Working as a musician can be incredibly rewarding when you find the right job. You don’t have to be a rock star or world-famous DJ to do what you love while getting paid well.
There are many different jobs that you can choose to work as either a full-time or part time musician.
While many assume that they’ll only find these types of careers with a music degree, it’s ultimately your talent, experience, and work ethic that will land you most industry jobs.
With that said, the following list of jobs in the music industry includes only well-paid positions that require little to no training.
If you enjoy working for yourself and having the freedom to do things your way, music tutoring just might be perfect for you.
Many people are looking to learn an instrument or are wanting to know how to sing. As an experienced musician, you can play the role of teacher and offer your services for a fee.
You decide what services you want to offer and how long you want to teach each lesson. The greatest aspect of this line of work is that you're not limited to only your local area.
As long as you have an internet connection and a webcam or mobile phone, you can offer to tutor people anywhere in the world.
A resident musician is someone who’s employed by an establishment specifically to play music there. Many bars, restaurants, and coffee houses employ musicians in this way.
When you find the right company, you'll see why this is considered one of the most sought-after jobs for musicians.
It can offer consistent employment and there are often health benefits as well. In addition to this, a significant amount of your income will come from tips, on top of what is normally a decent hourly wage.
A sync musician is somebody who makes music for commercials, film, or anything else that involves visual imagery.
Sync refers to the action of synchronizing your music to any kind of visual medium. Your music can either be composed with the visual imagery in mind, or it can be created beforehand and later paired with something that it blends well with.
To do this for a living, you can contact advertising and media companies directly and offer your services.
It’s a good idea to learn about sync licensing as well so you can decide how you want companies to use your music. You can also decide what ownership rights or royalties you should be entitled to.
Playing music to a church congregation can be a great job for music lovers, even if you’re not necessarily religious. As a musician in a church, you typically either support or lead a church choir or band.
Liturgical music is what you will normally be expected to play. This is any type of music that was specifically written for religious events or times of worship.
Liturgical music tends to have a reputation for being less modern and is normally performed in the style of hymns and chants.
However, there are many churches nowadays that offer an alternative option to this during gatherings. Many churches now incorporate rhythm and blues, rock n roll, and other popular genres in their setlist.
Cruise Ship Musician
Working as a cruise ship musician can be an excellent job where you can do what you love while seeing the world.
Cruise ships typically employ musicians to work in their lounges, lobbies, and bars. These types of positions are normally seasonal or temporary.
Cruise companies normally pay exceptionally well. Because of this, many seasonal musicians working these jobs take long breaks each year during downtime.
But if you prefer to have consistent employment, nothing is stopping you from working on different ships and for different companies throughout the year.
In some cases, cruise lines may want musicians to perform concerts, but these types of positions usually require some verifiable stage experience.
Playing music or singing at weddings is easily one of the best jobs for musicians. You can make a great living by performing in front of audiences that couldn’t possibly be any more festive.
Weddings are a good time for everyone, so the people you’re performing in front of usually just want to let loose and have fun.
This can be a perfect job if you have a friendly personality and the know-how to be lively and entertaining between songs.
You can join booking companies as an employee or as a freelancer. They will then handle the rest and will usually team you up with a group of other musicians.
One of the best ways to make a living from music while building connections is as a session musician.
This is one of the most in-demand jobs in the music industry because you’re joining bands or artists that are already established and in need of assistance.
Working as a session musician means performing on other musician’s albums, joining them on tour, or simply filling in for them during a single show.
Because vacancies for session musicians often become available at the last minute due to emergencies, this can be an incredibly lucrative career.
Video Game Musician
The video game industry isn’t just for graphic designers and software engineers. Most video games have music incorporated in them, and it’s musicians who make that happen.
There are many different positions that you could work in this industry such as sound designer, composer, and mix engineer. All these positions pay very well and few of them require any formal training.
Sound designers incorporate both music and sound effects into video games. Composers may either write, perform, or record the soundtracks in video games, or may do a combination of any of these.
Mix engineers are the ones who ensure that all the music and sounds are at appropriate levels and mixed correctly within a game.
Instrument Repair Technician
If you play an instrument or are even slightly familiar with one, you can make good money repairing instruments.
There are many instrument sales companies that hire for these types of positions. Instrument repair techs normally need less than one week of training before they’re ready to start making repairs.
To make even more money, you can become a journeyman with about 2 months of training, or you can master both repair and restoration with less than 6 months of training.
Once you know what you’re doing, you can always start your own repair business with what you’ve learned.
Freelance Music Writer
If you love music so much that you can’t stop talking about it, you can always make money as a freelance writer.
Many websites and companies are looking for musicians who have musical knowledge and can articulate that into words.
All major instrument companies, guitar brands, and microphone manufacturers have an online presence and need content for their websites.
You can make very good money writing for either these types of companies or the educational side of the industry.
Music schools often need musicians to write both the content on their blogs and websites and to help with writing their curriculum and lesson plans.