Music Producer: Job Description & Career Info

Aug 21, 2019

Though music producers do not require formal education, a degree in the field can be beneficial. Learn about possible degrees, the job description and career information to see if a music producer career is right for you.

A music producer oversees the production and development of songs and albums. This might mean bringing together instrumental and vocal elements for sound mixing or ensuring that the people involved hold a singular vision for that song's success. While there's no formal education required for this career, it is strongly recommended that individuals pursue a bachelor's degree in music production. This field is highly competitive with average job growth, so those seeking music producer jobs must master musical elements like sound mixing and digital production to stand out from the crowd.

Music Producer Career: Essential Information

Music producers draw together instrumental and vocal elements in order to mix sound. They combine these factors with industry trends to construct a cohesive product for the music market. Take a look at the table below for a quick overview of the profession.

Required Education Courses in audio production or music theory OR a degree such as a Bachelor of Science in Music Technology
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 6% (for music directors and composers)
Median Annual Salary (May 2018)* $49,630 (for music directors and composers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Music Producer Job Description

Music producers oversee the development of songs. They ensure that musicians' and investors' visions for a song are fulfilled in terms of vocals, sound effects and instrumental arrangements. Technical skills are necessary to operate soundboards, playback tracks and utilize requisite computer software to edit sound. Management duties involve booking compatible background vocalists and/or session musicians, coordinating studio time and hiring sound engineers to mix and master final recordings.

A music producer also must interact well with others to make sure everyone shares the same vision for success. They should also have the ability to articulate complex musical concepts in simple terms and tactfully resolve creative differences.

Education Information

There is no formal education requirement for music producers, but O*NET OnLine reported as of 2019 that most people in this position have at least taken some college courses, if not earned a degree. A background in audio production can give producers a marked advantage when dealing with sound engineers. Additionally, the study of music theory can be useful when coordinating style, lyrics, instruments and vocal arrangements.

There are several bachelor's degree programs available that are dedicated to prospective music producers, such as a Bachelor of Music in Music Production and Engineering or Music Business. There's also a Bachelor of Science in Music Industry or Music Technology. Areas of study may include recording, mixing, digital mastering, production and sound techniques. Master's degrees are also available in similar fields for those who want to advance their studies or teach.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects jobs for music directors and composers to grow at an average rate of 6% from 2016-2026 ( Competition among prospective producers is expected to be strong; those with above-average talent should have the best job prospects. In 2018, the BLS reported that the median annual salary of music directors and composers, including producers, was $49,630.

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