Not everyone can be a rock star, opera singer, or studio musician. But musicians are talented people who find ways to express themselves in a variety of rewarding careers. Musicians often find work as music teachers, vocal coaches, choral or orchestra directors, composers, arrangers, and performing artists. Some perform in concert halls, others in small cafes or night clubs.
Pursuing a Music Degree
Even self-taught musicians eventually take lessons. College music programs at the associate's, bachelor's, and graduate degree levels allow students to go as far as they wish in the formal study of voice, theory, performance, composition, history, and music education.
Musician Career Outlook
- Number of musicians and singers in the U.S. as of 2012: 167,400
- Percentage of singers and musicians who are self-employed: 36 percent
- Projected job outlook 2012-2022: 6 percent
- Projected number of new jobs by 2022: 8,700
- Major employers: Religious organizations and performing arts companies
- Median hourly wage as of May 2014: $32.49
- Median hourly wage top earners: More than $66.11
- Highest paying states: Oklahoma, Tennessee, California, New York, Florida