There is a common misconception that there is no money in the arts unless you’re famous. While there might be some truth in this, it’s untrue that there are no high paying jobs in the music. Having a stable career in the music industry is entirely dependent on the sub-industry you choose.
People believe that high paying jobs in the music industry revolve around being center stage but it’s also the people behind the curtain who do an array of music related jobs to create magic on stage. So, if you are passionate about music you do have options to choose from for a lucrative career.
Today we will be looking at some highly paying jobs in music from Berklee College of Music’s 2016 report.
Orchestral Musician [$28,000 -$143,000]
The market is quite competitive for an orchestral musician. However, if you are good at your craft, it can yield a high salary. Being an orchestral musician means being one of the best classically trained musicians in the world. Apart from the money, orchestral musicians also gain a lot of respect in the lifetime of their career.
In terms of money, it is important to take into consideration what orchestra you’re playing with. Members of Alabama Symphony can earn up to $37,000/year after playing for about 40 weeks, whereas, members of Boston Symphony can earn about $132,000/year. It is clear that the salary for an orchestral musician is also heavily dependent on the location of where they are playing.
Music Producer [$25,000 – $1,000,000+]
As a music producer, it’s important to have a grasp on the foundational concepts of audio and music. It is also important to know what kind of software to use. A producer doesn’t just produce music but also understands the commercial side of the industry.
It is imperative for a producer to create an environment in where an artist can freely express themselves through their creations. As a producer, your role is to assist the artist in their projects including looking into details like choosing what to record, setting a recording budget and having a say in the remixes made.
Recording Engineer [$25,000 – $150,000+]
Capturing and manipulating sounds is the main task of a recording engineer. With the onset of the digital era of music, recording engineers need to deal with modern equipment and combine it with traditional ones to record music. Aspiring recording engineers need to possess an understanding of mixing and editing to excel in this field.
As a recording engineer, you could also be responsible for organizing recording sessions and fixing technical issues. This is why impeccable problem solving skills and pro-activeness is a definite requirement.
Composer [based on project]
There are a wide range of jobs that composers can look into in the music industry which go beyond the classical music genre. Nowadays, composers write music for TV and movies as well as arrange recorded or live music. It goes without saying that the money a composer earns is entirely dependent on the project they take up.
However, regardless of the project, an understanding of music theory is very important which can be achieved by getting formal education in music. Many composers have mastered at least one instrument which help to enhance their technical capabilities.
Here is a brief overview of the money earned as a composer for TV shows and movies:
Television – $1,500 – $55,000+ [Depending on if it’s just an episode or a full TV show. The length of the episode also matters]
Film Score – $0 – $2mil + [This can start at zero if it’s a low budget student film and can go all the way to the top i.e. high budget feature film]
Music Arranger [$20,000-$43,000+]
An arranger’s job is to take a piece of already existing music and reorganize it to make it sound different. For example, your client could ask you to take their classical music track and add modern dance music elements to it hence creating a fusion. They could also ask you to change the key or alter the duration of the song.
Being a music arranger can be a solo career as it is a specialized skill. Alternatively, it can also be coupled with being a composer or producer. Understanding the technicalities of music theory is essential along with knowing which music groups go well together.
These are just some of the jobs one could look into if they wish to be a part of the music industry. You do not have to be the next Justin Bieber or Ariana Grande to make it big. There are many important things that you could do behind the scenes as well, you just need a keen eye and a passion for music!