Musician: Job Description, Salary & Benefits - NewBalancejobs
Job description and job specification

Musician: Job Description, Salary & Benefits

If your voice shatters glasses when you belt out a high note and can “play the guitar just like you’re ringing a bell” with mind-blowing trekkers on the saxophone. Or maybe someone has said wonderful things about your drum-playing abilities
Then, you might just have in you what it takes to be a professional musician!

Professional musicians are people who write, perform and record music. They’re paid to entertain, delight, and inspire, they perform solo or as part of a group, band or orchestra.

Professional musicians play all types of instruments, It doesn’t really matter if you are a classical pianist or a singer in a rock band, you can be making money from your music, as far as you possess the talent and people enjoy your performance.

The professional life of musicians simply revolves around practicing, songwriting, rehearsing, recording, and performing live.

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Musicians are sometimes also required to grant interviews with members of the press or make TV and radio show appearances from time to time.

Salary & benefits

There’s no saying average what a musician earns each year because most musicians work on a freelance basis which means that each musician’s earnings fluctuate. But, bear in mind that the more successful and famous you become, the more money you will make.

Professional musicians can earn between £12,000 and £500,000 annually, this is dependent on the type of work they end up doing. Some earn way more as Platinum-selling recording artists but it will take a whole lot of hard work although certainly achievable if you’ve got the talent!

Those professional musicians employed permanently by orchestras earn an annual average salary, between £21,000 to £50,000.

Working hours

A musician’s working hours vary hugely. It’s obvious this isn’t your average 9 to 5 kind of profession, a majority of performances happen in the evenings and on the weekends.

Since it’s been established that musicians work usually on a freelance basis, they try to book as many gigs as they possibly can, from big festivals to intimate acoustic shows.

As a musician, you would be required to travel a lot, both internationally and domestically.


Becoming a professional musician can be done even without a single lesson. Factually lots of people have taught themselves how to play musical instruments while simultaneously developing their skills over time without any help. However, many musicians hold a degree or diploma in music.

Completing a course in music is a great way of developing your talent in an inspirational environment.

Publicity is key in this career path, so being in the eyes of the press is always great, joining shows like xfactors, the voice, America’s Got Talent, and Britain’s got talent is one way to showcase yourself.

If you desire to be part of an established orchestra or opera company, you would be required to audition for a place.

Training & progression

This is possibly the most important advice you’d get as a musician, keep honing your craft. This industry is extremely competitive and you’d need to be properly positioned at all times.

Practice they say makes perfect! When not performing, musicians are practicing their material, creating new songs, recording demos, and tweaking individual features of songs, like hooks, drum fills, and intros.

As regards career progression, it’s really all about making a name for yourself, nothing more, nothing less.

It’s important to say as they progress in their individual careers lots of musicians eventually step back from performing week in week out and refocus their energy on teaching the next generation of musicians.