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Choosing a Music Career 101


You know you want a job in the music industry, but what exactly do you want to do? There are lots of different jobs in the music biz, and just because you love music doesn't mean that EVERY music career will translate into the job of your dreams. This 101 guide will hip you to some of the different jobs in the music industry and what work is involved in each, so you can find your best music business fit.

1. Career Profile: Promoter

Musician Karsten Jahnke
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Love live music? Then working as a concert promoter might be the job for you. Promoting shows is fun, fast paced, exciting - and tons of hard work. Learn more about life as a promoter.

2. Career Profile: Agent

Maybe promoting the shows isn't for you. Maybe you'd rather be the person who works with lots of different promoters to piece together an entire tour. Then you want to be an agent. Working as an agent requires good organizations skills and attention to detail, but once you reach a certain level, it can also be pretty lucrative. Find out more about this music career.

3. Career Profile: Manager

Managers take care of the business side of things for musicians so that the artists can focus on their music. Managers are the face of the musicians when it comes to the industry and they carry a ton of responsibility. Learn more about working as an artist manager.

4. Career Profile: Radio PR/Plugger

Radio promoters (also known as radio PR and radio pluggers) are the ones who act as the bridge between the musicians/labels and the radio station. Being a successful radio promoter involves lots of schmoozing and lots of building up a little black book of contacts. Find out more about working as a radio promoter.

5. Career Profile: Cover Art Designer

Iconic album cover art makes a tremendous album all the more special. Good cover art can become part of the brand of a musician, and even in this digital age, artwork still plays a role in music releases. Learn more about being the person who designs the album covers.

6. Career Profile: Music Journalist

Music reviews, interviews, commentary on music and pop culture - these things all make up the workload of a music journalist. Journalists get lots of perks, which makes the job attractive, but you need the ability to enjoy the guest list, VIP treatment while still getting your job done. Learn more about becoming a music journalist.

7. Career Profile: Producer

Producers have a huge influence on the way music sounds. In some cases, the producer is as important as another band member. Of course, not every producer gets so much input into every recording, but if you like the art of recording and studio life, this could be the job for you. Find out more about working as a producer.

8. Career Profile: Music Teacher

Music teachers can work in schools, give private lessons, or some combination of the two. If you're proficient in playing or singing, sharing your knowledge with a new generation of musical talent might be up your alley. Learn more about teaching music as a career.

9. Career Profile: A & R

Many people argue that good A&R has disappeared from the music industry, so now is a great time to jump in and build a name for yourself in the field. You'll need a good ear for the next big thing and the ability to convince a label that the musicians you discover deserve a deal. Does that sound like you? Get more info about A&R jobs.

10. Career Profile: Session Musician

Session musician work is a great way for musicians to pay the bills while getting to dabble in different music styles and sounds. Learn more about session musician work.

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