Music Career Field

Music Careers Outlook

Music CareersAccording to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of musicians will increase about as fast as the average for all occupations through 2014. Most new wage and salary jobs for musicians will be in religious organizations, where the majority of these workers are employed. Slower than average growth is predicted for self-employed musicians, mainly due to the large number of people competing for recognition in this field.

Competition is extremely intense in virtually all fields of music. Although extremely talented musicians have a better chance than others do of becoming successful, even those musicians have no guarantee of success. People skills, business knowledge, and a knack for self-promotion have become more and more important.

Commercial music has experienced lower sales in recent years, as buyers have found new places to spend their money. The boom that the recording industry experienced after the introduction of compact discs in the 1980s has died out, and the industry continues to look for new superstars who will be able to sell many millions of CDs. Music sales have rebounded somewhat in recent years as a result of the growing popularity of purchasing and downloading music via the Internet. In fact, the purchase of downloadable singles and albums grew by 163.3 percent and 198.5 percent, respectively, from 2004 to 2005, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Outside the commercial mainstream, many artists have found that they can make a decent living by catering to small, devoted audiences. In addition, advances in technology have made it possible for musicians to buy or rent at a relatively low price the equipment they need to produce their own recordings. Many artists now sell their own recordings by direct mail and through the Internet, avoiding the large record companies and producers that pop musicians must court. Self-production ensures that artists can make their own creative decisions and pocket a higher percentage of their earnings than they would receive if they worked with record companies.

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Related Careers:

  • Composers
  • Musical Conductors and Directors
  • Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners
  • Musicians
  • Music Journalists
  • Music Librarians
  • Music Teachers
  • Music Therapists
  • Pop/Rock Musicians
  • Singers
  • Songwriters

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