Careers in music

The music industry offers a range of roles. You could work on the business side (artist management, lawyer, accountant, human resources, marketing) or focus more on the music (A&R, studio engineer, producer). 

Be prepared to develop a portfolio of roles, whether in music administration, management or performance, possibly combining teaching with freelance work, as well as doing contract/session work. It may take several years to establish yourself in this creative industry, so a strong network of contacts is important. 

The following websites offer information on the range of jobs and career progression in this field:

Types of jobs in music

Performing

Recording and producing 

Music Education

Music Health 

The creative industry has faced many challenges with Covid-19, and a number of initiatives have been introduced to support musicians. For more information visit Sector Specific Support for those affected by COVID-19.

Entry routes into music

Due to the vast number of jobs available, there isn't one specific entry route to get into this career.

Many people who go into this industry have music degrees but depending on the role you’re interested in, musicianship and/or experience count for more in some cases. Networking and personal references/ recommendations are also vital.

Entry for orchestras and opera houses is through an audition commonly followed by a trial period where you’ll be paid on a sessional basis.

Getting experience in music

There are lots of opportunities to get experience whilst at Birmingham. Browse the list of Guild of Students: Student groups for any that are relevant to your interest in music, put on a club night, join a band, DJ, join fellow musicians and check out opportunities to perform, perhaps at a charity event or venue near to the University.

Explore ways you can volunteer your creative skills to support different projects, especially during the pandemic. Sometime is a Birmingham based agency offering a platform for freelancers and creatives to help solve problems arising from Covid-19.

If you want to work in the music industry, it's essential that you make contacts. Social media is excellent for this and a brilliant way to share your passion with others in the area you want to break into. LinkedIn is also worth joining to build your professional network and join relevant groups.

AIM (The Association for Independent Music) has a networking calendar open to non-members.  Check out other music industry trade bodies for similar events programmes.

Look for internships by visiting company websites and apply speculatively too. Use the Music Week jod directory and other relevant publications such as The Unsigned Guide.

The University of Birmingham offers work experience bursaries for any student in their first, second or penultimate year of study. For more details visit the internship funding pages.

Creative Access provides opportunities for paid internships in the creative industries for talented people from under-represented backgrounds.

Careers Network advertises internships on Careers Connect.

Finding a job in music

There are lots of specialist websites that you can find through researching your chosen career area. 

Specialist music recruitment agencies

Not found what you're looking for? Contact Careers Network.

Colleges

Professional Services