MUSIC STUDENT 101 HOME ABOUT US PODCASTS CONTACT US
EpISODE 11 MUSIC CAREER POSSIBILITIES

HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips

 

TYPE- Special Topics

 

DURATION- 44:06

 

BUMPER MUSIC- "Wretched Excess" (Area 47 Music)

 

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe

Listen
DESCRIPTION

The career path of a musician can be a little unclear and equally uncertain. But have no fear!  We are here as proof that you can make a comfortable living in the field of music. We will discuss the technical path (stage hands, roadies, live and studio engineers), the education path (private instruction, academia and research) and, of course, the performance path. We will also briefly touch on other special fields such as music therapy and sound design. Be encouraged. Be inspired. Be a musician!

EXAMPLES ALL ESTIMATED INCOMES ARE BASED ON THE U.S.A. NATIONAL AVERAGES BETWEEN 2013 and 2016

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY CAREER PATH

STAGE HAND

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Cleaning and organizing the stage, back stage and audience area.

-Transport equipment and supplies throughout venue area.

-Set up, update and store equipment and systems.

-Design, set up, install and operate lighting and sound systems for live events.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary but a back ground in music or theater performance or contract labor will set you apart from the rest.

-A willingness to perform physical duties, such as lifting, carrying, building and climbing.

-In some areas, it may be necessary to join a union.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $21,000 - $72,000

(depending on experience)

ROADIE

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Driving, loading and unloading vans, trailers and buses.

-Transport equipment and supplies throughout venue area.

-Acting as security for band members and equipment.

-Tuning, maintaining and keeping track of instruments.

-Set up, update and store equipment and systems.

-Design, set up, install, operate  and breakdown,lighting and sound systems.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary but a back ground in music or theater performance or contract labor will set you apart from the rest.

-Technical knowledge of certain instruments.

-A willingness to perform physical duties, such as lifting, carrying, building and climbing.

-In some areas, it may be necessary to join a union.

-Drivers may require special licenses for certain size vehicles.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $30,000 - $60,000

-Moving up to a road manager or coordinator status can raise that average up to $130,000.

FRONT OF HOUSE ENGINEER

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Supervise a crew through load in, set up, performance and load out.

-Oversee the monitor engineer, instrument technicians, roadies and assistants.

-Direct the transport of equipment and supplies throughout the venue area.

-Take up the responsibility to achieve optimal sound for the listening audience.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary but a firm understanding in the physics of sound, mathematics, and the principles of electronics and voltage will set you aside for the rest.

-BA in Music Technology recommended.

-One will often climb this ladder by means of apprenticeship to other monitor engineers sound mixers.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $50,000 - $120,000

-The MONITOR ENGINEER, or the assistant to the FRONT OF HOUSE ENGINEER can make between $35,000 and $60,000.

RECORDING STUDIO ENGINEER

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Oversee the set up and execution of a recording session, from load in to turning in the final mix.

-Select and position the appropriate microphones for each instrument and vocalist.

-If there is no producer, you may need to do a little producing. This mainly involves coaching the musicians towards their highest potential while maintaining an unbiased perspective on the overall product.

-Edit the material. Know how to cut and rearrange wave forms.

-Add effects, such as equalization, reverb, compression and delay to bring out the best in each track. Know when to use effects but know when to leave a good sound alone (when no effects are needed).

-Take up the responsibility to achieve optimal sound for the entirety of the album.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary but a firm understanding in the physics of sound, mathematics, and the principles of electronics and voltage will set you aside for the rest.

-One will often climb this ladder by means of apprenticeship or internship with other engineers.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $56,000 average

-The ASSISTANT ENGINEER, can make between $25,000 and $45,000 on average.

LOCATION SOUND ENGINEER

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Place, and often hide, microphones on actors and in various places on a set.

-Scan your shoot location for clean frequencies for your wireless systems.

-Sync time code and audio waveforms with cameras, either via wireless or by hardwire.

-Strategically, place sound treatment on hard surfaces and in large rooms to cut back on echo.

-Take up the responsibility to achieve optimal sound for the location you're shooting at.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary but a firm understanding in the physics of sound, mathematics, and the principles of electronics and voltage will set you aside for the rest.

-BA in Music Technology recommended.

-One will often climb this ladder by means of apprenticeship as an A2 (audio assistant) or as a BOOM OPERATOR.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $62,000 average

-The BOOM OPERATOR and the A2 can make an annual average of up to $47,000.

ACADEMIA CAREER PATH

PRIVATE INSTRUCTOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Instruct other individuals on how to play their instruments or use their voices to their fullest potentials by encouraging good practices, good focus and proper techniques.

-You may teach on an individual basis or you may teach small groups at a time.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Formal training in the specialty you teach, be it through significant private instruction or through professional training at a school of music.

-Patience, punctuality, flexibility and a good nature will carry you far, as a lot of your business will come from "word of mouth".

-No degree is necessary but a base understanding of theory and technique is essential.

-Be familiar with notation and tablature, as different student have different preferences.

-BA in Music recommended.

 

EXPECTED INCOME (as of 2016)

Yearly: $50,000 to $75,000 on average (depending on the instrument)

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Teach graduate and undergraduate students and get paid on a "per class" basis.

-You are not obligated to any one university with exclusivity.

-This is a part time position and generally doesn't pay benefits.

-Be able to develop and maintain a syllabus, that meets your departments requirements, and relate it to your students while engaging them with discussion.

-Be available, outside of the classroom, to advise your students on their strengths and weaknesses.

-Be able to grade your students honestly and fairly.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-BA in your field for some community colleges and technical schools and courses.

-MASTERS in your field for higher education schools and courses.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $50,000 average

ASSISTANT TENURE TRACK PROFESSOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-You will maintain all the duties of the ADJUNCT PROFESSOR

-You will be a permanent member of the faculty of one university.

-40% to 60% of your work will be teaching.

-20% to 40% of your work will be in research. It may be higher if your position is associated with grant money.

-You will be expected to donate a certain amount of service to your institute, such as attending department meetings, serving on hiring committees and advising student organizations.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Doctoral Degree

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $67,000

ASSOCIATE TENURE TRACK PROFESSOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-By now, your are typically tenured. You have a secure position within your institution with benefits. With the exception of a few cardinal sins, you cannot be fired or let go.

-You will maintain all the duties of the ASSISTANT TENURE TRACK PROFESSOR.

-You will take on more senior duties, such as heading committees, taking administrative roles, conducting research and publishing your work.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Doctoral Degree

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $79,000 average

FULL TENURE PROFESSOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Now fully tenured, you have a secure position within your institution with benefits. With the exception of a few cardinal sins, you cannot be fired or let go.

-You have maintained all the duties and qualifications of the ASSOCIATE TENURE TRACK PROFESSOR.

-By now you have achieved national or international recognition for accomplishment in your field.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Doctoral Degree

-10 years teaching in a college environment

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $113,000 average

PERFORMANCE CAREER PATH

CLASSICALLY TRAINED SYMPHONY MUSICIAN

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Maintain the appropriate standards for you and your instrument.

-A lot of home work is necessary if you don't want to hold up the rest of the ensemble.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Proven excellence in your instrument, be it through significant private instruction or through professional training at a school of music.

-Proficiency in sight reading notation.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: Averages between $35,000 and $150, 000 depending on the market and the orchestra.

CONDUCTOR

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Often the music director, the conductor will select, interpret, and relay a piece of music to their ensemble (typically with a touch of their own personality or style).

-The conductor sets and controls the tempo and the mood of the music during performance and rehearsal.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-Bachelors accepted

-Masters preferred

-A well rounded knowledge of all instruments and voices involved in the ensemble.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: Averages between $35,000 and $225, 000 depending on the market and the orchestra.

GIGGING MUSICIAN

 

DUTIES AND EXPECTATIONS

-Maintain the appropriate standards for you and your instrument.

-Supply your own amplifiers, stands and microphones, if needed.

-A lot of home work is necessary if you don't want to hold up the rest of the band.

-Know the basics of your instrument, such as scales, chords and arpeggios.

-Know how to read and produce a chord chart.

 

QUALIFICATIONS

-No degree is necessary.

-Some, if not minimal, theory and technical proficiency will be expected.

 

EXPECTED INCOME

Yearly: $36,000 average (but this can vary greatly depending on market size and level of dedication)

THINGS TO REMEMBER

-Prepare to pay your own taxes if you are a performing musician or a freelance sound engineer. Set aside, roughly 1/3 of your earnings and try to pay them quarterly or annually. You will also likely have to provide your own health and dental insurance.

 

-There's no beaten path for the musician. Your best bet is to follow your passion and your natural skill set and your path will unwind.

EPISODE MUSIC

 

 "Wretched Excess"

 (Area 47 Music)

 Brian Maloy- drums

 Jeremy Burns- bass, rhythm guitar

 Jerome Chapman- lead guitar

 

MUSIC STUDENT 101

© 2017 EVERYTHING BURNS PRODUCTIONS, LLC