August 1 marks the 35th anniversary of MTV. From the day it arrived in our living rooms (with a short film played to the sound the "Video Killed the Radio Star"), MTV and music videos in general have had an extraordinary impact on our culture. But in addition to giving us new ways to think about music as visual art and broadcast media, MTV also ushered in a new era in both the music and TV industries. Music industry jobs became more attractive to job seekers. Over the course of MTV's reign, new jobs and career options in these industries began to proliferate. Doors opened for talented, passionate music lovers who were statistically unlikely to become the next Rolling Stones. The music industry is still changing. If you know that this industry holds the key to your future — even if you don't expect to become a rockstar — consider any of the six fulfilling options below.
Artist and Repertoire Representative
A&R representatives seek out talented musicians on behalf of record companies. Their purpose is to facilitate contracts between the two parties. In this role, you'll work for a record label or a talent management company in either a full-time or agent capacity. You'll earn between $25,000 and $85,000 depending on the size of your company and the terms of your agreement.
As an engineer or sound production specialist, you'll record, mix and manipulate sound in a recording studio. You will likely use high tech equipment. This position nets an average salary of about $45,000 and can be done in a full-time or freelance capacity.
As an on online journalist or reviewer, you can use your own blog to report on the latest events in the music industry. If you monetize your articles carefully — by advertising or selling merchandise through your site — it's not uncommon to make well over $100,000 per year. Music industry jobs like this can't be done well without extra effort, however. You will need to network effectively and market extremely well to reach this threshold.
A clinician is a music expert who attends conferences in order to offer lectures, workshops, or seminars to academic (or corporate) audiences. Clinicians may also be composers, conductors, music teachers, or performers as well. The compensation for this role varies, but some clients pay well into the thousands for each engagement. This is something to consider if you want to earn supplemental income while pursuing your chosen career path.
Concert promoters work with artists and their managers to organize tours and performances. They also strive to boost ticket sales at these events. Salaries for this role increase with higher profile bands and larger events. At the top, compensation can approach one million or more.
A Foley artist creates ambient sounds in a movie or television show. That includes the sounds of breaking glass, footsteps, sword fights, and much more. (Surprise! These sounds are not made by the performers or on the set.) These "extra" sounds must be added in, and are often created in innovative ways. Foley artists work for film and TV companies and they usually make an average of $45,000 to $60,000 per year. This is quite different from other music industry jobs, but it will challenge you nonetheless.
For more on how to step into the music industry without necessarily stepping onto the stage, explore the job search tools available on MyPerfectResume.