Occupation Information table
Overview: Professional musicians not only play musical instruments, but often write musical compositions, sing, conduct or lead an orchestra or band. They may perform alone or as part of a group on stage, TV, radio or movie production.
Duties: They audition for work by performing for producers, directors, and night club management. Select other musicians and direct rehearsals.

Create original music such as symphonies, operas, sonatas or popular songs. They transcribe ideas into musical notation using harmony, rhythm, melody and tonal structure.

They specialize in specific types of music such as classical or popular music. Negotiate performance contracts through agents. Create video tapes for pre-audition reviews.

Frequent rehearsals with other musicians, teamwork and coordination are needed to achieve desired music effects or a unique style and sound.

Degree(s): A.S. Music 
A.A.S. Music Production 
Job Outlook: Employment in this field is projected to grow 2% to 4% from 2018 to 2028, which is slightly slower than the average projected growth for all occupations.
Starting Salary: Musicians' salaries are very irregular because much of the work is on a short term contract basis or part time.
Salary Range (National Average): $24,000 to $28,000
Education Level: Training for this occupation generally requires a High School Degree, plus additional coursework in a vocational or technical school. In some cases, employers may require an Associate Degree.
Additional Training/Education: Musicians need extensive and ongoing training to acquire the skill, knowledge and ability to interpret music. This training is offered by colleges, universities and music conservatories leading to a bachelor's degree. Participation in college bands, orchestras or with a "combo" is essential while studying to be a musician.
Recommended Skills:
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • Using your hands to operated fine instruments and precision tools.
  • Dance, drama, music, that is, things that are performed in front of an audience.
  • Analyzing the symptoms of a problem and deciding what actions should be taken to resolve the problem.
Recommended Values:
  • Doing something where you can physically see the results of your work.
  • Being able to express creative ideas through the arts.

* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information .

* For New York salary data information .

* For New York green job information .

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.