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What Does it Take to Be a Musician?

Position Description Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

What Do Musicians Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Promote their own or their group’s music by participating in media interviews and other activities.
  • Teach music for specific instruments.
  • Arrange and edit music to fit style and purpose.
  • Listen to recordings to master pieces or to maintain and improve skills.
  • Play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras, ensembles, or bands.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes.

Musician Skills

Musicians state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Other Musician Job Titles

  • Bull Fiddle Player
  • Accompanist
  • Concert Pianist
  • Calliope Player
  • Musician

Job Demand for Musicians

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 172,400 jobs in the United States for Musician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 10,400 new jobs for Musician by 2026. The BLS estimates 17,800 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Musician are Utah, Colorado, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Nebraska, Idaho, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What Tools do Musicians Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Musicians may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Appointment scheduling software
  • Avid Technology Pro Tools
  • Blogging software
  • Instagram
  • MakeMusic Finale
  • Avid Technology Sibelius
  • Apple GarageBand

How to Become a Musician

Are there Musicians education requirements?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Musician?


Where Musicians Work


The table below shows the approximate number of Musicians employed by various industries.



Image Credit: via Creative Commons CC0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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