Though a music degree might be considered unprofitable, the fact is that there are many careers you can pursue with this education pathway. Although few who pursue music as a career become star performers, there are many other job opportunities that require a study of music to become successful. Read on to learn more about some of the careers you’ll be qualified for with a degree in music.
Musician or Singer
While few with this degree will crack the Billboard charts, there are still plenty of professional opportunities for musicians and singers. These professionals not only perform live in concert halls, arenas, and clubs, but also in recording studios as session musicians on albums. Many musicians who have a degree become proficient in multiple styles and instruments so as to become more marketable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musicians make an average of $23.50 per hour and there are an estimated 167,400 professional musicians and singers currently working in the U.S. with about 8,700 new jobs projected by 2022.
Music directors are responsible for leading orchestras and similar large musical groups during live performances, as well as arranging the music for them to play, conducting rehearsals, auditioning performers, selecting music for concerts, and other managerial tasks. Music directors earn a median annual salary of $47,350, though the highest paid ten percent make well over $86,000 per year. Currently about 77,600 professionals do this job in the United States, and about 3,500 new jobs are projected by 2022.
If you are able to get a dual degree in education and music, you may want to consider becoming a music teacher. Those at the high school level make an average annual salary of about $55,050 per year, and 52,900 new jobs are projected to be created by 2022 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Positions are also available at the elementary and even preschool level. In addition to formal teaching jobs, many musicians make a career or just supplement their income by teaching private lessons, whether on their own or as part of a studio.
While the world of music careers can be quite competitive, there are job opportunities available for those who are both talented and diligent. According to a recent study published in The Guardian, a British daily newspaper, 22 percent of music graduates go on to work within the field of arts and culture; 18.3 percent in education; 14.8 percent in retail or catering; 10 percent in clerical, with the rest spread out among other professions. Bear in mind though that even those graduates who are working in other fields may still be pursuing a career in music, with an estimated 30 percent going on to further study. If you’re talented and passionate about pursuing a career in this field and realistic about the challenges it entails, consider earning a music degree.