The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (2023)

by: Matt DeStefano

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (1)

Top Music Degrees by Pay

Music is more accessible now than ever before. With social media, movies, and pop culture having big influence on the frequency in which music is used, a career in music has never been more exciting. We know the first step to obtaining a highly coveted career in music starts with obtaining a music degree. Naturally before getting a music degree, many students want to know, what music jobs pays the most and what music degree do you need? This is a fair question since you must make a living with your music career! Below are the top 5 highest paying music career jobs.

Here we break down the Top 5 highest paying music career jobs in 2022.

1. Job Titles: Sound Engineer

(Video) 5 Careers For People who Love Music | Career Options

Music Degree Needed: Music Production

Median Salary: $40,000 to over $120,000

Sound Engineers have the potential to rake in A LOT of money. With a music degree in Music Production from Berklee, you can catch one of these grads creating sounds/voice effects for video games or engineering sound effects/segments for movies.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (2)

2. Job Title: Recording Engineer

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Music Degree: Electronic Music Production and Sound Design

Median Salary: $25,000 to over $150,000

To become a Recording Engineer, you’ll first need a degree in Electronic Music Production and Sound Design, you’ll learn how to record, edit, and mix electronic music and sound design projects. These types of programs will prepare you for a career in many areas of electronic music production, including sound design, digital audio editing, synthesist/producing, MIDI pre-production, multimedia development, performing, and more.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (3)

3. Job Title: Music Professor

Music Degree: Doctor of Musical Arts, Ph.D. in Music Education

Median Salary: $70,000

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Becoming a music professor takes a great deal of education but can be a very rewarding career. You can expect to teach college students how to master an instrument and lead a career in music. Other responsibilities include teaching college courses in music-related disciplines, creating course syllabi and lesson plans, or coordinating college music performances.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (4)

4. Job Title: Music Therapist

Music Degree: Music Therapy

Median Salary: $60,000

Music Therapy is becoming increasingly popular. Musical therapists use sound to help improve the mental state of others. Many people find music to be therapeutic, calming the mind and helping them cope with difficult situations.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (5)
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5. Job Title: Music Director or Composer

Music Degree: Music Composition, Music Theory, or Conducting

Median Salary: $51,670

Music directors/composers are becoming a rare breed. They require talent and a keen ear. They conduct musical groups and make sure the overall sound is coherent, with a balanced melody, timing, and rhythm. Although being talented does not require that you have a diploma, employers typically seek out a master’s degree in musical theory or some related area.

The Top 5 Highest Paying Music Career Jobs (6)

Contact Us:

Did you find this blog helpful? Do you want to attend a music college or conservatory? If the answer to that is a “yes”, your next step is simple. Visit and allow our team of industry insiders to guide you toward your goal of being a professional in the music industry. Through expert counseling and real world experience, we will make sure you are prepared for the journey

(Video) 5 Jobs for Music Majors | Music Degree Jobs


Which 5 jobs has highest salary? ›

Jobs with the highest salaries in India are medical professionals, data scientists, machine learning experts, blockchain developers, full-stack software developers, investment bankers and product managers.

What is one of the highest paying careers for someone interested in the music industry? ›

Recording engineers and video/sound engineers are two of the highest-paid careers in the music industry.

How much does a music career pay? ›

The average Musician salary is $45,133 as of December 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $34,915 and $53,909. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

Is a music career a good career? ›

Music is a great area where one can hear both name and fame if they are talented and the will of doing hard work. The initial years in this field might be challenging, but with experience, good exposure, and platform, one can reach massive heights in this field.

What are the top 3 paying jobs? ›

Here are the highest paying jobs of 2023:
  • Anesthesiologist: $208,000.
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: $208,000.
  • Obstetrician and Gynecologist: $208,000.
  • Surgeon: $208,000.
  • Orthodontist: $208,000.
  • Physician: $208,000.
  • Psychiatrist: $208,000.

What are the top 5 best jobs in the world? ›

In this article, you will learn about the top 6 highest-paying jobs in the world. Take a glimpse below.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
Oct 4, 2022

What job is easy and pays a lot? ›

Easy, good, paying jobs include pet care, dog walking, home sitting, technical writing, patient care, delivery driving, massage therapy, and political science jobs. Most of these jobs only need the skill set and perhaps a post-secondary qualification.

What is the hardest job in the music industry? ›

During the course of a music-performing career, one encounters a variety of jobs that vary in their musical orientation and degree of difficulty. The expectation of performing at a high level on any gig is often enough to cause stress in any musician's life.

What is the best way to make money in the music industry? ›

How to make money as a musician
  1. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution.
  2. Make money playing gigs.
  3. Sell band merchandise online.
  4. Collaborate with brands and other musicians.
  5. Sell beats and samples.
  6. Teach music classes and sell lessons.
Feb 6, 2020

Can you make a living in music? ›

A common misperception about life as a musician, or even working in the music industry, is that no one ever makes any money. Or not enough to live on, anyway. Not so. Well, there definitely are a LOT of people out there who aren't making enough money from music, but that's not for lack of opportunity.

What are high paying jobs for artists? ›

Here are six careers you can get with an art degree that will keep you fulfilled financially and creatively.
  • Art director. Average pay: $89,760 per year. ...
  • User Experience (UX) designer. Average pay: $87,883 per year (Glassdoor) ...
  • Multimedia artists/animators. ...
  • Architect. ...
  • Creative director. ...
  • Fashion designer.

What jobs does music lead to? ›

Music graduates would be well suited to the following jobs:
  • private music teacher.
  • music therapist.
  • secondary school teacher.
  • television production assistant.
  • programme researcher.
  • arts administrator.
  • editorial assistant.
  • marketing assistant.

How do full time music jobs make money? ›

How to make money as a musician
  1. Sell CDs. Do music fans still buy CDs? ...
  2. Sell vinyl. Vinyl sales continue to surge, with sales last year surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 35 years. ...
  3. Sell cassettes. ...
  4. Sell digital downloads. ...
  5. Revenue from streaming music. ...
  6. Play live shows. ...
  7. Make money with live streams. ...
  8. Sell merch.
Aug 17, 2022

Does being a musician pay well? ›

The median hourly wage for musicians and singers was $30.49 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $11.47, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $88.77.

Is it hard to get a job in music? ›

Although it can be hard to get a high-level job in music production at a semi-famous studio, the barriers to entry into music production have quickly receded over the last few decades. Almost anyone can get a laptop and a digital audio workstation like Pro Tools and start producing music in their home.

How much does a full time musician make? ›

Musician Salary

Musicians make $57,257 per year on average, or $27.53 per hour, in the United States. Musicians on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $25,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $127,000.

What age is too late to start music career? ›

In short, there is no age that is too early or too late to start a career in music. If you love music and want to start doing it professionally, don't let anything stop you!

How do you make a living with a music degree? ›

Music Careers: What You Can Do With a Music Degree
  1. Band leader.
  2. Music agent.
  3. Music educator or teacher.
  4. Music historian.
  5. Music composer.
  6. Music performer.
  7. Music producer.
  8. Music promoter.
Aug 19, 2021

What is the #1 best job? ›

Nurse practitioner, in the health care industry, is the No. 1 most secure job.
The 10 Best Jobs in America in 2023:
  • Software developer.
  • Nurse practitioner.
  • Medical and health services manager.
  • Physician assistant.
  • Information security analyst.
  • Physical therapist.
  • Financial manager.
  • IT manager.

What is the #1 job in America? ›

1 job on the list: Registered nurse.

What is highest paid job in USA? ›


What is the #1 hardest job in the world? ›

Top 30 Hardest Jobs In The World
  1. Military. Coming first on our list of the hardest jobs in the world is the military.
  2. Healthcare Worker. There is just no rest for a health worker once the shift begins. ...
  3. Alaskan Crab Fisherman. ...
  4. Iron and Steel Worker. ...
  5. Roofer. ...
  6. Cell Tower Climber. ...
  7. Firefighter. ...
  8. Oil Rig Worker. ...
Sep 6, 2022

What is the highest paying job in life? ›

10 Highest-Paying Jobs for Work-Life Balance
Job TitleAverage SalaryTop 10% Salary
Landscape Architect$67,950$115,380+
Marketing Analyst$63,920$128,320+
Human Resource Specialist$62,290$108,160+
Fitness Instructor$40,700$75,940+
6 more rows
Nov 13, 2022

What is the highest paying job without college? ›

Here are the highest paying jobs without a college degree:
  • Patrol Officer.
  • Executive Assistant.
  • Flight Attendant.
  • Sales Representative.
  • Sound Engineering Technician.
  • Electrician.
  • Plumber.

What is the most stress free job? ›

  • 14 Low-Stress Jobs.
  • Data Scientist.
  • Dietitian.
  • Medical Records Technician.
  • Massage Therapist.
  • Appliance Repairer.
  • Librarian.
  • Diagnostic Medical Stenographer.

What is a low-stress job that pays well? ›

According to data that FinanceBuzz compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), some low-stress jobs that typically yield a six-figure salary include mathematician, software developer, political scientist, physicist, chemical engineer, astronomer, and ...

What is the happiest job? ›

The 10 Happiest and Most Satisfying Jobs
  • Dental Hygienist.
  • Physical Therapist.
  • Radiation Therapist.
  • Optometrist.
  • Human Resources Manager.

Can music be a side career? ›

As long as you maintain another source of income, music can be your side hustle or your “passion job.” The primary income source can help you fund it while it steadily grows into something more substantial.

What not to do as a musician? ›

10 Things Musicians Should NEVER Do When Performing On Stage
  • Let Your Ears Get Damaged.
  • Argue With The Sound Man In Front Of Your Audience.
  • Take Too Long To Tune Your Guitar On Stage.
  • Point Out Your Performance Flaws.
  • Talk Too Much When Performing.
  • Bring Other Musicians Down.
  • Appear Big Headed To Your Fans.

How do musicians get so rich? ›

Musicians who focus on performance earn money from advances, merchandise, royalties, licensing fees and playing live music. If the artist works with a record label, they pay a share of their money to others involved, such as managers, agents, promoters, PR teams and sound engineers.

Is there a lot of money in the music industry? ›

The music industry is worth $25.9 billion.

In 2021, the U.S.'s recorded music industry earned $15 billion in revenue, which was an increase of 22.9% from its 2020 earnings of $12.2 billion. The U.S. also has 82.1 million of the world's 523 million paid subscribers to music streaming services.

Where is the best place for a musician to live? ›

RankCityMusic Businesses Per Density
1San Francisco, CA2.77
2Washington, DC1.13
3Minneapolis, MN1.02
4Seattle, WA0.58
46 more rows
Oct 26, 2021

Can you make music at any age? ›

You are never too old to learn how to play a musical instrument, sing, or learn new skills. Many community centers offer free music and music therapy classes, and even video games like Rock Band or Wii Music can help you enjoy music-making at any age.

How many musicians make a living? ›

The study says that changes in how musicians have made money digitally has “been rapid” due to the influence of streaming services. The most significant finding is that only musicians with one million or more monthly streams—roughly 1,723 or 0.4%—can rely solely on this income.

Where Are artists paid the most? ›

Artists make the most in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Rhode Island.
  • Highest Paying State. California. See All States.
  • Highest Paying City. San Rafael, CA. See All Cities.
  • Highest Paying Company. Meta. See All Companies.

Who is the highest paid artist ever? ›

Michael Jackson is the first musician to earn over $100 million in a year (1989), and has become the top-earning male soloist a record seven times. Dr. Dre currently holds the record for the highest annual earnings for a musician ever, collecting $620 million in 2014.

What job is good for artists? ›

What can you do with an art degree?
  • Professional artist. Tool. ...
  • Illustrator. Illustrators use their creative skills to communicate stories, messages or ideas to an intended audience. ...
  • Photographer. ...
  • Animator. ...
  • Graphic designer. ...
  • Curator. ...
  • Printmaker. ...
  • Art teacher/university lecturer.

How to get a job in music industry? ›

How to get into the music industry
  1. Consider your choices. There are several decisions music artists must make throughout their careers. ...
  2. Make connections. ...
  3. Prepare for the process. ...
  4. Create an online presence. ...
  5. Perform often. ...
  6. Find a mentor. ...
  7. Gain internship experience. ...
  8. Embrace your passion.
Apr 17, 2020

How do I start a career in music industry? ›

If you are serious about entering the music industry, you should consider investing in upskilling with a professional course or degree in music. This is by far the fastest way to find the guidance you need to develop solid musicianship, connect with the industry, and build a professional network to sustain your career.

Can you make a living off music? ›

A common misperception about life as a musician, or even working in the music industry, is that no one ever makes any money. Or not enough to live on, anyway. Not so. Well, there definitely are a LOT of people out there who aren't making enough money from music, but that's not for lack of opportunity.

How can I make a lot of money with music? ›

How to make money as a musician
  1. Sell CDs. Do music fans still buy CDs? ...
  2. Sell vinyl. Vinyl sales continue to surge, with sales last year surpassing $1 billion for the first time in 35 years. ...
  3. Sell cassettes. ...
  4. Sell digital downloads. ...
  5. Revenue from streaming music. ...
  6. Play live shows. ...
  7. Make money with live streams. ...
  8. Sell merch.
Aug 17, 2022

Do musicians make good money? ›

Average salaries of musicians by state

The average salary of a musician in the United States is $44,624 per year . Based on where you live, your salary as a musician may be higher than the national average. Here are some cities where you may earn more as a musician: New York, New York: $54,381 per year.

Do music majors make a lot of money? ›

Music is a good major for students who would like to get into music education and performance after graduation. The salaries of music majors range anywhere from $10,028 to $241,414 per year. However, majoring in music is not really a prerequisite for those who would like to become performers.

Is it hard to make a career in music? ›

The music industry is very competitive and one of the more difficult industries to break into, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Whether you are a Music Producer, Engineer, or Artist, you still may have what it takes to break into the music industry if you work hard and take the necessary steps.

Is a music career stressful? ›

While it may not always seem obvious, working in the music industry can be as stressful as most other industries. Unreliable people, things not sounding how you want, and slower progression then you had planned; all of these and more can really add up.

How do musicians make millions? ›

The primary way musicians make money online is from mechanical and streaming royalties. That's a fancy way of saying revenue from online sales through platforms like iTunes as well as streaming income from Spotify and other services.

How can musicians make a living? ›

The revenue streams that make the most sense for most musicians today are: Streaming royalties. Sync licensing (for now) Performing (in-person or live-stream)

How do musicians make money 2022? ›

Live performances are, far and away, the most common top income stream for musicians in 2022. In second place are streaming royalties, and in third place is teaching lessons. Like I said at the top of the article, I think there's a pretty clear path toward earning income as a musician: You play more shows.

Why are musicians making less money? ›

The music industry has always made more money for record labels than it has artists. And now that streaming is the main way that many of us consume music, there's even less money left for musicians. Streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify make money from subscription fees and advertising.

Why do musicians make millions? ›

The bulk of revenue made by musicians comes from touring, selling merchandise, side hustles & partnerships, as well as licensing their music for things like television, movies, or video games. Sure, the number of listens or streams makes a difference.

Are musicians in high demand? ›

Employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 20,800 openings for musicians and singers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.


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