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Careers for Drummers

Drummers are often very talented and coordinated musicians who can apply their skills and knowledge to several different careers. Learn about a handful of the career options for drummers, as well as their median salaries.

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Career Options for Drummers

Drummers may find careers pursuing their love of music in the music industry and/or pass along their knowledge and skills in music through education. Below, we take a look at several of the different career options for a drummer and discuss the various education requirements for each.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Musicians and Singers $25.14 per hour 3%
Music Directors and Composers $50,110 3%
Sound Engineering Technicians $53,680 8%
Art, Drama and Music Teachers, Postsecondary $68,650 11%
Elementary School Teachers $55,800 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers for Drummers

Musicians and Singers

Some drummers may choose to pursue a career in music full time as a musician and/or singer. They may audition for a group or form their own band to perform or record music in a variety of styles, such as jazz, rock, classical and more. Musicians and singers spend a lot of time rehearsing and traveling for performances, and usually try to create interest in their music by building a fan base through social media and websites. These artists do not need a formal education, but many choose to pursue at least a bachelor's degree in a music-related field.

Music Directors and Composers

An experienced drummer may also enjoy leading a musical performance as a music director or by creating their own pieces of music as a composer. Music directors, also known as conductors, must select music for performances, lead rehearsals and performances, and make decisions about soloists and guest performers. Composers may write original music, change existing music into new pieces, write lyrics for songs and even work with musicians to write and/or record their music. Music directors and composers may need a bachelor's or master's degree depending on their particular job title and employer.

Sound Engineering Technicians

Drummers could apply their knowledge and passion of music to work as a sound engineering technician who mixes and produces music. Sound engineering technicians use equipment and computers to record music and voices, edit it and play it as recordings for music, sound effects in movies and more. They also operate transmitters and record performances or events. Sound engineering technicians usually have an associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award or certificate in the field that prepares them with hands-on experience.

Art, Drama and Music Teachers, Postsecondary

Drummers who have excelled in the field and wish to share expertise can become postsecondary music teachers. Postsecondary educators are usually responsible for teaching several different courses in their field, which involves creating lesson plans, assignments and tests for their college students. Some teachers at this level may also be expected to work with graduate students on their research projects, conduct independent research and/or serve on various committees for the institution. Many postsecondary teachers need a Ph.D., but some smaller schools or certain career fields may only require teachers to hold a master's degree.

Elementary School Teachers

Drummers who enjoy younger children may consider a job teaching music as an elementary school teacher. These teachers may lead the school choir club, and teach students about basic music theory, recorders and various types of musical instruments. Elementary teachers are also responsible for creating their lesson plans, enforcing class rules, monitoring students' activities and communicating with parents about a student's progress. Teachers that work for the public school system need a state license or certification, as well as a bachelor's degree.

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