Careers for Guitarists

Jan 16, 2020

While playing the guitar may only be a hobby for some, other individuals may want to turn their playing into a career. Fortunately, guitarists have a number of career options to choose from.

Career Options for Guitarists

Individuals who are talented guitarists may want to turn their passion for the guitar into a career. While the most obvious option is to pursue a path of becoming a professional musician or recording artist, there are a few other job possibilities for guitarists in the education world. Below, we will discuss a few of these guitar careers in greater detail.

Job Title Average Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Musician $28.15 per hour (for all musicians and singers) 0% (for all musicians and singers)
Postsecondary Music Teacher $69,960 (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers) 8% (for all postsecondary art, drama, and music teachers)
Music Director/Composer $49,630 1%
Elementary School Teacher $58,230 3%
Music Therapist $47,860 7% (for all recreational therapists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs for Guitarists


There are various types of musicians. As a guitarist, you may have the option of joining a band and performing live shows at venues around the country. If you are interested in performing classical music, you could possibly join a city, state, or national orchestra depending on your talent level. Some guitarists may want to be a solo act, especially if they also write and sing their own songs. To become a musician, there are no strict educational requirements. However, if you want to become a classical guitarist, you will generally need a bachelor's degree.

Postsecondary Music Teacher

As a guitarist, you may be interested in pursuing a career as a postsecondary teacher, instructing students in guitar performance at the collegiate level. You may work with students who are pursuing a major in guitar performance or music theory and provide them with a high level of instruction to prepare them for a career as a musician. Some of your duties may involve creating personalized lessons for students, giving out grades, and setting up music-oriented exams. To become a postsecondary music teacher, you will generally need at least a master's degree in the field in which you are providing instruction.

Music Director/Composer

Music directors and composers are usually responsible for leading various types of musical ensembles and groups and arranging and writing music. As a guitarist who has a high-level understanding of music, you may be able to work as a music director or composer especially if you are also familiar with other types of instruments and music theory. If you enjoy writing music, you may be able to write new music specifically for the guitar or for guitar ensembles. Some composers also are hired by TV shows or companies to write new jingles and catchy slogans for TV and radio ads. To become a music director or composer, you will generally need at least a bachelor's degree or master's degree depending on the specific position.

Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers work with young children from first grade to fifth grade. As a guitarist, you may want to pursue a job as an elementary music teacher. You could use your guitar to help teach them songs and introduce them to the basics of music. To work as a teacher, a bachelor's degree in elementary education is recommended. You may also want to have some training in music. For teachers working in public schools, you will need to be licensed by the state in which you work.

Music Therapist

As a music therapist, you will work with patients who have various behavior and psychological disorders and create music treatment plans to help them. It is necessary for music therapists to have musical ability of some kind, so being able to play the guitar would qualify. To become a music therapist, you will generally need a bachelor's degree in a field like psychology, along with musical ability.

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