Freeway Music — Columbia, SC’s Premier Music School

Music Career Options Pt. 2

Music Industry

  • Manager: Artists are always in need of someone to keep them organized and on schedule. You could help artists with their affairs as a personal manager or you can help organize a tour as a touring manager. If you are good at organizing, scheduling, and delegating tasks, this may be the right music career choice for you.
  • Label: This could be a category all within itself. There are so many components included such as: Management, A&R, PR, Social Media, Distribution, etc.
  • Booking Agent: Just like it sounds, a booking agent lines up shows and tours for bands. It may sound simple, but it’s very involved. There are a lot of moving parts to coordinate. The booking agent has to communicate with a lot of venues, bands, managers, etc, and coordinate all of them.
  • Promoter: If you like creating and building hype, promoting may be the best music career path for you. Promoters organize, manage, and market events. They can work for the artist or the venue. Promoters use print ad, radio, billboards, social media, the web, press releases, etc to promote events.
  • Publisher: Publishers help composers and writers sell and distribute their material, while ensuring that they are paid for their material. The royalties for songs are typically divided into melody, lyrics, and publishing. A lot of artists are not right for the spotlight and have publishing deals instead. Publishing is vital for writers.


  • Original Project: A lot of artists make their money off of touring and merchandise sales. Creating, performing, and selling original work is what most musicians dream of. It’s one of the longest and hardest roads, but certainly one of the most rewarding as an artist. If this is your dream and passion, make sure you prepare yourself for hard work.
  • Cover Band: Cover bands are plentiful and the gig opportunities for cover bands are plentiful, as well. Generally, the amount of income of a cover band is proportionate to their ongevity and how hard they work. There are many local bars, clubs, and restaurants that hire cover bands; however, the higher paid gigs are weddings, private parties, and corporate events. These jobs tend to spawn from playing out in the local scene.
  • Support: This is also know as a “hired gun.” Essentially, you would audition for a group and get paid to play on a tour. The pay can be very good if you are with a bigger act and you get an opportunity to have free travel. Living on the road can be hard, however, and hired guns typically live gig to gig.
  • Symphony: As a classical musician, this is a great steady job. Most major cities have symphonies. Pay is drastically different depending on the symphony.
  • Broadway/House Band: Another form of a steady job is to be part of a pit or house act. It can be as small as a local house band for a club or as large as a steady act in Vegas or on Broadway. Often, these musicians are required to read and understand music at a high level. The pay for these jobs can also vary a lot depending on where you are playing.

Music Therapy

“Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals.” American Music Therapy Association

If you are passionate about music and the medical field, this is a perfect music career for you. The great thing about music therapy is that there are a wide range of patients you can work with. You can work with children with special needs or elderly patience with Alzheimer’s. You can even work with people with addiction issues. This is a rapidly growing field and illustrates the power of music.

Make sure you check out Music Career Options Pt. 1

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