What Can You Do With a Degree in Music?

There are many career paths in music. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment for musicians is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2026. There are no postsecondary education requirements for musicians or singers interested in performing popular music. However, many performers of classical music and opera have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Musicians and singers need extensive training and regular practice to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to interpret music at a professional level. You develop skills and abilities that make you very marketable in a wide variety of jobs from performing for live audiences as a solo performer and traveling, to being a part of bands, choruses, and orchestras, or even teaching music, whether it be private lessons or through the school system. Quite often, music majors also explore the business side of music, working in public relations, music management, arts management, marketing, production, and more.

Conservatory of Music

Salary Guide

Musicians can have a wide variety of opportunities for gigs and even careers. Often, they’re paid by hour for specific shows or events. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly salary for musicians in 2021 was $30.49 for performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries. The top 10% earn more than $85 per hour.

Rehearsals and recording sessions are generally held between business hours, while most live performances are at night or even weekend mornings for religious services. Having a job as a musician can be interesting because there will be times when work is very busy, and time in between jobs when there isn’t as much of a high demand. Often, musicians couple their part time as a musician or singer with a permanent full-time job that often is in the same field. The best approach to determining possible musician salaries is to research them on websites like Indeed.com and Salary.com.

Top Employers

Through job fairs, the internship database, and internship panels, the Magner Career Center gives students in the music B.A. program access to career opportunities at a wide variety of employers, including:

  • Apple
  • Atlantic Records
  • BRIC
  • Comedy Central
  • Lincoln Center
  • McAllister Music Studio
  • NBC Universal
  • Paramount
  • Sirius XM
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • Universal Music Group
  • VH1
  • Viacom
  • YouTube

Learn More

On-Campus Resources

The Magner Career Center has a wealth of information on everything you need to get started in your career, help with résumés, an internships database, job fairs, etc.

  • The center hosts frequent career events, which include panels with Brooklyn College alumni, company and organization visits, and workshops.
  • You can get matched with alumni with your major to learn about their experiences, seek career advice, and develop a professional relationship.
  • HireBC offers starter, competitive internships, and even job postings from Brooklyn College’s dedicated Job Board. Access HireBC via the Brooklyn College WebCentral Portal, under the Career Tab. Many alumni post positions with hopes of working with Brooklyn College students. Begin by uploading your résumé and having it reviewed by a career counselor.
  • Michael Sarrao is the liaison to the School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts. For more information or to set up appointments, visit the Magner Center’s website call 718.951.5696, or visit 1303 James Hall.

Off-Campus Resources

  • Careers in Music is a comprehensive educational site about music careers.
  • Entertainment Careers is an online job posting and internship website that focuses on opportunities in the entertainment industry. Their jobs refresh every day and give you a direct link to apply, or a code to search for the specific listing on the specific company’s page as well.
  • Occupational Network (O*NET) offers occupational statistics such as salaries and growth potential for all occupations. Additionally, you can search occupations by name or by your own interests, skills, abilities, etc.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook gives you information on the training and education needed for the job, earning potential, expected job prospects, what you would be doing on the job, and what the working conditions are like.

Brooklyn. All in.