or with other singers and musicians in a recording studio or live performance. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$44,346Salary Range:$18K-$101KAlt Titles:Singer, Studio Singer, Session Vocalist, Vocalist, Background Vocalist, Chorus Member
Concertmaster

Concertmaster

Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$75,000Salary Range:$50K-$100kAlt Titles:Section Leader, 1st Violinist
Recording Group

Recording Group

Records tracks that are released on albums and as singles. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:The SKY is the Limit!Salary Range:Alt Titles:Band, Recording Act, Recording Artist
Music Arranger

Arranger

Writes instrumentation and arrangements of musical notes for studio recordings and live performances. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$54,400Salary Range:$40K-$60KAlt Titles:Market Adapter, Transcriber
Church Organist

Church Organist

Plays the organ at religious services and wedding ceremonies. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$18,529Salary Range:$12K-$40KAlt Titles:Organist, Church Musician
Orchestrator

Orchestrator

Orchestrators transpose music and write scores based off a Composer’s initial draft or sketch. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$62,377Salary Range:$13K-$175KAlt Titles:None
Accompanist

Accompanist

An Accompanist is a pianist who accompanies singers, dancers, and instrumentalists for performances and rehearsals. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$34,045Salary Range:$33K-$35KAlt Titles:Collaborative Pianist, Accompanyist
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Jazz Musician

Jazz Musicians are highly trained artists who perform original or repertoire jazz works in concert and in the recording studio. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$50,934Salary Range:$31K-$88KAlt Titles:Musician, Instrumentalist
Dance/Cover Band

Dance / Cover Band

Performs covers of popular songs so the audience can dance and have a good time at clubs, bars, casinos, lounges, and schools. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$35,236Salary Range:$18K-$68KAlt Titles:Bar Band, Tribute Band, Lounge Band, Production Show
Show Band

Show Band

Professional musicians who perform at corporate events, charity galas, holiday parties, weddings, and other private celebrations. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:$100,258Salary Range:$85K - $119KAlt Titles:Show Group, Floor Show Group
Video Game Composer

Video Game Composer

Video Game Composers create musical scores for video games. Learn MoreAvg. Salary:Salary Range:$30,000 to $75,000+Alt Titles:Video Game Music Composer, Composer
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