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Working as a Percussionist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a percussionist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.81 an hour? That's $55,774 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 0% and produce 300 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Percussionist Do

There are certain skills that many percussionists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed discipline, physical stamina and promotional skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a percussionist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.8% of percussionists included guest performances, while 12.1% of resumes included music videos, and 9.3% of resumes included percussion ensemble. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the percussionist job title. But what industry to start with? Most percussionists actually find jobs in the hospitality and media industries.

How To Become a Percussionist

If you're interested in becoming a percussionist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.7% of percussionists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 16.0% of percussionists have master's degrees. Even though most percussionists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a percussionist. When we researched the most common majors for a percussionist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on percussionist resumes include high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a percussionist. In fact, many percussionist jobs require experience in a role such as instructor. Meanwhile, many percussionists also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or drummer.

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Average Salary$55,774
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Percussionist Jobs

Percussionist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Percussionist

Drummer
8.7 %

Top Careers After Percussionist

Musician
10.1 %
Drummer
8.6 %

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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Percussionist

Percussionists in America make an average salary of $55,774 per year or $27 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $115,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Salary
$55,774

Best Paying Cities

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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Percussionist
Percussionist
University of Southern California
University of Southern California
05/24/2019
05/24/2019
$89,74105/24/2019
$89,741

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Percussionist Demographics

Gender

male

80.5 %

female

15.2 %

unknown

4.3 %

Ethnicity

White

67.5 %

Black or African American

12.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.6 %

French

15.8 %

Portuguese

5.3 %
See More Demographics

Percussionist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

52.7 %

Masters

16.0 %

High School Diploma

14.9 %

Top Colleges for Percussionists

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Brown University

Providence, RI

In-State Tuition
$55,466
Enrollment
6,752

10. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Percussionist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Percussionist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.8% of percussionists listed guest performances on their resume, but soft skills such as discipline and physical stamina are important as well.

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Top Percussionist Employers

1. ASI
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$33,555
Percussionists Hired: 
2+
2. Street and Company
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$27,762
Percussionists Hired: 
1+
3. Carnival Cruise Line
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$33,387
Percussionists Hired: 
1+
4. The University of Virginia's College at Wise
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$40,890
Percussionists Hired: 
1+
5. Pilgrim's Pride
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$30,886
Percussionists Hired: 
1+
6. Carolina Panthers
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$29,130
Percussionists Hired: 
1+

Recently Added Percussionist Jobs