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Music Producer

Education and Training – Various
Average Salary – Various
Job Outlook – Good

Music producers are people who work within the entertainment industry to produce music. This may involve composing music or using electronic music software to put a track together. In the past, music producers were more low-profile, but the modern era has seen a trend towards big name, celebrity music producers such as Dr. Dre.

The job of producing music is one which requires a high level of musical ability. Music producers will need to be able to work closely with artists such as singers and rappers to bring the musical side of their creative vision to life. A Music Producer will also need to be comfortable within a recording studio environment and able to work the necessary equipment used in music production.

Education and Training Requirements

There are no formal educational or training requirements for a music producer. As it is a creative profession it mainly involves ability and people with a wide range of backgrounds get into music production. Some colleges do offer specialist courses in music production and these may be advantageous for an aspiring music producer to study. They are by no means necessary however as big name producers like Kanye West are entirely self-taught.

Training for producing music consists of learning how various music production methods work and how to get good results from them. Powerful modern computers have opened up the ability to produce high quality music to almost anyone. This allows people to train in music production on their home computers.

Getting the Job

Getting regular, paid work as a music producer is very tough. There are a lot of people who see their future in music production and this leads to fierce levels of competition. There are a few regular salaried music producer jobs, such as roles within recording studios who keep an in-house producer on the payroll.

The route that many music producers take towards making money from their work is to get a big name artist to record over one of their productions. This is the quickest and most lucrative way to build a reputation within the music industry and in turn increase demand for further music.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

Job prospects for music producers are a hard thing to quantify as it is such a creative industry with very few fixed, salaried positions. There are indicators that are favorable to the prospects of music producers, such as the rise of digital music and the role the internet plays in exposing music lovers to new sounds they may not otherwise get the chance to hear.

There are different ways the career of a music producer can develop. They may wish to carry on producing music permanently. Others may wish to branch out into other areas of music such as singing or rapping as well as producing. This has worked well for big names such as Kanye West, Dr. Dre, and Alchemist. Some producers aim to start their own record label or land a job such as an A&R role with a major label.

Working Conditions and Environment

The typical working environment for a music producer is the recording studio. Music producers also commonly use their personal computers to work on musical projects. Music producers work irregular hours and irregular times.

Salary and Benefits

Most music producers are self-employed. There are very few salaried positions for music producers and their level of income depends entirely upon how much work they do and how much they charge for it. Some big name producers can charge over $100,000 for a single production. Most music producers are responsible for providing their own health care and other benefits.

Where to Go for More Information

National Association of Schools of Music
11250 Roger Bacon Dr., Ste. 21
Reston, VA 20190

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts