The music industry is an eclectic beast and getting your foot in the door is step one. Diverse opportunities await for persistent artists and even those trying to gain technical experience. There’s something for everyone in music if you know where to look and especially if you know the right people. Here’s a quick look at some key jobs in the industry:

1. Performing Artist

From soloist to tribute band, the number one thing you can do is put yourself out there and find a gig. Being a performance artist has great perks and so many opportunities exist beyond simply being on the stage:

Wedding/Events Performer:

Consider booking weddings or special events to get your name out there and network. It’s all about experience on the stage and this is a great starting point.

Cruise Ship Performer:

If you already have some stage experience, a great way to fill out some more of your resume is to perform on cruise ships.

Background Singer:

Working for hire as a background singer is a great way to meet other performers. Not only will you gain experience, but you’ll also get to share part of the spotlight too.

Wedding or Event DJ:

There are so many ways to be in the spotlight and learning to DJ or using skills you already have can also help you network with important local venues and hopefully gain that regular gig you’re looking for. Major perk - you get to party all night long!

2. Mixing Engineer

There’s way more to making music than simply performing. Another great gig in the music industry is becoming a music editor or mixing engineer.

As a mixing engineer, you’ll be working on creating the final product and helping artists and other professionals design a flawless recording. You’ll either want to gain experience through an internship or study the art of music engineering at a reputable institution. There are a plethora of ways to get started:

Assistant Engineer:

You can start out working with someone who has more experience until you gain the skills to move up in the industry. Becoming an assistant engineer allows you access to all the equipment and tools you need to hone your craft.

Mixing Music for Amateur or College Athletes:

Here’s a niche market to help you gain some experience in music mixing - there’s a certain demand for creating songs that fit sports routines. Think figure skating, dance, gymnastics, and baton. These routines require a professional to create a musical routine for local competition and beyond.


Applying for an internship in the music industry is a great option - especially for young professionals looking to network or gain references. Of course, it’s unwise to work for free indefinitely - but a short stint as an intern can help with gaining experience and meeting others in the industry.

3. Songwriter, Composer, or Lyricist

Another avenue into the music industry is to work behind the scenes as a songwriter, ghostwriter, or composer. Many artists write and create their own music however many hire composers to introduce new material. Here is a breakdown of each position:


Have a knack for writing music? Being a songwriter is a great option. As a songwriter, it’s about creating original material for other artists. Be willing to produce demos and play multiple instruments to help match the perfect tune to the performer.


Lyricists are adept at creating original lyrics for artists, commercials and more. Think catchy jingles on websites, advertising, or even educational material. A lyricist adds depth in lyrics to suit the genre.


Being a composer means creating original music and media for films, television series, commercials and even video games. There are so many niche markets in music composition for those who have the talent and put in the hard work.

4. The “Top” Job

There are some great opportunities in the music industry and sticking with it means eventually working your way to the lead role - and that doesn’t always mean being on center stage. If you have what it takes to manage a group or lead a production, being in charge is the way to go. Here are some of the music industry’s top gigs:


Learning to become a successful music producer means overseeing the entire music making process from beginning to end. The producer chooses the final cut and works with artists, sound engineers, and everyone in between.


Successful artists need an agent to help them manage the day-to-day. An agent helps establish tour stops, dates, times, and daily schedules. They negotiate fees, artist pay and legal matters. Being an agent requires an immense amount of energy. Those who can handle it reap the benefits.

Promotion Manager

In this role, helping artists publicize themselves is key. This means creating opportunities for artist promotion including interviews, live performances and special events. Your job is to preserve a good public image for the artist and make sure their name appears in all the right places.

Find Your Place

Even if you have no experience, there’s a place for everyone in the industry. It’s your persistence that will help you discover the best opportunities. If you know where to look, you’ll find your way backstage in no time!

Author's Bio: 

Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.