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Summary Report for:
27-2042.02 - Musicians, Instrumental

Play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

Sample of reported job titles: Musician, Violinist, Horn Player, Oboist, Orchestra Musician, Percussionist, Violist, Cellist, Clarinetist, English Horn Player

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Practice musical instrument performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music and to maintain and improve skills.
  • Perform before live audiences.
  • Specialize in playing a specific family of instruments or a particular type of music.
  • Play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras, ensembles, or bands.
  • Play from memory or by following scores.
  • Sight-read musical parts during rehearsals.
  • Audition for orchestras, bands, or other musical groups.
  • Provide the musical background for live shows such as ballets, operas, musical theatre, and cabarets.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes.
  • Promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other activities.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Accessories for stringed instruments — Capos; String cutters; String winders; Stringed instrument bows
Drum stick — Drum mallets; Wooden drum sticks
Metronomes — Electronic metronomes
Microphones — Clip-on microphones
Musical instrument stand — Cymbal stands; Guitar stands

Technology used in this occupation:

Desktop publishing software — Avid Technology Sibelius; MakeMusic Finale software
Electronic mail software — Email software
Instant messaging software — Snapchat *; Twitter *
Music or sound editing software — Apple GarageBand; Avid Technology Pro Tools; iZotope Ozone
Web page creation and editing software — Blogging software; Facebook *; Instagram *

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

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Skills

Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Abilities

Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.

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Work Activities

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

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Work Context

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 79% responded “Extremely important.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 87% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 63% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Sitting — 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Contact With Others — 61% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 66% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Physical Proximity — 67% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 64% responded “Extremely important.”
Time Pressure — 41% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
32   Some college, no degree
26   Less than high school diploma
21   Bachelor's degree

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Credentials

Find Training

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Interests

Interest code: AE

Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

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Related Occupations

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27-2042.01 Singers
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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Musicians and Singers.
Employment data collected from Musicians and Singers.
Industry data collected from Musicians and Singers.

Median wages (2013) $23.74 hourly
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 167,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 53,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Musicians and Singers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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