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Career Advice on How to Become a Musician or Singer

General Career Information

One of the quickest and shortest routes to giving your parents gray hair is to tell them that you want to be a musician, singer or actor. This is likely to be meet with a barrage of statements that really all boil down to “No you can’t live in my basement forever!” Now if you are an adult embarking on career planning or a job search, and you are considering a career as a musician or a singer, then it’s a safe assumption that you already have some fundamental knowledge about music. If you want to make your living as a musician and you don’t yet play an instrument or sing yet, well, you better get going and fast.
 

Career Facts:

There are many ways that one can make a living as a musician. Developments like the Internet and video games have opened up opportunities to work free-lance for websites or compose music for video games and independent films. These opportunities simply did not exist a generation ago. Making a living as a musician, while still difficult, is not quite as difficult or unlikely as it was twenty or thirty years ago. 
 
That stated this is not a career for the faint of heart. Knowing how to play an instrument is only half of the battle. As a musician you need to be a savvy marketer and a person who is willing to pursue opportunities aggressively. Having a degree in music and composition is extremely helpful when seeking work as a composer. For those wanting to teach music, a graduate degree is largely essential.
 

You will find that much of what applies to musicians also applies to singers. Singers and musicians are likely to be self-employed and need to do a fine job marketing their talents and abilities. Of course, being able to sing is actually a pretty good place to start.

 

Career Opportunities and Job Outlook-Fair:

There are more singers and musicians among us than many would suspect. In fact, in 2006 there were an impressive 196,000 musicians and singers in the United States alone. The rate of growth is expected to be around ten percent by 2016, which means one can expect an average rate of growth in this career.
 
Job Outlook is Fair  
 

A Day in The Life:

Much like being an actor, the life of a musician or a singer is often filled with rejection. The competition can be intense, whether one is trying to make it into an established band, or compose the jingle for a new toilet paper commercial. As a result, singers and musicians need to have very thick skin.
 
It is not uncommon for singers and musicians to spend many of their days looking for new gigs, and networking to find those gigs. Everyone is looking for that big break that will catapult him or her into the realm of big bucks. Of course at that point, he or she can destroy himself or herself in spectacular style, leaving destroyed hotel rooms in the wake.
 

Average Salary:

The average singer and musician earns about $20 an hour when working. These individuals can expect to find work as self-employed freelancers. Some people can find work in organizations such as orchestras, which does pay more.

$20k and up

 

Career Training and Qualifications:

Specific degrees and training are often less important than being good. Knowing how to play a given instrument or compose interesting quality music is the greatest qualification.
 
Want to learn more about these careers?
 

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