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What can you do with a Music Degree?

Best Jobs For Music Major

The time after graduating from college can be a stressful time as you try to find your first job. As a way to help you out, we have found that there are actually a lot of job opportunities for graduates with a music degree. By scouring millions of job listings and scanning through 29,248 music major resumes we were able to find the most preferred jobs by music majors.

Find Music Major Jobs

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Starting Salary
$20,000
Job openings
22,413
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
A Production Assistant supports all aspects of film or TV production. They are responsible for ensuring the production quality of all promotionals, commercials, and public service announcements.
Starting Salary
$36,000
Job openings
21,873
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading.
Starting Salary
$34,000
Job openings
20,302
Top Locations:
Baton Rouge, LA;  Houston, TX;  Baytown, TX;  
Job Description:
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.
Starting Salary
$46,000
Job openings
4,962
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.
Starting Salary
$28,000
Job openings
22,992
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Human resources specialists recruit, screen, interview, and place workers. They often handle other human resources work, such as those related to employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training.
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Starting Salary
$33,000
Job openings
7,640
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.
Starting Salary
$37,000
Job openings
32,136
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. Recreational therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports, games, and community reintegration field trips to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.
Starting Salary
$30,000
Job openings
13,873
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Starting Salary
$30,000
Job openings
23,028
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
An Instructor works with individuals through providing them support and instruction. They initiate various program goals and team objectives and solve problems. They may instruct individuals in swimming, biology, esthetics, or fitness.
Starting Salary
$23,000
Job openings
51,097
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
General office clerks perform a variety of clerical tasks, including answering telephones, typing documents, and filing records.
Starting Salary
$21,000
Job openings
21,442
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Starting Salary
$34,000
Job openings
14,137
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading.
Starting Salary
$24,000
Job openings
45,270
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.
Starting Salary
$47,000
Job openings
11,079
Top Locations:
Commerce, TX;  Grayson, KY;  Greensboro, NC;  
Job Description:
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Starting Salary
$50,000
Job openings
4,519
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Craft and fine artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art for sale and exhibition. Craft artists create handmade objects, such as pottery, glassware, textiles, and other objects that are designed to be functional. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators, create original works of art for their aesthetic value, rather than for a functional one.
Starting Salary
$32,000
Job openings
18,341
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.
Starting Salary
$40,000
Job openings
4,954
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.
Starting Salary
$40,000
Job openings
17,212
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.
Starting Salary
$30,000
Job openings
25,293
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
A Research Assistant helps carry out a particular research agenda. They are generally found in the social science or laboratory setting.
Starting Salary
$26,000
Job openings
92
Top Locations:
Orlando, FL;  New York, NY;  Anaheim, CA;  
Starting Salary
$24,000
Job openings
34,587
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Jacksonville, FL;  
Job Description:
A Substitute Teacher works in the absence of the full-time classroom teacher. They ensure that normal classroom routines are followed and discipline is maintained.
Starting Salary
$65,000
Job openings
115,778
Top Locations:
San Francisco, CA;  New York, NY;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Starting Salary
$27,000
Job openings
87
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Musicians and singers play instruments or sing for live audiences and in recording studios.
Starting Salary
$45,000
Job openings
67,782
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  New York, NY;  
Job Description:
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, rail transportation, and other industries.
Starting Salary
$29,000
Job openings
14,614
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  
Job Description:
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements, and check financial records for accuracy.
Starting Salary
$59,000
Job openings
243,563
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.
Starting Salary
$19,000
Job openings
27,232
Top Locations:
Greer, SC;  Fremont, CA;  Spartanburg, SC;  
Starting Salary
$51,000
Job openings
63,495
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
Starting Salary
$29,000
Job openings
13,037
Top Locations:
Plano, TX;  Chicago, IL;  New York, NY;  
Job Description:
Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings. They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.
Starting Salary
$56,000
Job openings
97,146
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
Starting Salary
$55,000
Job openings
64,005
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
A business analyst is someone who analyzes an organization or business domain (real or hypothetical) and documents its business or processes or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology.
Starting Salary
$53,000
Job openings
15,212
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Monterey, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
Starting Salary
$47,000
Job openings
70,267
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
Starting Salary
$41,000
Job openings
69,667
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
Starting Salary
$26,000
Job openings
32,357
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  San Diego, CA;  San Jose, CA;  
Job Description:
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment. They often work in product evaluation and testing, using measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment. They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.
Starting Salary
$31,000
Job openings
88,299
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Seattle, WA;  San Francisco, CA;  
Job Description:
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
Starting Salary
$36,000
Job openings
7,424
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Writers and authors develop written content for advertisements, books, magazines, movie and television scripts, songs, blogs, and other online publications.
Starting Salary
$33,000
Job openings
20,762
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.
Starting Salary
$26,000
Job openings
78,063
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Phoenix, AZ;  Las Vegas, NV;  
Job Description:
Heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles and machinery used in construction, farming, rail transportation, and other industries.
Starting Salary
$38,000
Job openings
39,557
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Washington, DC;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
A Research Associate plans, organizes, and conducts research in scientific, cultural, historical, or artistic. They conduct literature, collect and analyze data, and recruit and/or interview new people.
Starting Salary
$36,000
Job openings
204,896
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Phoenix, AZ;  Salt Lake City, UT;  
Job Description:
Heavy and tractor–trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor–trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) capacity—that is, the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo—exceeds 26,000 pounds. These drivers deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states.
Starting Salary
$47,000
Job openings
31,927
Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather, and disseminate technical information through an organization’s communications channels.
Starting Salary
$19,000
Job openings
4,117
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
Library technicians and assistants help librarians with all aspects of running a library. They assist patrons, organize library materials and information, and perform clerical and administrative tasks.
Starting Salary
$54,000
Job openings
96,357
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.
Starting Salary
$23,000
Job openings
48,456
Top Locations:
Phoenix, AZ;  New York, NY;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called computer network support specialists, support information technology (IT) employees within their organization. Others, called computer user support specialists, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
Starting Salary
$25,000
Job openings
32,781
Top Locations:
Moses Lake, WA;  Redmond, WA;  Jonesboro, AR;  
Starting Salary
$55,000
Job openings
86,525
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  
Job Description:
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.
Starting Salary
$37,000
Job openings
35,818
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.
Starting Salary
$30,000
Job openings
29,826
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.
Starting Salary
$41,000
Job openings
25,938
Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  
Job Description:
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.

Music Major Jobs

Average Salary For a Music Major

1. Health Care
$56,357
Avg. Salary
$28k
$78k
2. Education
$41,688
Avg. Salary
$28k
$78k
3. Government
$39,039
Avg. Salary
$28k
$78k

Entry Level Jobs For Music Majors

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Music Internships

How To Get A Job With A Music Degree

Opportunities for musicians can often feel few and far between, but there are actually a lot of options available to those with a Music Major.

Most people who hold a music degree look towards either teaching or performing music, but there are also plenty of opportunities for those willing to diversify their music knowledge so it can apply to other fields as well. Music Majors often have roles in industries like content creation, app and video game development, audio engineering, or booking agencies -- while these jobs all require a degree of knowledge found outside of the major itself, a strong background in music is still needed for these roles to be done properly.

But given the huge variety of industries that someone with a music major is able to dip into, it can be tough to tell where a Music Major should look to find their place in the world of jobs.

Well, that's where we come in. We literally created a map, just for Music Majors such as yourself, to navigate your way through the choppy waters of recent graduation.

Feel free to focus on the map alone -- it's pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves. But for those of you who prefer step by step navigation on your path, keep reading. We'll give you the rundown on:

  • What skills you'll need
  • How to begin
  • What jobs you can expect to find as a Music Major
  • Some quick interview tips
  • Consider graduate school
  • External resources

First thing's first: what skills you'll need to get started.

1. Skills for Music Majors

Because so many Music Major jobs involve either teaching or performing music, many of the hard skills involved with the major have to do with command of a particular instrument or vocal technique coupled with writing or composition skills.

Soft skills for the major often include communication and interpersonal skills, especially for music-related jobs that aren't purely performance-based.

Let's take a closer look at what this means for Music in particular:

Organizational skills

Music Majors participate in a number of events and performances during their time in college -- this awareness of what goes into putting on these events will come in handy during a Music Major's career, regardless of whether they're featured in the event or planning the event themselves.

Interpersonal skills

As with any highly specialized discourse, not everyone's going to know what you're talking about when you tell them about music. If you hope to be a teacher, you're going to have to learn how to explain to others the concepts that you take for granted, but even those who aren't bound for education are going to have to work with others at some point in their career.

Problem-solving skills

Particularly for Music Majors outside of the performance field, the ability to come up with creative solutions to problems is an essential skill. You might be composing music for a new app, or organizing an event with a number of different bookings that all come with their own unique sets of problems. Working in music can be a tough balancing act of understanding how best to apply your musical knowledge to the situation at hand.

2. Where to Begin Your Career After Getting a Music Degree

Internships are an excellent way to start accumulating experience in any discipline, gaining valuable resume cache while also helping you start your network of industry contacts.

For the Music Major, internships are typically found at one of the various arts organizations that either puts on shows or manages shows by other artists. This includes places like music venues, studios, radio stations, or record labels. Other less common internships can be found in other industries where music is used extensively, such as in app development, video games, film, television, or for advertising.

One of the best places to look for Music internships is with your college's career resources department.

Before you settle on an internship or placement, though, you'll want to make sure it's the right fit for you. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where (in the state/the country/the world) do you want to work?
  • What size and type of organization do you want to work for?
  • Do you need compensation in an internship, or might you be able to consider alternative compensation (experience, work samples, references, networking, etc.)
  • Is relocation an option?

3. Available Jobs For Music Majors

Jobs for Music Majors that deal purely with the major tend to focus on either teaching music or performing music, whether in the context of singing, using instruments, or composing. However, a number of positions also exist in the job world that require musical knowledge -- these positions just happen to take other skills that a music major might have to develop outside of the major itself.

With our map, you can click the Job Titles and learn more specific information for each position (what their responsibilities are, how much they get paid, etc.) But here, we wanted to call out some of the most common jobs for recent Music Major grads.

Here are a few of the most interesting jobs for recent grads such as yourself:

  • Event Manager.
  • Event Managers are responsible for preparing event documentation, coordinating with caterers and other booked services, and managing employees throughout planned events like galas, weddings, and group dinners.

  • Arts Administrator.
  • Arts Administrators organize and manage gallery spaces, including deciding the art on display, coordinating with artists and event planners, and distributing monthly newsletters.

  • Music Therapist.
  • Music Therapists use music as a form of therapy to help clients address their physical, psychological, cognitive, and social needs, which they do by evaluating their clients' individual needs and developing programs tailored to these needs.

    4. Some Quick Job Search Tips for Music Majors

    Look Outside of the Limelight

    If you're having trouble finding a position, part of the issue might be that you're looking for a job as a performer.

    The world needs performers, and being a performer can be an extremely rewarding career, but competition is fierce. There's only so many paid positions out there, and you'll often be competing with people who have been performing music for literally their entire lives.

    But there are other positions out there -- less glamorous, but no less important or rewarding. Administrative jobs are needed to keep venues alive and booking, and teachers and choreographers are always needed to help the next batch of music-lovers learn what they need to give things a shot.

    Granted, if you know your dream is to perform on stage, then don't let anyone (let alone us) stop you. Just be aware that there are other wonderful options out there that you might enjoy even more.

    Think Outside of the Box

    Think about all the media you consume on a daily basis. Now think about all the music you hear in that media, the stuff that a lot of people might miss. Someone has to compose that music; someone has to produce it; someone has to distribute it.

    You could work any one of those positions, but (again) it might require you to diversify your interests a little. Learn some marketing basics, and your first job could be composing music for advertisements. Learn some computer skills and you could produce the audio for a company's videos or podcasts.

    The opportunities are out there, but it's up to you to go out and look for them.

    5. Continuing Education and Certifications in Music

    Pursuing an advanced degree

    Obtaining a graduate degree in your course of study can serve as an excellent way to separate you from the herd - but you must first decide whether it's worth your time.

    Due to the fact that many music careers don't require higher education to attain, few of those intent on entering the work force in music go on to pursue an advanced degree. The Master's in Music is sometimes used to help a student get a leg up in the field of their choice and boost their pay slightly, but for the most part the Master's is intended for those who want to become teachers or music directors.

    The PhD is typically for those in the music field who intend to study the theory, history, or science of music, and typically includes those who intend to focus on the research side of things or who want to teach in higher education. Another degree available to music students is the Doctor of Musical Arts, which is similar to the PhD except that a significant aspect of the degree includes musical performance and composition.

    Here are common advanced degrees that people with a Music degree normally consider:

    Master's in Music

    • Primarily geared toward getting students to be a little more confident in a particular skill or specialization, many Master's degrees are also designed so that graduates will also leave with teaching certifications.

    PhD (Doctor of Philosophy in Music)

    • PhDs in Music focus on conducting research, writing papers, and teaching college students about the field of Music.

    Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

    • Like the PhD, the DMA includes conducting research and writing academic papers, but also includes a significant focus on performing and composing music.

    6. External Resources

    If you're still not sure what to do with your degree here are some external sites, to help you with your decision:

    American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM)

    The AFM is the largest professional organization in the world for performing musicians. Made up of over 80,000 members, the group offers benefits such as freelancing opportunities, continuing education, local meetings, and conferences.

    Music Teachers National Association (MTNA)

    Another professional organization, this one devoted to music teachers. The MTNA offers many similar membership benefits, including meetings, publications, conferences, continuing education opportunities, and other resources.

    USAJobs

    Enter "Music" into the search bar and you can get a sense of what kind of government jobs are available to Music Majors. Find a job title you like and come back here to learn more about it.

    Bureau Of Labor Statistics

    The BLS offers detailed data on pay, location, and availability of different kinds of jobs across the country.

    In fact, we draw a lot of our research on the best places for jobs from the information provided on the site.

    And if this all seems like a lot - don't worry - the hard part (getting your degree!) is already over.

    Updated July 15, 2020