Music Producer Jobs

When people think of a music producer job, they may likely picture Pharrell Williams, T-Bone Burnett, or Dr. Dre—major producers who head their own production companies and manage a variety of different artists with the aid of their employees. This is not the only avenue for music producers, however. In fact, here are a number of different options that might be more realistic an attainable for the aspiring producer today.

Recording Studio Owner and Manager

Those looking to formulate a music production career might want to consider opening their own independent studio rather than looking for jobs as an in-house producer. A studio owner will have to recruit artists early on to establish the business, and will likely have to take on a multitude of recording duties at first, ranging from sound mixing to PR. There is also a significant financial risk involved in opening a small business, but in the end it can be far more personally rewarding—and the job security can be even better, since essentially, you are your own boss.

Independent Label Producer

Another job option for music producers is that of the indie label producer. Acquiring one of these positions is a great way for budding producers to make names for themselves within a specific niche or genre. While it is still important for any producer to familiarize him or herself with a variety of musical styles, a production job at an independent label will allow producers to put their more specific musical talents to use. This may not always be possible at a larger label that caters primarily to the pop music genre.

Music Production Teacher

Those with a Master’s degree in music production or a related field can also opt to teach courses at a college or university. Individuals are not relegated to teaching music production classes alone, but can also teach to their strengths, whether they happen to lie in digital music software, composition, musical theory, or sound engineering. This can be a great option either for those who decide teaching is their vocation, or for those who have been having difficult breaking into other avenues of the industry and need to bring in a salary in the interim.

Composer and Songwriter

While all music producers will work closely with recording artists, some end up focusing more on the composition and songwriting aspect of the job. In fact, many producers are also songwriters on the side, and will end up writing music for some of the bands signed by their labels. Many musicians, for instance, have incredible vocal ability, but lack compositional skills. In these cases, the producer can double as a composer or writer. Those with musical ability might even consider entering the music production profession from this angle.

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According to a recent Pay scale study, there are currently close to 170,000 music producers employed in the United States. This number is expected to increase slightly in the next five years, though not as rapidly as it has in the past;while job growth in this industry increased over 30% between 2006 and 2010, it is only estimated to be about 1% over the next five years.


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