6 Music Industry Careers That Get You Paid | High Paying Music Jobs

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    Busting the Starving Artist Myth

    We've all heard the "starving artist" cliche.

    When you hear about the starving artist, you probably picture a painter who lives in his parent's basement or a guitar player who plays at your local coffee shop.

    Everyone knows there's no money in the arts, and you should go to school and get a stuffy office job that confines you to a cubical.


    Admittedly, it can be very difficult to make a living in the music industry. But that's only if you don't know about the various fields and music industry job opportunities available.

    A stable career in the music industry depends entirely on the industry you're a part of.

    There are more opportunities in the music industry besides being the one headlining the tours.

    It takes hundreds of people to launch tours, record music, and develop talent.

    If music is your passion, and you want a stable and lucrative career, there are many jobs for music lovers. 

    Below, we will talk about 6 of the best jobs in the music industry that will leave you fulfilled and provide a pretty decent salary.

    Table Of Contents

    6 of the Highest-Paying Jobs in the Music Industry

    1. Orchestral Musician

    Music Careers that Pay Well

    Being a successful musician isn't easy, but it can yield a great salary if done right.

    The biggest determinant of your success as an orchestral musician will be the orchestra you play for.

    For example, if you're with a full-time orchestra, playing about 40 weeks a year, as a member of the Alabama Symphony you'll earn around $37,000. However, if you land with the major symphony, like the Boston Symphony, you'll be making a six-figure salary between $100,00 and $150,000.

    A variety of factors influence your annual salary, including the cost of living and where your orchestra is located.

    The job market for orchestral musicians is extremely competitive.

    Most orchestral musicians hold their job titles for many years with a high level of experience and are the best classically trained musicians in the world.

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    2. Music Therapist

    This is for the people interested in the sciences as much as they are in music.

    Music therapists work in healthcare and education and can set up shop in the following:

    • Hospitals
    • Community Mental Health Agencies
    • Rehab Clinics
    • Prisons
    • Disability Centers

    A Degree in Music therapy is a great thing! Most music therapists start out at around $30,000 a year.

    While that isn't much, if you stick to it, with a career in music therapy, you can end up earning about $72,000 a year.

    Not bad for the opportunity to work in music and positively impact people's lives.

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    3. Video Game Sound Designer

    A marriage between video games and music; what could be better?

    Video game industry is a large and growing industry to get involved with.

    Video game sound engineers provide detailed plans for how the performance of sound will occur, and they often create voice and sound effects that integrate into the game.

    Video Game Sound Designers can also be the director of audio or audio tool developers.

    With any one of those titles, your chances of success will be great and your average income may be well over $100,000 a year.

    Other lucrative music careers inside the video game industry are recording and mix engineers and score composers.

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    4. Road Managers

    If you like a fast-paced, adventurous life, then this is the one for you.

    Music managers go on tour to music events with headlining acts and make sure everything goes according to plan.

    Keep in mind that this is no easy feat. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of things that have to be accounted for during a concert.

    Another challenging part is the fact that organizing and scheduling professional musicians is often comparable to "herding cats." Best of luck!

    As a music manager, you'll be working with:

    • Travel plans
    • Tour budgets
    • Day operations 
    • Merchandise sales
    • Fan interactions
    • Deals with brands
    • Press requests

    In addition, the road manager will be involved with sound systems and lighting setups at the music venues.

    All salaries for road managers are individually negotiated, but the average tour manager makes about $51,000.

    If you move on to the big leagues, you'll be making upwards of $125,000 every year.

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    5. Music Attorney

    best jobs in music | high paying music careers

    Bet you didn't think of this one!

    This job will please your parents and fulfill your love for music.

    Being a Music Attorney is the furthest removed from any actual musicality, but it is definitely one of the most lucrative careers on this list.

    Just like with any other attorney, you'll need to go to college and then law school and receive proper certification to practice law.

    There are many musical undergraduate degrees you can pursue before heading off to law school.

    Once you're officially licensed, the average salary ranges from $70,000 a year starting out, and then the sky is the limit.

    In 2015, the average salary for a Music Lawyer was $136,260.

    If you have a passion for music, as well as providing legal advice and evaluating legal issues like copyrights, trademarks, and contract negotiation, a career as a music attorney is perfect for you.

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    6. Audio Engineer

    Arguably the most important person that touches and edits music, aside from the composer and musician, is the recording engineer.

    Finding the perfect levels, fixing the tone, utilizing software, and mastering the track are just a few of their duties. You can learn more about the role of an audio engineer by clicking here.

    Take on as many projects as you can when starting out! You'll earn some extra money and, in the process, receive a ton of valuable experience which will help with your overall level of success. 

    Once you have established yourself as a successful audio engineer, you can expect a median salary of $80,000.

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    Audio Engineer Music Career

    Take the Necessary Steps for Your Music Industry Career

    Don't fall for the "starving artist" line. If you love music, by all means, pursue a music industry job that is to your liking. 

    Just remember that there are far more options available to you than becoming the next Justin Bieber or Adam Levine.

    If it weren't for the people doing the jobs listed above, our favorite musicians wouldn't be able to do what they do for a living.

    If you do have a passion for music, an excellent place to start is the Atlanta Institute Of Music And Media.

    Like most career avenues in life, better jobs are typically accompanied by degrees.

    Music is no exception.

    The DIY approach in music is gaining momentum, but there are still many jobs and careers in the music industry that you would be better served separating from the competition by earning a degree or certificate.

    You can even become Pro Tools Certified (we're looking at you, audio engineer enthusiasts).

    A career in music can fulfill your dreams and provide you with a livable annual income. 

    Learn more about what AIMM can offer you by clicking the link below.

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