Popular Music Careers That Might Interest You

  • Reading time:7 mins read
  • Post category:Music Discussion

When it comes to music, beyond the performers who take center stage, there is an array of people whose job is to help make the performance possible. Some people coordinate and promote the music, there are the guys in the recording studio and on the soundboards who ensure the artiste sounds great, and so on. 

There’s probably something for you in the business if you have an interest in music.

Let’s take a look at some of the career choices in the music business and what compensation you can get from them. 

Note: Information for salary is from the 2016 edition of music careers dollars and cents by the Berklee College of Music Career Development Center. 


  • Music Producer 


You could be a music producer. A music producer blends the creative and commercial parts of the music business and develops a relationship with the musician and the record label. Music producers should create the kind of environment that allows the music artiste to be creative and expressive. The producer also adds some details to the artiste’s recording project. This includes helping to choose the material to record, balancing the recording budget, and so on.


  • What To Learn


You can start by learning about foundational audio and music concepts. Study different types of software and look into what makes a good sound. You will also need to learn a bit of engineering and mixing. Check the credits of your favorite album. Listen to other albums that they produced and try to familiarize yourself with their style. You can improve yourself in your way. 

Salaries range from $25,000 to $1m+


  • Disk Jockey (DJ)


This is another career choice for music lovers. DJs play a continuous music mix on a turntable, or software, or a CDJs at clubs, parties, music festivals, and the likes. Many DJs even write and produce their tracks, and this gives them an edge in the very competitive music sphere. You need to learn how to be a DJ and be able to read the crowd you are playing for. Also, you should generally have a good understanding of music.

According to Payscale.com, salary ranges from $21,000 – $221,000+, with a median wage of $49 per hour, while superstar DJs can rack up to $46m.


  • Recording Engineer


As an audio engineer, your job entails capturing sound and manipulating it in the studio. You will be working with analog and digital sound, compressors, signal flows, and microphones. For recording music, you will typically blend traditional and tech-savvy recording techniques. Organizing recording sessions, fixing any technical issue that arises might also be part of your job.


  • What To Learn


Have a deep understanding of different recording technologies and have file management skills. You might also need to be trained in mixing and editing. You should be able to solve problems, take the initiative, and handle recording sessions.

Salary range is $25,000 to $150,000+


  • Composer


Being a composer isn’t just fixed on the classical music genre. As a composer, you can write for video games, TV, and film. A composer can also write or arrange already recorded or live music across any genre. Irrespective of which aspect you wish to pursue, you need to have a deep understanding of music theory. You should be able to play at least one musical instrument and have the technical know-how to capture your compositions effectively, either through music recording or notation.


  • What To Learn


Having formal education and experience is a good start. Composers are good at playing one or more instruments, and they have a clear understanding of music theory and arrangement. To be a great composer, you need to understand the technical and mechanical parts of music. Learn and practice with composition software.

What’s the salary like? A composer’s salary usually varies per project.

  • A Television Composer 

$1,500 – $7,500, or more for a 30 minutes episode.

$2,000 – $15,000, or more for a 60 minutes episode.

$2,000 – $55,000, or more for a TV movie.

  • Film Score Composer

$0 – $10,000, or more for a student film.

$2,500 – $500,00, or more for an indie feature.

$35,000 – $2m, or more for a studio film.


  • Artiste Manager


The job of an artist manager is to create and connect the musical artiste to opportunities that will propel them in the music business. You have to help your artist build a beautiful career by planning, organizing, negotiating, and directing. 

An example of an artist manager is Brian Epstein. He managed the Beatles, and he greatly influenced their rise to fame.


  • What To Learn


You need to have great management and leadership ski lls. The job entails streamlining and organizing various moving parts between musicians, publishers, booking agents, and so on. You will also help your artiste negotiate contracts, make sales calls and even criticize your artiste constructively. 

An artist manager’s salary is 10 – 40% of the artiste’s earnings.

Usually ranges from $30,000 – $200,000 for a developing artiste.

$2m – $10m for a very successful artiste.

The music industry is very versatile and you don’t have to be a singer to make a decent living off it. Take a look at some of our options and see what could work for you. 

If you desire to immerse yourself in music, we suggest you pay attention to available well-paid music jobs on Jooble.

You need to have great management and leadership skills. You might need to have a business management certification to excel in this job. It is a good thing that there are online educational courses and study materials like this business management document available for you to use. The job entails streamlining and organizing various moving parts between musicians, publishers, booking agents, and so on. You will also help your artiste negotiate contracts, make sales calls and even criticize your artiste constructively.

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