Entry-Level Music Industry Career Options
If you love music and would like to work in the business, there are a wide variety of entry-level positions you could pursue. Some jobs are well-suited for creative people, while others may be best for those who are more interested in business. Read below about some great entry-level opportunities in the music industry.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Band Managers||$62,080 (agents & business managers of artists, performers & athletes)||5% (agents & business managers of artists, performers & athletes)|
|Sound Engineering Technicians||$53,680||6%|
|Radio Announcers||$31,400 (radio and television announcers)||-11% (radio and television announcers)|
|Product Promoters||$25,610 (demonstrators & product promoters)||7% (demonstrators & product promoters)|
|Public Relations Specialists||$58,020||9%|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Information for Entry-Level Music Industry Jobs
Band or artist managers represent artists and performers, schedule promotional and performance appearances, negotiate contracts on behalf of the artists and performers they represent, seek out opportunities to develop and promote their artists' careers, develop business relationships that benefit clients and strategize effective plans of action for their clients; they may also collect fees and payments from performances and promotional appearances. About half of all band and artist managers hold a four-year degree; much of the knowledge you need may be learned on the job. There are many great entry-level jobs for band managers since there are many small bands who need help. Passion for and knowledge of music is a plus.
Sound Engineering Technicians
Another exciting entry-level job in music is sound engineering technician. These professionals, who need at least a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree in sound or audio engineering or music technology, set up, operate and maintain recording equipment in studios, live venues, radio and television stations. They make sure that all the gear is working properly and that sound recordings, radio and television broadcasts sound perfect. In addition to studying audio engineering, to land a more permanent job it helps to complete an internship at a recording studio or work as an engineer at your school's radio station or recording studio if they have one.
Radio announcers or DJs host broadcast programs, interview guests on the air, introduce artists, performances and recordings and may speak live or read pre-written material on the radio, including station identification and advertisements. They also operate equipment in the studio, record public service announcements and commercials for later broadcast and take requests from listeners. Most positions in this field require a four-year degree in broadcasting or communications, but some do not. If your school or community has a radio station, you can gain experience working as a DJ or radio announcer there, which will help you land your first paying job in radio.
Musical recordings, whether in the form of digital files, records or CDs, are products, and product promoters, also known as merchandisers or field merchandisers, promote and sell these products to the public. They may work as members of street teams, distributing posters, flyers, samples and promotional products to persuade consumers to purchase products such as albums, CDs and digital downloads, or to advertise upcoming concerts or new releases. To work as a product promoter, you need excellent customer service, persuasion, sales and marketing skills and a high school diploma. This is a great entry-level job in the music industry for people with the right combination of interpersonal skills and enthusiasm, and you don't need postsecondary education or any special training to work as a product promoter.
Public Relations Specialists
PR specialists in the music industry work to promote artists, performers, concert venues, tours, performances, products, record labels and other entities. They may write press releases, communicate with different media outlets, promote an individual, group or company's public image, respond to requests from the media about an artist, group or company, work to influence public opinion and/or act as a spokesperson for their clients. To obtain an entry-level position as a public relations specialist in the music industry, you'll need a bachelor's degree in business, communications, journalism, communications or English; a student internship in the field would be a great help as well.