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Life As a Musician

Musician Example Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

List of Musician Job Duties

  • Compose original music, such as popular songs, symphonies, or sonatas.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes.
  • Play from memory or by following scores.
  • Arrange and edit music to fit style and purpose.
  • Promote their own or their group’s music by participating in media interviews and other activities.
  • Teach music for specific instruments.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Musician?

These are the skills Musicians say are the most useful in their careers:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Other Musician Job Titles

  • Solo Musician
  • Orchestra Musician
  • Guitarist
  • Percussionist
  • Oboist

Job Outlook for Musicians

There were about 172,400 jobs for Musician in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 10,400 new jobs for Musician by 2026. The BLS estimates 17,800 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Musicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Musician are Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Nebraska, Idaho, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools & Technology do Musicians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Musicians:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Appointment scheduling software
  • Avid Technology Pro Tools
  • Blogging software
  • Instagram
  • MakeMusic Finale
  • Avid Technology Sibelius
  • Apple GarageBand

How to Become a Musician

Are there Musicians education requirements?

Musician Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Musician?

Musician Work Experience

Where Musicians Work

Musician Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Musician Industries


Image Credit: {} via Creative Commons CC0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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