Musicians and singers write and perform music. They may perform by themselves or with a band. They may also perform at concerts and recording studios. Finally, they may perform as part of the soundtrack for motion pictures and TV programs. Some musicians may become successful enough to tour throughout America and the rest of the world.
Musicians do not spend all their time performing. They also spend numerous hours rehearsing and writing new music.
Musicians may choose several different specialties. Music directors, for example, are professionals that direct bands and choirs. Arrangers alter musical techniques, converting existing music into new forms of music. Finally, composers may develop new musical arrangements.
Musicians and singers usually work inside buildings; however, some musicians may perform concerts at outdoor venues. Musicians may also frequently perform during evenings and weekends. Music played through loud speakers without ear protections may lead to hearing problems, and rowdy fans may pose a physical threat to performers.
Music professionals frequently work part time. Some may spend periods of time without work, so they might often hold other jobs between gigs.
The majority of recording studios and opportunities in the music industry are found in Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York.
How do you prepare for this career?
Singers and musicians must be skilled. It is an advantage to be skilled in multiple instruments and/or vocal ranges.
Songwriters frequently compose new music with computer technology, so understanding this technology may be very important. It may also helpful to know how to dance and write music.
To prepare for this job, it may be a good idea to become a part of a choir or school band. Numerous community and art centers have choir and band programs. Practicing with friends is also a good way to prepare to be a musician. It is useful to perform in front of groups whenever possible. Some musicians may be invited to perform at celebrations or other events. Therefore, musicians and singers must be comfortable performing in front of large crowds.
How much will I earn?
Those employed with organizations are paid hourly wages or salaries. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, musicians were paid a median hourly wage of $22.39 in 2010. Those with wages in the lowest 10 percent made $8.50 per hour or less, while musicians with wages in the upper 10 percent made $60.02 or more.
The following is a breakdown of median hourly wages of different types of musicians (as of May 2010):
Performing arts companies
Educational services; state, local, and private
Religious, grant-making, civic, professional,
and similar organizations
How many jobs are there?
During 2010, there were 176,200 musicians employed in the United States. Many musicians and singers are employed by band and orchestras, ballet organizations, and church groups. Some perform at weddings, nightclubs, and other celebrations.
What is the future outlook for this career?
Competition to be a musician or singer is intense. Skills alone will not ensure a successful career. Music jobs are alluring and some are very profitable, so many people pursue musical careers. Successful musicians are lucky and very hard working. Few musicians are paid enough to make a living.
Jobs growth for musicians should increase nearly as fast as average growth in other industries - about 10 percent - between 2010 and 2020.
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