The Salary You Can Expect in a Music Career

The Berklee College of Music crafts a fascinating music salary guide breaking down the actual salary commanded by jobs in the music industry – in this short video we discuss not only what this means for many jobs, but what it means for you in the music industry.

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Video Transcript: “The Salary You Can Expect in A Music Career”

Brian Clapp, Director of Content: salary for music career

The Berklee College of Music is widely recognized as one of the premier music colleges in the entire world. Every couple of years they come out with a music salary guide where they do a lot of research into their alumni and various employers to find out the salary range for various music careers.

I find it fascinating and I always spend a lot of time going through it.

One of the things I found extremely interesting this time around was the extreme breadth of the salary floor and salary ceiling of most music careers. What I mean by that is many jobs start out in the 15-20,000 dollar range per year, which sounds like barely enough to get by on. But they had these huge ceilings that can get up to 150 – 200,000 dollars per year.

What it tells me is if you are going to have a career in music you have to be prepared to ride out those tough early years and not give up. I find the same thing true in TV and other industries where initially these companies aren’t willing to pay you that much and the reason is simple: economics… supply and demand. So many people want to work in the television industry or the music industry that they don’t need to pay top dollar. If you don’t like it they can find someone else who will.

I found the same thing when I started my TV career at CNN – I started out making around 20,000 per year and there was probably 250 applicants for my job. They don’t need to pay top dollar for me because if I won’t accept their offer someone else will. It’s not until I ride out those early years, prove myself, show my dedication then the money can really start to come in.

So you need to determine early on before you even decide to pursue a music career – will you be able to ride out those early years possibly having to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, in order to make it to that career position that makes the real money.

If it’s something you love absolutely you have to pursue it with vigor and enthusiasm, but if you have doubts maybe a music career isn’t for you.


About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.