Film Conductor

Conducts the live musicians producing the music for a motion picture.

  • Job Scenarios: Working as a contractor with independent and major film studios.

Foley Artist

Artist who creates the ambient diegetic sounds of a film or television set that were not created through the physical structure and location of the set.

  • Job Scenario: Film or television set or company.
  • Salary: $45,000 – $60,000 

Front of House Engineer

Engineer who runs a live mixer at a venue during a musical or theatrical production. Also responsible for managing a sound team, if present.

  • Job Scenario: Working for a live concert venue or independently.
  • Salary: $30,000 – $100,000 + 

Fundraiser / Development Assistant

Works to procure donations and funds for a music company, almost always for a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

  • Job Scenarios: Working in a non-profit organization, writing applications for grants from government entities, wealthy businesses and individuals, arts organizations etc. Also helps set up events for soliciting donations.
  • Salary: Average salary for a development associate in a non-profit is $52,000, according to Simply Hired. 

Higher Education Teaching

Teaching at a collegiate-level university, conservatory, or liberal arts college.

  • Job Scenarios: Higher education Institutions.
  • Salaries:

Lecturer: $25,000 – $50,000 (Full-Time)

Assistant Professor: $40,000 – $70,000, more for a top university

Associate Professor: $65,000 – $90,000, more for a top university

Professor: $80,000 – $150,000, more for a top university 


Instrument Craftsman/Builder

Compositing disparate materials to create a musical instrument.

  • Job Scenarios: A music instrument factory, an independent music store, or as a sole instrument craftsman.
  • Salary: $32,000 – $200,000 or more.

Instrument/Product Demonstrator

Perform instruments to advertise the quality and capability of an instrument. Rich Formidoni of Korg is a good example.

  • Job Scenarios: Selling instruments through a well-known music manufacturer, such as Korg.
  • Salary: Falls under the marketing department of a major business, which would probably pay between $60,000 – $120,000 for a full-time music marketing specialist.

Instrument Sales

Works at a music store to sell instruments and associated music equipment, like bows, music software, and amplifiers.

  • Job Scenarios: Selling instruments at a music store, such as Guitar Center.
  • Salary: $20,000 – $60,000.

Licensing Administrator

Oversees the copyrights to a specific work or collection of works. Licenses music and negotiates fees for the usage of the work.

  • Job Scenarios: In a music publishing company.
  • Salary: $40,000 – $50,000

Location Sound Engineer

A member of a film or television crew responsible for capturing the sound made on a set, including dialogue.

  • Job Scenario: Working with professional equipment on a live television set.

Lyricist/Songwriter

Independent musician who writes popular tunes and songs for either personal performance or for another artist.

  • Job Scenario: Working independently or with a major music studio.
  • Salary: A great deal of income for a songwriter can come from licensing music for commercial usage, such as for a national television commercial, TV promotional trailer, feature film. The rates can start as low as $2,000 for major licenses and go all the way up to $100,000+. Other income can be generated from selling tickets for concerts, publishing the music, selling Mp3s, royalties, etc.

Marketing: Traditional and Digital Marketing

Working with an artist, publicist, college institution, or other musical entity to effectively market their products, concerts, etc. Includes a savvy understanding in both traditional marketing methods as well as digital marketing practices, such as social media and integrative marketing.

  • Job Scenario: Working as a marketing contractor or with a music group or business. Different marketing opportunities include institutional marketing, concert hall marketing, music products marketing, record label marketing, etc.
  • Salary: Anywhere from $25,000 – $100,000+

Mastering Engineer

A post-production audio recording process that transfers a final mix to its ultimate data storage device. In the process the engineer enhances the sound of the final mix using advanced software and hardware.

  • Job Scenarios: Mostly Freelance
  • Salaries: $500 – $1,500 are typical fees per album mastered. $100 – $300 per individual single or track.

Military Band Performer

Performs music in a military band. Most military bands exist in the US, but there are good ones that exist overseas as well.

  • Job Scenarios: Employment in a professional military band.
  • Salary: In the United States Air Force Band, starting pay is $2,380 per month, in addition to housing and food allowances. A portion of the salary, as well as the housing and food allowances, are tax-free.

Mixing Engineer

Music production expert responsible for blending the different tracks and elements of a musical recording. A specialized version of the “Audio Engineer.”

  • Job Scenarios: As a freelance recording engineer, in a college/university recording studio, in a commercial recording studio, etc.
  • Salary: Many mixing engineers also take on other aspects of a music production project, like recording and sometimes mastering. The salary can vary widely based on clientele and status, but the average, according to Simply Hired, is $47,000.