November 1, 2020

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What to Do With a Music Degree

2 min read

What Can I Do With a Major in Music?

If one thing is true of every music major I’ve ever met, it’s that they’re tired of being asked what they’re going to do after college. In most cases, they are pursuing their passion, not a payday. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as we believe that doing what you love is the absolute best way to live a happy life. However, it’s still best to make an educated decision about how your degree could impact your earning potential and career options.

Approximately forty-five percent of music majors end up working in an occupation that is closely related to their major. The majority of these are employed as music teachers, at the elementary, high school, and college level. Many music teachers are also self-employed, offering lessons to students either in their home or their place of business. Additional occupations that are closely related to the major include composers and entertainers. These positions are normally extremely competitive, though, and often require a significant amount of experience and networking to obtain.

The majority of music majors find work in areas that are not directly related to their major. Many work in occupations related to sales, administration, management, and training.

Music majors earn a median salary of $45,000 per year, which is significantly lower than the median salary for all college graduates combined. Don’t put too much stock in these numbers, however, as they are brought down significantly by the large percentage of music majors who enter teaching occupations. Earnings are higher for those who enter positions in other types of occupations.

Career Options for Music Majors

Below is a list of some of the most common career choices for music majors. This is not a comprehensive list, but it should give you a good idea of what types of work would be most available to you with a degree in music.

OccupationMedian SalaryMedian HourlyCurrent jobsOutlookRequired Education
College Professor$62,050$29.831,756,000GoodGraduate Degree
Elementary School Teacher$51,660$24.841,549,520GoodBachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher$53,230$25.591,109,500GoodBachelor’s Degree
Kindergarten Teacher$48,800$23.46179,520NormalBachelor’s Degree
Middle School Teacher$51,960$24.98659,460GoodBachelor’s Degree
Music Composer$45,970$22.1053,640NormalBachelor’s Degree
Musician / Singer$46,571$22.39176,200GoodVaries

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