Putting Your Music Education to Work: Five Career Paths for Music Majors

Blog Header - Putting Your Music Education to Work Five Career Paths for Music Majors

When most people think about the music industry, musicians and teachers come to mind. While these are two of the most obvious careers, there are many paths to success in the music industry. An enormous amount of work goes on behind the scenes. There are jobs of all kinds for people with a music education. Record companies need people for everything from promoting and managing, to licensing  and public relations. Here are five possible career paths for you to take after completing your college education.

Studio Engineer

man adjusting mixing board in music studio

If you enjoy working directly with artists and tackling new challenges daily, the life of a studio engineer may be right for you. Whether you’re working on recording, mixing, or mastering, you’ll have a direct part to play in the creation of tomorrow’s hits. This career path requires a specific music education. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with all of the most popular digital audio workstations (DAWs) on the market. Along with technical proficiency, good taste and ear training goes a long way. The best way to secure a job after you finish your education is to intern at a music studio long before you graduate. This will help you get some hands-on experience. The median salary for a Recording Engineer in the United States is $52,000.

Music Management

Woman with glasses making phone call and using laptop in venue

Music management blends music and business together. This makes it ideal for anyone who also majored or minored in business. While this career path is behind the scenes, you’ll work directly with artists to run their business affairs. Managers arrange and negotiate jobs for their client. This can include negotiating their pay. Independent management companies often take a percentage of their clients income from their gigs and sales. If you’re managing artists for a record label, it’s more likely that you’ll receive a salary for your efforts. The median salary for a music manager in the U.S. is $65,400 per year.

Licensing Coordinator

Two business people writing on pad of paper with two laptops in frame

Have you ever wondered how the music in movies and television got there? That’s the job of a licensing coordinator. Whether you’re working for an organization that holds the licenses or a production company that needs licensed music, it’s your job to negotiate terms and keep track of licensing. While you won’t be working with the artists directly, music licensing is one of the cornerstones of the music industry. Since you’ll be trying to sell or acquire licensing, a strong background in sales will help. The median salary for a licensing representative is $44,579 a year.

A&R Coordinator

hand writing on pad of paper with headphones and laptop on desk

As an A&R coordinator, your duties will include finding new talent for the record label or management company. How you accomplish this depends a lot on your personal strengths and who you work for. Many A&R Coordinators spend their hours scouting talent at live shows or reviewing demo tapes that have been submitted for consideration. With the advent of SoundCloud and other music streaming platforms, A&R reps have a lot of resources to work with when scouting talent. Along with the exciting duties, there’s a lot of standard office work that needs to get accomplished. Everything from coordinating artist relationships to budget planning falls to you. The median yearly salary for this job is approximately $43,100.

Marketing Manager

business meeting with laptops

Although it isn’t an obvious choice, marketing is as essential to the success of an artist as a good musical foundation. A marketing manager takes care of every bit of marketing involved with new releases, tours, and building a strong brand. Along with finding and arranging promotional opportunities, a marketing manager’s duties will include managing an artist’s online presence. A strong background in business and sales is recommended, along with several years of on-the-job experience. The average salary for a music marketing coordinator is $50,000 per year.

Looking for Music Lessons in Los Angeles?

Adam’s Music is your friendly neighborhood music shop in West Los Angeles. We have a wide variety of instruments and musical equipment for sale or rent. We also offer a free, half-hour introductory music lesson over video chat. If you’ve always wanted to pick up a new instrument or brush up on your technique, now’s a perfect time! Contact us today to arrange a free online music lesson with one of our teachers.


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