Musical Theatre Artist

An artist who combines songs, dialogue, acting, and dancing to create a unique performance in this popular music genre.

  • Job Scenarios: Broadway companies, off-Broadway companies, and in companies throughout the country.
  • Salaries: Actor’s Equity Union for Broadway productions is approximately $1,800 per week. Off Broadway in NYC is usually around $500 or less per week.

Music Curation

Overseeing a library or museum’s historic music collection and presenting it to museum-goers. Not entirely unrelated to music librarianship.

  • Job Scenarios: Anywhere that has a historic collection of music that needs a curatorial manager. Libraries and museums are the most likely places, but some music colleges employ these people as well.
  • Salary: $50,000+

Music Education Administration

Works in the administration of a public or private music education program, either at the K-12 or college level.

  • Job Scenarios: College music programs, high school music programs, private music lesson schools.
  • Salary: If below the Dean, between $20,000 and $60,000. If the Dean, over $100,000+.

Music Education Teacher (K-12)

Teaches music at a public or private elementary, middle, or high school. Requires state certification and usually a Bachelor’s in Music Education.

  • Job Scenario: Pre-college educational institution.
  • Salary: Widely varies, but average starting salary is $30,000 – $40,000. Can be higher or lower based on the economic status of the institution (is it in a town with higher tax dollars? Is the school a well-endowed private institution?)

Music/Entertainment Attorney

Attorney who represents artists as well as arts/entertainment organizations. Requires a JD (Juris Doctor degree) outside of a Bachelor’s of Music degree.

  • Job Scenario: In an entertainment law firm or as an independent attorney.
  • Salary: Varies widely depending on working situation. Working for an entertainment firm in a major city like Los Angeles or New York can provide a starting salary of over $150,000. As an independent attorney working in a state with a less high-profile entertainment industry,

Music Journalist/Critic

Someone who professionally reviews music performances, albums, and entertainment industry news.

  • Job Scenario: Working for a media company (newspaper, magazine, online journal like Pitchfork) or having a blog yourself.

Music Librarian

A librarian specializing in cataloguing and maintaining music collections. Usually has a Bachelor’s in Music and a Master’s in either Music Librarianship or a Master of Library and Information Science.

  • Job Scenario: Employment in a college, university, conservatory, orchestra, or public library.

Music Supervisor

Someone who oversees all of the musical choices for a visual medium, including television, video games, advertisers, and films. Not to be confused with a commercial music composer.

  • Job Scenarios: Working on the staff of a television show or media company.
  • Salary: Annual salaries start at $30,000. Big-budget productions can hire music supervisors at $250,000 per project. (Wikipedia)


Someone who studies the history and culture of various musical genres. A research-based approach addressing scholarly inquiry of music.

  • Job Scenarios: As a lecturer or a professor in a university setting, and/or as a published author. Famous musicologists include Richard Taruskin and music critic and author Alex Ross.
  • Salary: Commensurate with typical salaries of a university professor (see Higher Education Teaching).

Music Therapist

Musicians use music as a means of alternative therapy. Convincing evidence exists for music therapy as a treatment for depression and coronary heart disease.

  • Job Scenarios: Usually as an independent worker with referrals from physicians, psychologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapist. Sometimes they are employed in higher education institutions, nursing homes, correctional facilities, and in intervention programs.

Online Music Teacher

Teach courses, either live or pre-recorded, using online video technology.

  • Job Scenarios: Almost always independently, although some businesses of streaming specific music teacher’s videos are emerging.
  • Salary: If live, recommended charge is between $40 – $100 per hour. If pre-recorded, then you’ll have to set a price for your music course.

Opera Musician (Stage)

An artist who works either in a professional company or as a soloist performing operatic repertoire ranging from Mozart to Philip Glass.

  • Job Scenarios: Professional opera companies, freelance vocalist.
  • Salary: Varies widely, many professional opera companies can pay $30,000/yr, some higher level ones can pay $60,000/yr, and the Metropolitan Opera can pay $200,000/yr.

Orchestral Musician

Musician who performs part-time or full-time as a member of an amateur or professional symphony orchestra.

  • Job Scenarios: Orchestras in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, and South America are the best bets.
  • Salary: Depends on the orchestra, but here are some starting salaries for a variety of US Orchestras:

Chicago Symphony – $140,000 – $150,000

Los Angeles Philharmonic – $140,000 – $150,000

Philadelphia Orchestra – $100,000 –$110,00

Dallas Symphony – $90,000 – $100,00

San Diego Symphony – $55,000 – $65,000

Alabama Symphony – $35,000 – $45,000

Opera Cleveland (Now out of business)- $151 Per Performance, About $40/hr for rehearsal