The Music Industry Careers

We all want to be that artist that performs in stadiums every night.  Has a silhouette that is copyrighted.  Has lyrics that people use as a hashtag.  Can bring peace to warring countries with a landmark concert.  So famous that they don’t need a last name.  Unfortunately, chances are slim.  But we can still enjoy a lasting career working in a section of an industry you love so much you fall asleep with it every night: music.

The music industry is vast and multi-faceted.  For space concerns we will list a small fraction of the jobs available in the music industry and a short description.  Sound like it fits you to a “T”?  A little research and you may be looking your new career in the eye.

Accompanist-Being a musician 101.  Can’t be Madonna?  Be her keyboard player.  A lot of energy and soul-searching goes into being a front person.  If your wheelhouse is in keeping chops up and honing your craft, advertise your services as an accompanist.

Arranger-Arrangers rewrite a composition and add or subtract chords or orchestrate new elements like a string section or a vocal choir.  Are people constantly asking you how you came up with all the parts on your album?  Arrange parts for their new tracks and charge your fee.

Booking Agent-Someone who works with an artist or group to book gigs, concerts, performances or festivals.  You may not be talented with complex chord changes but you can tell which band is ready to hit the big venues.

Copyright Assistant-Someone who assists in collecting or distributing royalties to copyright holders.  Copyright Assistants often work for ASCAP, BMI or the RIAA.

FOH Engineer-Front of house (FOH) engineers are responsible for mixing an artist’s stage monitors so that the artist can hear exactly what they need (or want!) on stage for a flawless show.  On a national level, FOH engineers can make great money and may be at dinner with their top artist eating Kobe beef!

Lighting Technician-Electrical Light Technicians (ELT) will hang a truss system or set up lighting stands and choose from PARs, scanners, lasers or FX lights to run the visual part of a musical performance.  Make sure you become familiar with DMX (lighting protocol) and fog juice!

Luthier-Someone who makes or repairs stringed instruments.  You could be restringing violins for the symphony or building a custom made Englemann spruce top 12-string guitar with quilted maple back and sides with a purpleheart fretboard.

Merchandiser-A great way to combine your love of music with a practical application.  A background in sales would help your learning curve on this one.  Being surrounded by swag is a cool career move, too.

Music Journalist-Write stories about bands, albums, artists and genres.  A great way to immerse yourself in your passion and voice your angle.

Retail Sales Associate-These positions are available across the market.  You could sell records and CDs (yeah, that’s still a thing), musical instruments, musical merchandise or really anything having to do with music if you’re creative.