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Life As 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?

  • Sight-read musical parts during rehearsals.
  • Listen to recordings to master pieces or to maintain and improve skills.
  • Compose original music, such as popular songs, symphonies, or sonatas.
  • Provide the musical background for live shows, such as ballets, operas, musical theatre, and cabarets.
  • Improvise music during performances.
  • Practice musical instrument performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music or to maintain and improve skills.

Qualities of a Musician

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.

  • Bugler
  • Horn Player
  • Trumpeter
  • Musician
  • Studio Musician

Job Demand for Musicians

In the United States, there were 172,400 jobs for Musician in 2016. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 17,800 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Musicians in U.S.

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 do I Become a Musician?

Are there Musicians education requirements?

Musician Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Musician Work Experience

Where Musicians Work

Musician Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Musician Industries


Image Credit: via Creative Commons CC0

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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