Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

What is this job like?

Musicians and singers compose, sing, and play music. They perform solo or as part of a group. They perform in sound studios and on stage. They also perform on television and in movies.

Some musicians go on concert tours, traveling all over the U.S. and the world.

Not all their work is performing for audiences. Musicians and singers also spend a lot of time practicing and rehearsing.

Other music jobs include music directors who lead choirs and other musical groups. Arrangers change the style of music. They might turn a country song into a rock and roll song, for example. Composers create new music.

Most musicians and singers work indoors, but some may perform in outdoor concerts. The lights on stage can be hot. Performers often work at night and on weekends.

Some music is very loud and can cause hearing loss. There can be danger from fans who become excited.

Many musicians, singers, and other music workers can only find part-time work. Some are unemployed between performances. They often work other jobs while waiting for their next performance.

New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville have the most jobs and the most record studios.

How do you get ready?

To be a musician or singer you need musical talent. People who become musicians often learn how to play an instrument at an early age. Some of the most popular instruments are the guitar, piano, and drums. It helps any musician to learn to play more than one instrument.

Many songwriters now write music on computers, so technical skills are handy. Also, skills in song writing, or dancing are useful.

To start getting ready for this job, you could join a school band or choir or perform in a school musical. Many community centers and art centers also have bands or choirs. You could also sing or play music with friends. It helps to grab every chance to appear in front of people. You may be able to perform at parties or other events. Musicians and singers have to be able to go on stage in front of lots of people.

Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Sources +
See also: