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How Much Do Music Industry Positions Pay? [STUDY]

IStock_000010267528Small.jpgBoston’s famed Berklee College of Music has released an updated version of their comprehensive directory of United States salary ranges for music careers in the areas of performance, business, audio technology, education, and music therapy. The 2012 version of Music Careers in Dollars and Cents has been revised from 2010 to reflect two years of change, examining a wide scope of potential avenues for someone looking to get into, or even pivot in the music business.

The study shows salaries trending upwards for certain positions like Orchestral Musician, Assistant Professor, or Public Relations Specialist. Others, however, are seeing a decline like Commercial Jingle Composer, A&R Representative, or Music Education Administrator. Berklee says that some changes are due to more comprehensive data collection, but market factors are also at work.

“There is downward pressure on many music performance salaries right now due to the slowing global economic recovery, changing perceptions of music’s value, and hyper competition,” said Peter Spellman, Director of Berklee’s Career Development Center. “Thus, all the more reason for musicians to expand their repertoire of both musical and professional skills in this transforming industry.”

While the primary revisions are in updated salaries and job descriptions, new job titles like Video Game Composer, Film Score Conductor, and Concert Hall Manager have been added to this year’s version as well. Also included are areas that see high growth potential in the modern music industry including jobs in social media, digital marketing, branding and sponsorships, mobile music and streaming.

There’s also a flowchart on how to properly negotiate a job offer, a resources section that includes professional music organizations and associations, and artist revenue trends with information from the Future of Music Coalition’s recent survey.

Check out the newly updated Music Careers in Dollars in Cents here.


Hisham Dahud is a Senior Analyst for Additionally, he is a digital strategist for Fame House and an independent musician. Follow him on Twitter: @HishamDahud