What Can I Do With A Music Major?

Will I get a job with a music major?
Will I be prepared to live in the "real world" as a music major?
Will I be able to pay the bills with a music major?
Will I be able to make music my full-time occupation?
A 2012 survey of 36,000 creative arts graduates shows that their unemployment rate is HALF that of the national average, and that over 70% of bachelor's degree holders in the arts have worked as professional artists.  These amazing statistics are the result of employers searching for creative, disciplined individuals who are able to push themselves personally while working well in groups. Music, with its emphasis on personal excellence as well as ensemble participation and individual as well as group discipline, is the perfect field in which to develop just those skills that employers are looking for.  (You can check out the full survey here.)

Another recent article exploring the connections musical skill and successful careers:
"Is Music the Key to Success?" - New York Times, October 2013
Nobel Prize Winner counts Music among his most important influences:

Music touches our lives in so many ways.  Because music is everywhere in our society, graduates in Music have literally hundreds of career options.

Within the broad field of music, there are many areas of specialization. While music is often a performing art, many musicians combine performing with work in fields closely related to music. Some music majors may minor in another field, others continue their training in graduate or professional programs. Below are just some ideas of occupations where music plays a prominent role.

  • Church Music Director 
  • City Arts Administrator
  • City Cultural Events Planner
  • Event Music Consultant
  • House/ Stage Manager
  • Music Minister (Clergy)
  • Public Relations Director
  • Tour Manager/ Coordinator


  • Booking Agent
  • Business Manager
  • Concert Promoter
  • Talent Agent
  • Royalties Broadcast Monitor
  • Instrument/ Equipment Salesperson
  • Manufacturer’s Representative
  • Music Store Manager
  • Tour Agent for School Ensembles
  • Event Manager for Performance Venue
  • Orchestra CEO/CFO 
  • Composer 
  • Lyricist
  • Arranger
  • Marching Drill Creator
  • Chroreographer
Education and Research
  • Clinician
  • Educator
  • Clinician
  • Ethnomusicologist
  • Music Professor
  • Private Studio Teacher
  • Music Historian
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Theorist
  • Marching Band Director
  • Orchestra Librarian


  • Accompanist
  • Artist/ Vocalist
  • Composer/ Arranger
  • Conductor / Music Director
  • Orchestral Musician
  • Solo Performer
  • Studio Musician (film, broadcasting, etc)
  • Stage Director
  • Paid Chorister

Journalism and Publishing

  • Music Critic
  • Music Reporter/ Journalist
  • Music Publisher
  • Music Copyist
  • Music Editor
  • Technical Writer

Technical and Design

  • Acoustical Consultant
  • Sound Engineer/ Mixer
  • Instrument Repair
  • Instrument Design/ Manufacturer
  • Piano Technician/ Tuner
  • Software Programmer / Consultant
  • Synthesizer Specialist

Counseling / Medical

  • Music Therapy
  • Autism
  • Geriatric
  • PTSD

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