What Are Entry-Level Jobs in the Music Business?

The very competitive music business offers a multitude of career opportunities for performing artists, songwriters, teachers, sales and marketing staff, sound technicians and recording engineers. Read on to learn about entry-level jobs in the industry, including their educational requirements, job outlooks and salaries. Schools offering Music Business degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Entry-Level Career Options

Landing an entry-level job can help you acquire the skills necessary for advancement into more rewarding positions within the music business. As the competition for entry-level music jobs becomes more intense, increasingly employers are filtering job applicants by their level of formal training. Many entry-level jobs require an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. With appropriate training, you can qualify for these common positions.

Sound Engineering Technician

Sound engineering technicians work in a variety of job settings, including recording studios and live concert events. They operate machines, computers and equipment, and they synchronize, mix and reproduce music, voices and sound effects. Many technicians gain formal training by enrolling in a community college and earning an associate's degree, such as the Associate of Applied Science in Electronics. There also non-degree programs available.

Typical job duties for sound engineering technicians may include:

  • Consulting with performers, producers and engineers
  • Setting up, testing and adjusting the recording equipment
  • Mixing and editing music during live events

Job Outlook and Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that sound engineering technician employment would only have a one percent increase over the 2012-2022 decade and that there will also be strong competition. Sound engineering technicians made $55,340 on average in May 2012, with most technicians making between $22,810 and $97,700. Industry-specific average wages were $45,340 for the sound recording industries and $48,580 for radio and television broadcasting.

Music Marketing and Sales

An entry-level position in music sales and marketing can be your opportunity to gain the relevant skills and knowledge for advancement into management. Many employers require an associate's degree or even a bachelor's degree, such as the Bachelor of Science in Marketing. Some responsibilities may include:

  • Promoting artists
  • Creating Internet branding for artists and record labels
  • Conducting market research

Job Outlook and Salary

Competition for positions in music sales and marketing is very intense. Individuals with formal training and a strong interest in music have an advantage. The BLS predicts that market research analyst employment in general will increase 32% over the 2012-2022 decade, which is much faster than average. Job growth for sales managers and marketing managers are expected to be at rates of eight percent and 13 percent, respectively.

In May 2012, the BLS reported average wages of $129,870 for marketing managers and $119,980 for sales managers. Market research analysts and marketing specialists earned $67,380 on average at that time.

Artist Management

Artist managers are responsible for managing some or all aspects of an artist's or band's career. Many people get their start in this segment of the Music business through a formal training curriculum. They earn an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree, such as the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in music management. Many schools have internship programs with established record labels and artist management companies. Interning students can gain practical hands-on experience and identify potential areas of specialization. Some of these jobs include:

  • Business manager
  • Tour manager
  • Personal manager

Job Outlook and Salary

The BLS reports that agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes will experience 10 percent job growth over the 2012-2022 period, which is about average. While the average wage for this profession was $88,620 in May 2012, the bottom 10 percent made $27,500 or less. In addition, the top 10 percent made $187,199 or more a year. The agents and managers for artists, athletes, entertainers and other public figures industry paid these workers $96,120 on average, while promoters of performing arts, sports and similar events offered an average wage of $68,260.

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