Five Entry Level Music Jobs With Huge Growth Potential

entry level music jobsYou have a love of music – it moves you, alters your perspective and motivates you.

If you are like many other music lovers you’ve come to the conclusion that you want to make it your career – seems obvious to do something you love, right?

And while the above passions and deep-seeded emotional connection to the notes and their feelings is a great start, what else do you have to offer employers?

The music industry is extremely competitive because like you, many have an internal passion for music that is seemingly impossible to quench. We’ve decided to break the industry down into five entry points that can reap you big rewards if you stick with it and persevere through the initial hardship.

(Did we forget to mention that none of these are trips down easy street?)

Five Entry Level Music Jobs With Huge Growth Potential Click To Tweet

1: Street Teamer (or its fancy alternative: Promotions Coordinator)

Becoming a street teamer is a great way to start making connections in the music industry and begin your trek to a full-fledged music career. It is essentially an entry level marketing job, where you will most likely be tasked with handing out promotional items for a band or radio station in a certain market area.

The job needs perspective, since to many this is not a good use of their college education.

This role isn’t about money or intellectual challenge it’s about networking, making connections with other people who love and have a passion for music and showing your superiors you have the right attitude to take the next career step.

Remember these are entry level music jobs with potential, not your dream job of producing Arcade Fire.

Street Teamer Job Requirements

This is from an actual job posting on our site which we’ve highlighted a few important requirements of note:

entry level music jobs street teamer

A: Flexible schedule – you will be at the whim of the music world. You could be passing out flyers at a club one Tuesday night or going to a grocery store Grand Opening on a Saturday. Every day will be a mystery you need to roll with.

B: Have an Outgoing Personality (People Person) – if you aren’t they type that likes to mingle, chat and engage with the people, this role is not for you. This isn’t a career, it’s a stepping stone, and if you can’t be the affable personality that connects with an audience you are never going to use this opportunity to network with the people that can actually determine your future.

C: Interest in Radio Marketing/Promotion a Plus – This job listing was for a radio station, but it easily could have read, ‘Interest in Music Marketing and Promotion a Plus’.  Employers don’t want to just hire a club kid to go hand out marketing materials, they are looking for someone with a vision and drive towards their future. If you want to get into entertainment public relations, music promotion or publicity, this is a great first step.

2: Sound/Recording Engineer

Want to be a music producer or an audio engineer? As our friend Ivan Walker explained in this guest post about how he started his music career, he took his love of music and while in music school, learned the technical side of music creation.

He learned primarily by interning with a small local label in Atlanta, which allowed him to do and try just about everything in the studio. He found he had a skill for audio engineering, worked his tail off and was hired full-time after graduating.

Now the sky is the limit for Ivan, and could be for you too.

Ignore the big labels and consider interning with a small shop that can provide you invaluable experience on the technical side. As the Berklee College of Music  recently published, the salary for a sound/recording engineer might start low, but for the good ones, can easily eclipse six figures.

entry level music jobs music production

3: Band Manager

Here we go, now we are talking about the heart of the music industry, the glamor of the open road traveling alongside your favorite band as they tour the country entertaining millions.

Not so fast sparky. (Again, think entry level music jobs)

To get to the big time, you have to start small and gain real experience. Bands need help, but just like choosing an internship; you don’t want to hook your cart to the wrong one.

“I think the growth area [for the music industry] is in management,” says John Kellogg, assistant chair of Berklee’s music business department. “[Managers] can coordinate all the various activities of creative talents and maximize those careers. It used to be record companies were the central place where that happened … that’s completely different now.”

Spend some time researching and listening to local live bands, find one that fits your style (you’ll do a better job if they fit and motivate you) and approach them.  You’ll need to have a good pitch, so prepare to explain not just why you love their sound, but how you can help with scheduling, budgeting, promotions, appearances – whatever you think you can do.

The idea here is to start building your business sense for the music industry, establish relationships with venues, booking agents and promoters and hopefully, vault yourself up along with the band you manage.

4: Media Sales

Less glamorous than being a band manager, but if the business side of the music industry intrigues you this could be your starting point.

As a music executive told me once, “sales make the world go round.” It’s a bottom line world and if you can contribute to that, you will find work in a career that can grow faster than Katy Perry can Roar.

In the radio world, sales assistants turn in to account executives who turn into regional sales managers who turn into station general managers. Do you want to run a radio station? Start in sales.

Sounds like a pretty cool way to build a career related to music while testing your intellect daily.

This is an actual entry level sales job published on our site, check out the job requirements…do you have them? If not, what will it take for you to achieve them?

entry level music jobs media sales

Notice there is a high emphasis on (A) organization, presenting and crafting proposals. It would be smart to learn PowerPoint, take a public speaking course and understand the psychology of proposals.  There are also some parts of the role that are more clerical (B) but no less important, demonstrate an ability to do all assigned tasks with pride and you will make your mark. The ability to communicate both verbally and in written word are also paramount (C) to growth and success.

entry level music jobs media sales

5: Music Therapist

“Music therapy is huge,” Peter Spellman, director of the Berklee College of Music Career Development Center and author of Indie Business Power told Forbes. “It’s growing more as more people understand the value of music for brain development and healing. I think we’re getting back to ancient views of music that are being rediscovered.”

Music is playing a larger role in the development, rehabilitation and continuing care of the human brain and music therapists are at the forefront.

According to the American Music Therapy Association, 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

Anyone with children can validate the impact music has on their development and the plethora of classes available to students of all ages, but that is just the tip of the music therapy iceberg,

Music therapists work in psychiatric hospitals, rehabilitative facilities, medical hospitals, outpatient clinics, day care treatment centers, agencies serving persons with developmental disabilities, community mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, senior centers, nursing homes, hospice programs, correctional facilities, halfway houses, schools, and private practice.

According to a recent study by the Berklee College of Music, salaries start at 20,000 for therapists at inpatient psychiatric units and top out at around $135,000 for private practitioners.

To become a music therapist requires succesful completion of an academic and clinical training program approved by the American Music Therapy Association.

What is holding you back from getting one of these entry level music jobs? Let us know in the comments and we can try to help!

email
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 WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

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

Comments

  1. Michele Huihui says:

    When I was in the hospital receiving treatment for bronchitis, a man entered my room caring a violin. He introduced himself and asked if I would like to hear him play a song. I was thrilled. It isn’t often I have an opportunity to see a violinist play in person. Naturally I said yes. He played two songs, and they were heavenly. It made me feel really good at a time when I want feeling well at all. I thanked him and he left me as quickly as he had appeared.

  2. I have graduated with an A.S. in radio, TV, and film; I am 48, but come May I will be another year older. Finding work is not like it once was back before computers where not, yet available to the masses. Now, I find myself on professional websites and public websites searching diligently for happy productive employment, with poor results. I did take the time to befriend Brian Clapp in hopes that he could help an old dog with a new bag of tricks. It has been a long sixteen years, of recovery; my ultimate goal is get off Social Security, and I am almost there.

    • Robert – great to hear from you and thanks for commenting… I’m trying really hard to put out lots of valuable advice here and on our sister site workinsports.com – let me know if there is anything specific you would like us to focus on and we will do our best to help! – Brian

      • neenu Antony says:

        hai. i have a huge interest in music. i am really dont know we to start. actually i am indian.i love western music . here people dont like those stuff and no tutor for wester training. and really doubt that people like get acceptance for the other sides. and i really confused.

        • Neenu – it starts at school learning how you can make a professional impact in the industry. A love of music is great, now you need skills that employers want! -Brian

  3. Hey Brian! Great article. Lots of valid information here. I am 27 y/o and graduated in 2010 with a bachelors in business administration, marketing. I have been applying like crazy on various companies websites and have gotten no where great to start my career in entertainment marketing. What do you suggest I do? I live in Cleveland ohio and I know there isn’t much of a career opportunity with that here. I tried to get hired or even do an internship at z107.9fm here and they didn’t help. I feel like I am at a dead end and I have been applying consistently with companies and record labels in NY and CA. The problem is they don’t look at my resume b/c I don’t reside there and am not readily available to them for an interview. But I am! It’s not hard to hop on a plane and go to the interview. No one is giving me a chance. They see my location and think I am not an asset to their company. How can I show them that I am? How can I land a job in entertainment marketing, period?! I need your expertise and your help, please. I have the passion, drive, dedication, motivation, knowledge, and personality for this career. Not to mention my good looks! 🙂 Help! Thanks!!! and keep up on these articles, they are great.

  4. I am a guitarist/bass player who has written 42 songs, lyrics and music, in the genre of folk/rock/pop. Fourteen of them are copyrighted with the Library of Congress in Washington DC. I have played more than 1,200 gigs in my life. I am way past the age that a record label would sign me as an artist. So, I gave up on the “center stage” dream a long time ago. But I would like to get my songs to A&R’s and established artists that are signed for them to record. Songs can be rearranged to fit almost any genre. If one doesn’t have connections, how can I get them my songs when they don’t accept unsolicited material?

  5. hi, im a post high school grad with dreams to make it big in the business side of music. i don’t know how to start nor where to enter. but id love to be a manager. I’m just worried the job won’t really help with the bills if you know what i mean

  6. hi, im a post high school grad with dreams to make it big in the business side of music. i don’t know how to start nor where to enter. but id love to be a manager. I’m just worried the job won’t really help with the bills if you know what i mean

  7. Chris J says:

    Hello,

    I’m a recent college graduate from Fullsail university, with a bachelors in science of music production. Flat out I don’t even know where to start looking for a position! I live in Colorado, near Denver and close to large areas, but I don’t know where or what I should be looking for. I’ve never worked in the industry and I am extremely nervous about taking the step into it as the automotive industry has been my life. I want to make the change, but I don’t know what position to look for and how to go about finding it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers.

    ~Chris

  8. Hi Brian –
    After receiving Bachelors and Masters Degrees (NEC), I was an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music for over 36 years. So I spent my late 20’s through my 50’s teaching OTHER people how to make it in the music biz. Today I’m in the San Diego area, singing, teaching and recording, making connections so that I can actually DO what I’d taught for so many years. I’m sorry to have waited so many years to turn music into action!

    Would love to hear from you.
    Yours,
    Joyce

    • Joyce – you should be a guest writer for us, your knowledge of the music industry would be a huge asset and help publicize what you are currently doing! I’ll reach out to you today, I hope you gave your real email address. Brian

  9. I am actually going to get my masters in music business administration in the fall. I am currently a restaurant manager and have been for 10 years and id like to step over to the music side. I’m a singer/songwriter who has a deep passion for music as well. I am trying to figure out what’s a good starting position for me, as I contemplate leaving this comfortable restaurant industry. I have done promotions and even coordinating and I’ve worked with other artists as well as opened for some big name artist but I want to be more on the business side of things.

  10. I would love To do this kind of thing music and media but it’s the money and having no background in either is there way of help from this or from others in this can help me thank you

  11. Brian,
    I am a sophomore at East Carolina University studying marketing. what is the best way I could use this degree in the music industry? Coming from Baltimore, MD, I was exposed to the EDM scene there and developed a passion for the music. Some sources tell me that I need to know more about the technical music production side of things to be successful, but I have no interest in that side of the industry as I am no musician. I want to strictly work with the business side of the industry but I have no clue how to correctly impose my foot in the door.

  12. Eric Maingi says:

    I love music I also love music beats I don’t know which career to do Please advise me

  13. Jeff Tyson says:

    I live in Lancaster, PA, I am 26 years old and have only worked as a chef. I have been a musician/songwriter (guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, mandolin) since the age of 12. I am married with a 14mo old son. Im pushing myself into a set music career while im still kinda young. Id love to work for FAT WRECK CHORDS or Epitaph but I realize thats not exactly “entry level”. Any recommendations on a good online school for production, engineering or marketing? Not seeing much promise in schools in my area, and am eager to start this new path immediately.

    Thank you
    Jeff
    P.s. With the economic state of the industry today, what with internet downloads, and bands with really only touring-based incomes. What is the ideal “smart” move with settling on one profession in the field? (My main interests being punk and experimental.)
    Thanks for reading!

  14. Elliot Boreham says:

    Hi Brian, I can see your getting a lot of this but I’m 20 years old and I’ve just come out of school in France. I am English but I’ve spent my childhood in France. I’ve been looking for jobs in london in the music industry and have found a few things like apprenticships and such but none for audio engineer and studio work. I was wondering if you or any one else could give me a few tips on how start work in a studio, like the equivalent to a runner in television and film companies. Thanks in advance for the help.
    Regards, Elliot Boreham

Trackbacks

  1. […] At this stage you don’t have to be able to break down chorus and verse or spend your nights studying lyrical symbolism, but, if uncovering the layers of music isn’t important to you, you will never be passionate enough to make this a career. […]

  2. […] 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 […]

  3. […] aside from being our life’s soundtrack, music has other benefits for us. Music is not only there for us to be stronger when we feel down, It’s also helpful for our […]

Speak Your Mind

*