Description: Musicians compose, sing, or play music in sound studios or in public venues. They spend a lot of time practicing and rehearsing prior to giving performing professionally.
Knowledge Required: Music theory, music interpretation, composition, conducting, performance
Skills: Originality, creativity, strong mental and physical discipline, good stage presence, self-discipline
Career Path: Aspiring musicians begin studying an instrument at an early age. Musicians need extensive and prolonged training and practice to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to interpret music at a professional level. Formal training may be obtained through private study with an accomplished musician, in a college or university music program, or in a music conservatory.
Best Cities for this job: Entertainment and recording activities are concentrated in New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Nashville.
Median Annual Income: $31/hour CA: $40/hour
Future Growth: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent increase in job opportunities in this field. Competition is strong and talented individuals who are skilled in multiple instruments and musical styles will have the best job prospects.
From the field: “One thing my mother always tells me is ‘blessed is he who gets paid for what he would do for free.’ I think about that every day. I mean, I play the trumpet for a living. Life is good.” - Irvin Mayfield, Jazz TrumpeterView more Day in the Life videos »