Musicians, singers, and related workers may compose, arrange,
sing, and play music. This can be done either alone or as part
of a group. They perform in record studios and on stage. They
also perform on television and in movies.
Not all their work is performing for audiences. They also make
records and CDs. All musicians, singers, and related workers spend
a lot of time practicing and rehearsing.
Musicians, singers, and related workers record songs and music
videos in sound studios. They also appear "live" on radio and
television. They go on concert tours to big cities in the U.S.
They also sometimes perform in major cities around the world.
This requires a lot of travel. They often perform at night and
on weekends. All this can be tiring.
Musicians, singers, and related workers work with a lot of different
people. These include people in the music business, such as other
musicians and singers, and crews who help them with equipment.
They have to deal with sponsors who give them money to pay their
expenses. They depend on agents to find them jobs. They also work
with movie stars and other famous people.
Most musicians and singers work indoors, but some may perform
in outdoor concerts. The hot lights used on stage can be uncomfortable.
Music is very loud and can cause hearing loss. There can be danger
from fans that become excited.
Many musicians find only part-time work or are unemployed between
performances. They often work other jobs while waiting for their
The life of a musician is not a quiet one. Many jobs are in New
York, Los Angeles, or Nashville. These cities are where entertainment
and record studios are most often found.
To be a musician or singer you must have natural music talent.
People who become musicians often learn an instrument at an early
age. Some of the most popular instruments are the guitar, piano,
and drums. It helps any musician to learn to play more than one
instrument. Many songwriters now write music on computers, so
these skills might be handy. Also, skills in song writing, singing,
or dancing may help to make your band popular.
School choirs and musicals provide good early vocal training.
Also, musicians, singers and related workers can gain good practice
playing in a school community band, or with a group of friends.
It helps to grab every chance to appear in front of others. You
may be able to perform at parties or other events.
Although voice training helps most singers, creating or copying
a popular style of music is likely to determine the success of
a band. Musicians, singers, and related workers have to be able
to go on stage in front of lots of people.
|How much does this job pay?
Earnings depend on how popular a performer is. The middle half
of all musicians earned between $18,660 and $59,970 a year in
2002. The lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $13,040. The
highest-paid 10 percent made more than $96,250. But musicians
often have to hold down other jobs (called "day jobs") while they're
building up their careers. The most successful musical stars can
make much more than the earnings listed here.
Musicians, singers, and related workers held about 215,000 jobs
in 2002. However, rock musicians made up only a tiny portion of
Musicians and singers work for orchestras and other music groups,
ballet companies, and religious organizations. Some perform in
restaurants and nightclubs and for weddings and other special
Competition for jobs as a musician or singer is keen. Talent
alone is no guarantee of success. The glamour and very high earnings
in this job attract many people. You need a lot of motivation.
You must also have good luck. Very few people earn enough money
to support themselves as musicians, singers, and related workers.
The number of jobs for musicians should grow about as fast as
the average for all occupations through 2012. Many jobs will be
to replace others who leave because they cannot earn enough.
|Are there other jobs like this?
- Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes
- Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators
- Disc Jockeys
- Librarians (music librarians)
- Precision instrument and equipment repairers (musical instrument
repairers and tuners)
- Teachers (music teachers)
|Where can you find more information?
More information about musicians, singers, and related workers
can be found in the Careers Database.
Occupational Outlook Handbook -- U.S. Department of Labor Bureau
of Labor Statistics