You all know by now that we cater to the independent artist as our main reader and secondly, to the music aficionados. Chances are, many of you love music to a point that you’d happily quit your day job to get into the music business if you knew for a fact that it could support your living costs. Truth is, there are many music jobs you can dab into part-time or even full time. You don’t have to consider yourself doomed if you can’t sing or dance. There’s room and chances for everybody willing enough to break into this industry. Here are the top 10 modern jobs in the music business other than being the main artist that pay quite nicely.
10. Music Therapist
A job that’s been getting traction and is on the rise as this pandemic sent tens of millions of people into depression and governments are willing to fund and experiment with getting their citizens back into working mode by encouraging all sorts of therapies. The music therapist is responsible for observing the client’s physical and cognitive response to different music and customize his/her session to better their being. There are many clinics around the world for example who employ music therapists to help children with autism, elder people with Alzheimer, and some even to stimulate brain activity for the unfortunate souls in comas. Salary ranges between $35k to $70k a year.
9. Video Game Sound Designer
The median pay for a video game sound designer is $50k. To become one you have to get your degree, in audio engineering preferably, and have a natural gift for transforming mundane moments into high impact experiences through the use of music. The ones in the top 10% earning about $100k usually establish their own firms and do side jobs for many different clients rather than just working for one big company.
8. Music Video Director
On average a music video director earns over $90k a year. Beginners – around $10k. Top of the game… Millions. How fast you transition from anonymous beginner to reputable visionary depends on you. You have to be genuinely in love with music, stay up to date with all the changes technically wise in the visual industry, study both old videos and modern ones, experiment like crazy, and network like your life depended on it. Obviously, the more marketing savvy you are, the faster you’ll build a clientele for your business.
7. Music Photographer
If like number 7 you got a creative intuition and a great eye for capturing moments that normal people wouldn’t, you might wanna get into music photography. Your main client is of course, the musician. So where are music photographers employed? Well, they are needed on tours, during shows, at live events, red carpets, also for shooting cover artworks, magazine covers, endorsements, and taking photos behind the scenes. The music industry wouldn’t exist without its very many talented photographers. We live in a hyper aesthetically curated society so your affinity for photography is in high demand. On average music photographers make over $45k a year while the top names in the game get well over $150k.
6. Session Musician
If you’re proficient in one or several instruments, you can rather easily earn money both in person and online through services like Fiverr or Guru. To be hired continuously to play your guitar for other musicians or movie productions, you have to be phenomenal at networking and have a fearless and confident approach. Have a bunch of business cards ready at hand and spread them out making sure people associate the instrument you’re playing with your face. The average annual income for a session musician is approximately 55k US dollars. The ones with experience and good reputation go well over $100k.
You will make it as a DJ way before you will make it as a solo artist in this business and in this world. Although you might think the world is full of DJs, truth is you can earn as much as you ask for. It comes down to branding. Buy a good turntable, get those social media profiles up and running, collaborate with many great upcoming artists (they’re a safer investment than established acts), do live shows on IG and Twitch, maybe even throw some mixes on YouTube and Soundcloud, enter contests and you should be well on your way to make 6 figures a year. The average DJ in US takes home over $60k a year. The DJs we know in New York earn well over $200k a year. And they’re not even that famous. They just talk that talk and know how to sell themselves. So take notes!
4. Booking Agent
If you got that knack for turning nothing into something, get into the sphere of live shows, concerts, tours, gigs. Being a successful booking agent that goes home with potentially millions of dollars boils down to your ability to sell something. If you believe in your artists enough to make everyone around you believe in them too, you dear will make more money than you think. The booking agent is the bridge between a band’s anonimity and the next show that puts them on the map. And the more the artists grows, the more work you have on your hands. So scout for true talent, ambitious minds, and people you generally enjoy being around because you’ll have to make venue owners believe they’re about to host the second coming of Jesus. Rookie agents take home about $20k while the best in the game earn over a million US dollars.
3. Music Manager
You’ll often hear how artists love the fun side of music, which is music itself, and hate dealing with the boring, tedious, confusing parts of it, which is the business. Well, believe it or not, some people are wired the opposite way. They don’t have the patience to pick up an instrument or build their vocal register but they love the thrill of starting businesses and not knowing whether they’ll succeed or not. If that sounds familiar to you, get into managing artists. Finely tune your music instincts by following the charts, social media, and word of mouth to catch the next big thing. Then find that special someone before everyone else and be the one opening doors for them. The top earners make about $100k a year while new managers earn around $30k a year.
2. Sound Engineer
With a $53k median salary and $100k plus for the big names, sound engineers are indirectly the gate keepers of the business. Seriously. You have a crappy engineer, you’ll have a poor reception for your albums and songs. Whereas if you got a great engineer, many more doors will easily open for you as an artist. They are so vital in a successful music career that it’s not even funny. We also think that in time, unless AI replaces them unexpectedly, their value on the market will increase.
1. YouTuber / Music Producer
In case you’re wondering why YouTuber has been added in front of the age old job of a music producer, well darlings… Since you spend so much time in front of a computer as a modern day music producer, you might as well put in some extra time weekly or daily if you’re more determined and publicize your work, the process that goes behind it, offer your input and analysis of both famous and lesser known records, compare your initial work to your current skills, etc. People care to know what true professionals have to say. And there’s a fat chance you will make just as much money off being a YouTuber as off working directly with clients. This hybrid position can bring you $250k a year without reaching Timbaland-fame levels. Those that don’t partake in the social media world have their income significantly reduced to $50k a year.