Career Detail

Musicians, Singers, and Related Workers
“We sing and dance the night away...for pay!”
Musicians, singers, and related workers play musical instruments, sing, compose or arrange music, or conduct groups in instrumental or vocal performances.
The Job
Musicians play one or more musical instruments.Singers interpret music and text, using their knowledge of voice production, melody, and harmony.Music directors and conductors conduct, direct, plan, and lead instrumental or vocal performances by musical groups, such as orchestras, choirs, and glee clubs.
Work Environment
Musicians typically perform at night and on weekends. They spend much additional time practicing or in rehearsal.
College Majors
College is not required, however many musicians do opt to gain education through courses, in musical composition, production,editing and the business.
Minimum Qualifications
Long-term on-the-job training is the most common way people learn to become musicians or singers. Aspiring musicians begin studying an instrument at an early age.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Musicians must be knowledgeable about a broad range of musical styles as well as the type of music that interests them most.
Quick Facts
  • Part-time schedules-typically at night and on weekends-intermittent unemployment, and rejection when auditioning for work are common; many musicians and singers supplement their income with earnings f
  • Aspiring musicians and singers begin studying an instrument or training their voices at an early age.
  • Competition for jobs is keen; talented individuals who can play several instruments and perform a wide range of musical styles should enjoy the best job prospects.
Compensation and Outlook
Median hourly wages of wage-and-salary musicians and singers were $21.24 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $11.49 and $36.36. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.64, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $59.92. Median hourly wages were $23.68 in performing arts companies and $12.50 in religious organizations.
Comments and Updates
If you are a professional in this field please post comments so we can make this section the best and most relevant. Comments and updates are reviewed by our staff prior to posting. Post your comments
Carl Protho
2/24/2011 3:41:20 PM
Excellent site. Please include a bit more emphasis on composing. Few children obtain any knowledge in this area, which can certainly be a means of obtaining college scholarships. And for those who can't afford an expensive instrument at the moment, composition requires only a pencil and paper (low maintenance). In time, your financial picture may change. When you are able to afford or get access to an instrument, you'll already have some basic knowledge of music and how it works. You may eve
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