The Truth About Entry Level Music Industry Jobs & Working Your Way Up! (A MUST Read)

Building a career in the music industry would be like a dream come true for many music lovers. After all, what could be better than getting paid to listen to, create, and perform music?

However, breaking into the music industry is no easy feat. It is a tough business (to say the least), and it takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and talent to make it big.

I am going to give you some guidance on how to work your way up in entry level music industry jobs, and what career options will become available to you as you gain experience.

The Truth About Entry Level Music Industry Jobs & Working Your Way Up! (A MUST Read)

Entry Level Music Industry Jobs:

There are a few different entry-level jobs that you can apply for in the music industry. Here are some examples:

  • Assistant Engineer
  • Studio assistant
  • Live sound assistant
  • Music librarian
  • Concert promoter
  • Talent Buyer

Honestly, the list is endless – but let me explain some of these jobs in a little more detail.

Assistant Engineer:

Assistant Engineer:

An assistant engineer is someone who supports the main engineer in a studio setting. This person typically runs errands, helps with set up and breakdown, fetches coffee, and generally does whatever needs to be done to keep the studio running smoothly.

Studio Assistant:

Studio Assistant:

As a studio assistant, your job will be to help out around the studio. This can involve anything from setting up and breaking down equipment to organizing files and documents, to running errands.

Live Sound Assistant:

Live Sound Assistant:

A live sound assistant is responsible for helping to set up and operate the sound equipment at live events. This job requires a good understanding of sound equipment and how it works, as well as a keen ear for picking up sound problems.

Music Librarian:

Music Librarian:

A music librarian is responsible for organizing and cataloguing music files and recordings. This job requires excellent attention to detail and organizational skills.

Concert Promoter:

Concert Promoter:

A concert promoter is responsible for booking and promoting live music events. This job requires a good understanding of the music industry, as well as strong marketing and promotional skills.

Talent Buyer:

Talent Buyer:

A talent buyer is responsible for sourcing and booking talent for live events. This job requires a good knowledge of the music industry, as well as strong networking and negotiation skills.

Start Your Career in The Music Industry as An Entry-Level Employee

It's often said that it's not what you know, but who you know. This is especially true when it comes to landing your first job in the music industry.

However, there is one surefire way to get your foot in the door: start your career as an entry-level employee. Many of the biggest names in the business got their start working behind the scenes in humble positions.

While it may not be the most glamorous way to begin your career, it's a great way to learn about the industry from the ground up and make important connections. Plus, once you've paid your dues and proven yourself, you'll be in a much better position to advance in your career.

How Much Do Entry Level Music Industry Jobs Pay?

How Much Do Entry Level Music Industry Jobs Pay?

When it comes to music industry jobs, entry level salaries can be pretty low. In fact, most entry level jobs start at between $14k and $20k, maybe even less.

So if you're thinking about a career in the music business, you need to be prepared to work for a lower salary than you anticipated. Of course, this is only for the entry level positions – once you've been in the industry for a while and built up your experience, you can expect to earn a lot more.

But in the meantime, you need to be prepared to do this for years on end to reap the long-term benefits while your friends will likely climb up their corporate jobs a lot quicker. Keep this in mind when making your decision – it's not an easy road, but it can be very rewarding if you're prepared to stick with it.

Work Your Way Up The Ladder and Learn New Skills Along the Way

Work Your Way Up The Ladder and Learn New Skills Along the Way

It isn't necessarily the time you accrue in the industry that's important; it's what you do with that time.

Use your entry-level position as an opportunity to learn as much as you can and develop new skills. The more knowledge and experience you have, the better equipped you'll be to move up the ladder.

Not only will learning new skills make you more valuable to your employer, but it will also give you a competitive edge when applying for higher-level positions.

Use every opportunity to shadow your superiors and absorb as much information as you can. Before long, you'll be the one teaching the new kids on the block!

Get Involved with Different Aspects of The Music Industry

You would be insane to do the bare minimum at your entry level music industry job and then go home… There is SO much you can learn by getting involved with different aspects of the industry.

For example, if you're working as a studio assistant, take the time to sit in on recording sessions and learn about the engineering process. If you're working as a concert promoter, try your hand at booking shows.

The more varied experience you have, the better. Not only will it make you more well-rounded, but it will also give you a better understanding of the industry as a whole.

And who knows? You might just find your true passion along the way. There have been so many people in the music industry who thought they wanted to do one thing but ended up doing something completely different! What allowed them to pivot was having a good foundation of knowledge to work from.

Bottom line: get involved, learn as much as you can, and don't be afraid to try new things. The music industry is always changing, so the more flexible you are, the better.

Consider The Competition

It's no secret that building a career in the music business is a competitive endeavor. There are always going to be people inside your company who are vying for your position, and there's an ever-growing pool of talented hopefuls outside your company who would love to take your place.

So, if you're not willing to put in the extra work to stand out from the crowd, you might find yourself on the sidelines. But if you're up for the challenge, you could find yourself building a successful and rewarding career in the music business.

Who knows, with enough hard work and dedication, you might just find yourself at the top of the heap.

Make Connections and Network with Other Professionals

I have to write it again, sorry but “it's not what you know, but who you know.”

You could be the most talented person in the world, but if you don't have any connections in the industry, it will be very difficult to get your foot in the door.

When you first start out, you do not know anybody, but being personable, showing up, doing the work, not doing the bare minimum, looking out for people, and having an overall good attitude will take you very far.

You also want to find a way to make yourself indispensable. When people think of your role in the music industry, they should also think of you.

You can make connections by going to industry events, such as conferences, seminars, studio sessions, and workshops. These are great places to meet other professionals and learn about new opportunities.

Another great way to connect with other professionals is through social media. Many music industry insiders use Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to network with each other.

Follow the hashtags for your city or for music industry events, and start connecting with people in your area.

Stay Positive and Motivated, No Matter What Challenges You Face

Very important! No matter how discouraged you get, don't give up on your dreams. The music industry is notoriously tough, and there will be times when it feels like you're not making any progress.

But if you stay positive and consistent, eventually, all your hard work will pay off. Remember why you wanted this career to begin with, and let that drive you to keep going, even when the going gets tough.

Persevere Through Tough Times and Keep Chasing Your Dreams

If you're chasing a dream, especially one in the music business, you're going to face some tough times. You might have to work unpaid overtime, put in evening and weekend shifts, and have the shortest lunch breaks imaginable.

You'll probably also have to deal with insane deadlines, copious amounts of pressure, and more.

But if you're passionate about what you're doing, it's all worth it. After all, building your way up in the music business is no easy feat. You have to be dedicated, hardworking, and resilient. 

Final Words

If you're looking to start a career in the music business, it's important to remember that it's a competitive field. However, if you're willing to put in the extra work, you can stand out from the crowd and build a successful career.

One of the best ways to start out in the music business is by getting an entry-level job. This will give you the opportunity to learn about the industry and make connections with other professionals.

It's also important to stay positive and motivated, no matter what challenges you face. Persevere through tough times and keep chasing your dreams, and eventually you'll achieve success.

About Author

Arielle P

Arielle P

Songwriter | Music Producer | Engineer.

With a background in music production and a strong passion for education, Arielle is dedicated to helping emerging artists navigate the music industry. She has worked with a diverse range of artists, from indie rock bands to well-known hip-hop and grime artists. Arielle's unique approach to teaching focuses on empowering artists to take control of their brand, ensuring they retain creative ownership throughout their journey. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with new sounds in her home studio and sharing her insights through music production tutorials and workshops.

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