Career outlook for musician
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
Musicians write, arrange and play songs to entertain and move audiences. You might play an instrument, sing or do both to create music.
You could also produce music electronically using a digital audio workstation (DAW). This is a piece of software that lets you create music from a computer, tablet or even a smartphone.
You might work as part of a band, choir or orchestra, as a solo artist, or as a session or backing musician.
You might make money by performing paid gigs or ticketed live streams. You might sell physical or digital copies of your music. Some musicians earn royalties when their music is played on radio, tv or film.
- practise and rehearse
- look after your voice or instrument
- perform in live shows in front of an audience
- compose songs and music to perform or learn other artists' music
- take part in recording sessions
You could perform music of any style, including:
You’d promote your act in different ways, such as contacting agents and record companies, setting up a website and making demo recordings. Building an online presence for your act can help and you might need to engage with fans on social media.
You would also arrange gigs and tours or deal with a manager or agent who does this for you. You can also audition for places in bands or orchestras to find work.
There are other ways to make money from music, such as teaching others. There might be opportunities unique to the type of music you play. For example, in classical music you can also be a conductor of an orchestra.
This is a job where you’d need determination and the ability to cope with criticism and rejection. It's a competitive line of work, it might be difficult to make a steady living depending on the type of music you make.
UK employment status
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- Building relationships
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Self esteem
- Taking initiative
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