Music Business Job Options that Build Those in the Spotlight

By Loren Weisman

There are many jobs in the music business that don’t involve writing music or playing music. Are you the architect type? Do you like the kind of work that builds from the ground up and the type that is all about creating the right foundations? Maybe the building-careers job options strike your fancy.

  • Music business consultant: A professional and experienced music business consultant has a wide array of experience and knowledge about the music business and helps artists, labels, managers, and others organize and outline plans for successful ventures.

    The consultant job takes a great deal of music business experience under your belt before jumping into this field. More than 90 percent of music business consultants hurt more than help clients because they take a life coach approach to make up for lack of experience, knowledge, or up-to-date information.

  • Graphic designer: Designing logos, merchandise, promotional posters, social media, headers and everything else graphic!

  • Web designer: Designing artist’s websites, merchant pages, landing pages and other web-based music sites.

  • Search engine optimizer/branding content planner: These folks help plan, design, and optimize the content that artists post on blogs, social media sites, and their own websites to build up their rankings in searches and grow the social media fan bases. They’re also referred to as content providers. This is a new and growing field.

  • Recording studio employee: Working at a recording studio from administrative to assistant engineer. This can be a great position to work your way up in the production field.

  • Music producer: The person who oversees the recording project as a whole. The job description of music producer can be wide, or in some cases very narrow.

  • Recording engineer: In some cases, the producer is also the engineer; in other cases, the recording engineer is handling all the aspects from setting up the microphones to getting the basic sounds and working with the producer to capture the songs and the takes.

  • Mixing and mastering engineer(s): Setting the volumes, effects, sounds, equalization, and manipulating the song to where you want it. The mastering engineer takes the final mix and gives it a final two-track review along with setting up the order of the songs, the fades, and the last touch.

  • Photographer: Taking the pictures for branding, web, postings, marketing, and everything else.

  • Videographer: From music videos to interviews, short promotional videos to YouTube video shorts.

  • Fashion consultant: Some artists need help with their look and image. From working individually with the artists or working through a manager or a record label, this job helps create the overall appearance and branded image of an artist or band.

  • Hair and makeup: This job option includes photo shoots and specific gigs, but many larger-scale artists travel with hair and makeup personnel.

  • Sound, light, and stage designer: Designing the lights or the stages for tours and artists with large budgets.

  • Choreographer: Many artists need dancers, and dancers need a choreographer.

  • Instrument builder: Building the instruments for the musicians.

  • A&R (artist and repertoire): Finding musicians and artists is less of a job due to the Internet, but if you have a good ear, an eye for development, and an understanding of what it would cost to develop an artist, you could be in A&R.

Whereas internships can be a great thing, make sure you learn from them. Many internships, especially in the music business, take advantage of those trying to learn by having them do menial tasks that don’t help the intern grow. You have to do some basic tasks, but an internship is about learning, growing, and developing for a potential job or experience. Make sure you get that experience, and you’re not being used as a free worker.