The Best Careers in Music Business

careers in music business snapshot

Many people aspire to relate music somehow to their future careers, and careers in music business are continuing to change and grow. 

MajoringinMusic.com has written a helpful article with their shortlist of possible music business jobs. They highlight work in music publishing, artist management, supervision and merchandising.  

You might have many other questions about a music business degree in general. In addition to those questions we’re providing you with a compilation of the best careers to pursue so you can research further.

  1.  Personal Manager
  2.  Festival Director
  3.  Social Media Marketing Strategist
  4.  Radio Promoter
  5.  Music Supervisor (for film)
  6.  A&R Executive
  7.  Music Business Accountant
  8.  Label Publicist
  9.  Booking Agent
  10.  Merchandise Manager

Personal Manager

Description

A personal manager is someone who advises and counsels a musician. They research and develop new opportunities for the purpose of growing an artist career by taking it one level to the next.  

Skills Needed

  1. Networking 
  2. Strategic Thinking 
  3. Negotiating  
  4. Project Management 
  5. Leadership

Background Needed

No background is required though a working knowledge of the general business would be beneficial. Working knowledge of the music industry is essential for networking. Often personal managers have a background in merchandise, tour management or entertainment Law.

Salary Estimate

15-20% or each artist’s gross income. It can range 30k-into the millions.

Festival Director

Description

The festival director’s job is mainly behind the scenes of a music festival. From the early planning stages to the execution of the festival, they are responsible for the logistics and organization of a music festival.

Skills Needed

  1. Event Planning 
  2. Project Management 
  3. Relationship Building 
  4. Promotional Skills 
  5. Sales

Background Needed

Festival Directors work with a huge range of people, including vendors, talent Buyers, city officials, musicians, security, ticketing/box office representatives and basically anyone you’d see on the ground, working at a festival.No background is required though often festival directors have a background in talent buying.Must be able to meet deadlines while remaining flexible.

Salary Estimate

$40k-$150,000

Social Media Marketing Strategist

Description

Social media marketing strategists are social media experts who manage an artist or a group’s social media platforms in order to expand a musician’s or band’s online presence to grow their audience and fanbase.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Creative 
  2. Technologically savvy 
  3. Graphic Design
  4. Knowledge of marketing and branding strategies
  5. Administrative skills

 

Background Needed

Though not required as a background often a bachelor’s degree in marketing or public communications is expected. Strong written and verbal communication skills would be essential to doing well in this career. Proven experience building brand awareness, understanding SEO and web traffic metrics is required. The ability to identify target audience preferences and build content to meet them is ideal. Familiarity with web design and publishing is also a plus.

 

Salary Estimate

$32k-$60,000

Radio Promoter

Description

Radio promoters are people that convince the radio stations to play records. Their job is to take a record from an artist or band to radio programs and show-hosts so that they can pitch songs in hopes that they would play the track. Their goal is to get a track consistent with spin plays on the radio.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Networking 
  2. Data Analyzation 
  3. Research 
  4. Sales 
  5. Negotiation

 

Background Needed

Though not required often radio promoters will have a background in either promotion or digital accounts management. Must be persistent, well organized and be a people person.

Salary Estimate

$60,000-$80,000

Music Supervisor (for film)

Description

A music supervisor is the director of the music department on a film. You can find them on movie sets and working on television shows to select the right music for placement, and making sure they have the licenses to use it. This is not a composition job but is similar to A&R but for film. This is one of the fastest growing careers in the industry. 

 

Skills Needed

  1. Ear for emotion and lyrical tone in music 
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Negotiation
  4. Project Management 
  5. Knowledge of Copyright Laws
  6. Background Needed

 

Background Needed

Background in the film industry or the music industry is expected. This job is the liaison between the two industries.

 

Salary Estimate

$15k-$90,000 per film

A&R Executive

Description

An A&R executive, which stands for “artist repertoire”, is someone who will play a large role in a record label company. Their main job is to scout out talent and develop artists who are ready to be signed on with a deal or as music publisher for a specific record label company. You can find them involved with artists, songwriters, producers, and personal managers.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Well-rounded with an ear for music
  2. Ability to see if an artist is marketable
  3. Communication skills
  4. Networking
  5. Project management

 

Background Needed

No background is necessarily required, but best training comes through being actively involved in the music scene and it is suggested to get an education in business, marketing, or any music business programs.

 

Salary Estimate

$36,000- $68,000

Music Business Accountant

Description

Music business accountants are accountants that specifically work with musicians and record companies to help with taxes and other financial services. They also advise entertainers and come up with innovative ways to save money or boost revenue. You can find music business accountants working with producers, songwriters, label executives, and managers.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Accounting skills
  2. Detailed-Oriented
  3. Communication skills
  4. Data Analyzation
  5. Creative 

 

Background Needed

A background in music is not required as a music business accountant, but s solid work history in accounting is ideal. All accountants will require a college degree in accounting or finance. It’s also common for students to obtain a CPA, Certified Public Accountant, licensure.

 

Salary Estimate

$44,000- $79,000

Label Publicist

Description

A publicist is someone who deals directly with the media, but a label publicist job is specific and deals with the media in a record label. Their services include writing press releases, pushing an artist to online and offline publications, securing interviews, feature placements, reviews and other forms of press. Label publicists work with many people in the music industry like editors, bloggers, journalists, radio DJs, tv Producers,and record label representatives. 

 

Skills Needed

  1. Networking skills
  2. Strong grammar and writing skills
  3. Flexibility 
  4. Good with crisis management
  5. Outgoing

 

Background Needed

There’s no set degree required for a job in publicity, but many label publicists entered undergraduate programs in music business, advertising, public relations, journalism, or communications. Attending college will open doors to internships so you can earn valuable experience and land a publicist job.

 

Salary Estimate

$35,000-$64,000

Booking Agent

Description

A booking agent works in the music industry and is responsible for coordinating talent for live performances, concerts, and other events. They usually work on tours or tv sets rather than just one gig. They may work freelance, be part of the band, or work for a music company or agency.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Coordination abilities
  2. Organized
  3. Communication skills
  4. Networking skills
  5. Ability to work with others on projects

 

Background Needed

There are no particular degrees required to be a booking agent, yet they do at least have high school diplomas. Others may take the degree route and pursue a music degree so that they get professional course work in business, communication or any associated field.

 

Salary Estimate

$38,000+

Merchandise Manager

Description

A booking agent works in the music industry and is responsible for coordinating talent for live performances, concerts, and other events. They usually work on tours or tv sets rather than just one gig. They may work freelance, be part of the band, or work for a music company or agency.

 

Skills Needed

  1. Coordination abilities
  2. Organized
  3. Communication skills
  4. Networking skills
  5. Ability to work with others on projects

 

Background Needed

There are no particular degrees required to be a booking agent, yet they do at least have high school diplomas. Others may take the degree route and go to a music business school so that they get professional course work in business, communication or any associated field.

 

Salary Estimate

$38,000+

Sign Up Today!

Learn more about the Music Business Program at Visible Music College.