Musicians perform, compose, conduct, arrange, and teach music. Performing musicians may work alone or as part of a group, or ensemble. They may play before live audiences in clubs or auditoriums, or they may perform on television or radio, in motion pictures, or in a recording studio. Musicians usually play either classical, popular (including rock and country), jazz, or folk music, but many musicians play several musical styles. Musicians and singers hold approximately 39,260 jobs in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Choral Directors, Classical Musicians, Copyists, Instrumental Musicians, Jazz Musicians, Librettists, Orchestrators
Duties Compose, conduct, arrange, teach, and perform music
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville, but jobs exist throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
School Subjects
  • English
  • Music
  • Theater/Dance
Experience Extensive practice/experience recommended
Personality Traits
  • Artistic
  • Creative
  • Hands On
  • Interpersonal
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Performance
  • Music
  • and Acting
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Nationally-Known Musician or Music Conductor/Director
  • Teacher
  • Musician
  • Amateur Musician

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