What Can I Do with an Associate Degree in Music?

Associate degree programs in music can offer training in a variety of musical focus areas. Keep reading to learn more about considerations and career options available to graduates with these undergraduate degrees.

Music Associate Degree Considerations

Most schools that offer associate degrees in music offer them in various specialty areas, such as production, education, performance or business. Your career options will vary within each field. You should consider your future goals before earning a degree so that you get the training you need for the career path you want to pursue. In any case, the training in an associate degree program will be useful whether you seek to go to work right after graduation or want to transfer your credits to a bachelor's degree program.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Pay (2020) $31.40 per hour (for musicians and singers)
Job Outlook (2019-2029) 1% growth (for musicians and singers)
Key Skills Creativity; basic understanding of harmony, melody, and rhythm; versatility, communication skills, adaptability, self-discipline
Similar Occupations Actor, dancer, choreographer, music director, composer, producer, director

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Whether interested in performing or being behind the scenes, there are multiple career options available to graduates with an associate degree in music. The following list highlights some of them.

Music Performance

If you want to become a performer, such as a singer or a musician, one way to go about it is to earn a music performance degree. In this type of degree program, you'll study music theory, performance techniques, musical skills, and instrumentation. You'll receive instruction in a variety of instruments while specializing in your own musical instrument or voice.

Music Business

If you're interested in artist management, promotion or other business-related aspects of music, an associate degree in the music business may be an option for you. You'll learn about copyrights, production, and marketing. You're also likely to take courses in music publishing, working with artists, promotion, contract law, audio production, and sales.

Music Production

Production careers in music include recording engineering and music producing. If a job as a production technician in music recording, digital audio production or sound editing interests you, a degree in music production technology may be the way to go. In this degree program, you'll learn production skills, such as recording techniques and sound editing. Specifically, you'll learn how to use recording equipment, including the software programs used for recording and editing.

Music Education

A music education associate degree program might be a good fit for you if you want to teach music to others. You could give private or group lessons in the instrument or instruments of your specialty. While you'll still have to obtain a bachelor's degree to become a music teacher in a public school, an associate degree program in music education can start you on your way with courses in music theory, instrumentation and instruction techniques.