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Working as a Pianist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a pianist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.19 an hour? That's $54,471 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 Pianist Do

There are certain skills that many pianists 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 pianist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 34.6% of pianists included piano performance, while 15.9% of resumes included music videos, and 9.9% of resumes included adult choir. 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 pianist job title. But what industry to start with? Most pianists actually find jobs in the education and hospitality industries.

How To Become a Pianist

If you're interested in becoming a pianist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.7% of pianists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 18.4% of pianists have master's degrees. Even though most pianists 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 pianist. When we researched the most common majors for a pianist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on pianist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a pianist. In fact, many pianist jobs require experience in a role such as accompanist. Meanwhile, many pianists also have previous career experience in roles such as director of music or piano instructor.

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Average Salary$54,471
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Pianist Jobs

Pianist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Pianist

Top Careers After Pianist

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Average Salary for a Pianist

Pianists in America make an average salary of $54,471 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $110,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Salary
$54,471

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
New York, NY
Salary Range58k - 123k$85k$84,853
State College, PA
Salary Range52k - 111k$76k$76,224
Bloomington, IN
Salary Range45k - 98k$67k$67,116
Chicago, IL
Salary Range42k - 89k$62k$61,863
Boca Raton, FL
Salary Range39k - 91k$60k$60,180
Columbus, GA
Salary Range39k - 90k$60k$59,946
$32k
$123k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Pianist
Pianist
First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church
09/28/2019
09/28/2019
$104,35009/28/2019
$104,350
Pianist
Pianist
University of California Riverside, Bourns College
University of California Riverside, Bourns College
08/28/2019
08/28/2019
$34,10008/28/2019
$34,100
Pianist
Pianist
New York Kids Club
New York Kids Club
07/30/2019
07/30/2019
$52,17507/30/2019
$52,175
Church Pianist
Church Pianist
Evangelical Community Church
Evangelical Community Church
03/13/2018
03/13/2018
$56,34903/13/2018
$56,349
Church Pianist
Church Pianist
Evangelical Community Church
Evangelical Community Church
02/27/2018
02/27/2018
$61,40002/27/2018
$61,400
See More Recent Salaries

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Pianist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Pianist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Pianist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Pianist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Pianist Demographics

Gender

male

47.8 %

female

44.4 %

unknown

7.9 %

Ethnicity

White

69.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.4 %

Black or African American

10.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.8 %

French

19.4 %

German

8.3 %
See More Demographics

Pianist Education

Majors

Music
49.1 %

Degrees

Bachelors

55.7 %

Masters

18.4 %

Associate

8.4 %

Top Colleges for Pianists

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. Rice University

Houston, TX

In-State Tuition
$47,350
Enrollment
3,962

8. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN

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

9. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY

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

10. Brown University

Providence, RI

In-State Tuition
$55,466
Enrollment
6,752
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Pianist

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Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Pianist

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, 34.6% of pianists listed piano performance on their resume, but soft skills such as discipline and physical stamina are important as well.

  • Music Program, 39.7%
  • Piano Performance, 34.0%
  • Classical Music, 6.3%
  • Chorus, 4.6%
  • Private Parties, 2.5%
  • Other Skills, 12.9%
  • See All Pianist Skills

Best States For a Pianist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pianist. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, Alaska, and Oregon. Pianists make the most in California with an average salary of $91,327. Whereas in New York and Alaska, they would average $83,493 and $81,547, respectively. While pianists would only make an average of $80,369 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Pianist Jobs:
10
Highest 10% Earn:
$167,000
Location Quotient:
1.68
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New York

Total Pianist Jobs:
5
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
Location Quotient:
2.07
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Pianist Jobs:
1
Highest 10% Earn:
$150,000
Location Quotient:
1.69
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Pianist Employers

1. Von Maur
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$42,598
Pianists Hired: 
12+
2. Nordstrom
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$39,853
Pianists Hired: 
7+
3. Houston Ballet
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$45,407
Pianists Hired: 
5+
4. United Church of Christ
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$40,241
Pianists Hired: 
3+
5. Princess Cruises
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$35,574
Pianists Hired: 
3+
6. Unitarian Universalist Association
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$28,073
Pianists Hired: 
3+

Pianist Videos

Recently Added Pianist Jobs