Pin Me

Information on Music Careers

written by: theMallorys•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 9/1/2010

Here’s some information on music careers you might not know about: There are a lot of people working behind the scenes to turn the artists into big stars. Alternative career choices can include producing, songwriting, law and more.

  • slide 1 of 6

    524237 95452918 

    Information on music careers often highlights the artists you see on stage, in a music video or listen to on the radio. There are many people behind the scenes that make the final album possible, and you may prefer to make your career out of the spotlight.

  • slide 2 of 6

    Music Producer

    Record companies rely on music producers to deliver the best music audio from the artists and songwriters on a finished album or individual recording. You can arrange the songs for artists, and you may have to rewrite the music in the process. Many producers are involved with mixing the music and editing as needed. You would need to learn sound engineering scales when you’re starting out, and as your career grows you can rely on other engineers to do that work. For your time, companies or artists pay a percent of royalties, which are based on sales.

  • slide 3 of 6


    All great songs, and the bad ones, originate with songwriters. It’s rare for musicians signed to a record deal to actually write any or most of their own songs. Record labels often pair up bands and singers with a known songwriter that can deliver hits. If you enjoy writing songs, then labels can turn to you for help. You can also network with music producers, recording studios and artists to pitch songs to them. Your song can end up on a demo being shopped to the record labels, or used as part of an independently produced and marketed CD. As for payment, expect a small payment upfront, but the bulk of your money will be earned as a percent of royalties. It’s important to copyright your songs, whether or not they are used or recorded. The cost is $35 per copyright form, available the United States Library of Congress office. You’re allowed to submit as many songs as you would like for each form.

  • slide 4 of 6

    Music Law Attorney

    When considering music careers, you should consider the business side of music. If you’ve always wanted a music career, but lack any musical or performance talents, then consider becoming a music law attorney. You can help to protect the rights of your clients, and be in the middle of finding and landing business opportunities for them. The educational requirements consist of a four year Bachelor’s degree, a Juris Doctor earned from a law school and passing the bar exam. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to live in New York or California to practice music law, although you may have to travel to those states once in a while. There are budding and established artists who live everywhere and could use the help of an attorney who understands contract law, is a great negotiator and can establish contacts with others in the music industry. Attorneys earn anywhere from $50,000 to $106,000 per year.

  • slide 5 of 6

    Personal Manager

    No roundup of music careers can be complete without discussion of the personal manager. You become everything to artists and bands, because you are often in charge of their music career. As a personal manager, you stand in between the public and companies, and the artists. Everyone would have to go through you to discuss new business opportunities, booking engagements, interviews and anything else concerning the artists you represent. You can represent music producers and songwriters, too. A typical payment for personal managers is five to 20 percent of what the artist earns.

  • slide 6 of 6

    Making contacts in the music industry is more important than researching information on music careers. You can start today by finding record label personnel, artists, songwriters and music producers on Twitter or Facebook.

    Image Credit: Mario Alberto Magallanes Trejo