Musicians and Singers

The occupation code you requested, 27-2042.02 (Musicians, Instrumental), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 27-2042.00 (Musicians and Singers) instead.

Play one or more musical instruments or sing. May perform on stage, for broadcasting, or for sound or video recording.

Sample of reported job titles: Choir Member, Gospel Singer, Musician, Opera Singer, Orchestra Musician, Percussionist, Singer, Singing Telegram Performer, Tenor, Vocalist

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Perform before live audiences in concerts, recitals, educational presentations, and other social gatherings.
  • Sing a cappella or with musical accompaniment.
  • Interpret or modify music, applying knowledge of harmony, melody, rhythm, and voice production to individualize presentations and maintain audience interest.
  • Specialize in playing a specific family of instruments or a particular type of music.
  • Sing as a soloist or as a member of a vocal group.
  • Observe choral leaders or prompters for cues or directions in vocal presentation.
  • Memorize musical selections and routines, or sing following printed text, musical notation, or customer instructions.
  • Play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras, ensembles, or bands.
  • Sight-read musical parts during rehearsals.
  • Play from memory or by following scores.
  • Practice singing exercises and study with vocal coaches to develop voice and skills and to rehearse for upcoming roles.
  • Listen to recordings to master pieces or to maintain and improve skills.
  • Teach music for specific instruments.
  • Provide the musical background for live shows, such as ballets, operas, musical theatre, and cabarets.
  • Audition for orchestras, bands, or other musical groups.
  • Seek out and learn new music suitable for live performance or recording.
  • Make or participate in recordings in music studios.
  • Promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other activities.
  • Make or participate in recordings.
  • Research particular roles to find out more about a character, or the time and place in which a piece is set.
  • Learn acting, dancing, and other skills required for dramatic singing roles.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes.
  • Direct bands or orchestras.
  • Compose songs or create vocal arrangements.
  • Arrange and edit music to fit style and purpose.
  • Improvise music during performances.
  • Collaborate with a manager or agent who handles administrative details, finds work, and negotiates contracts.
  • Compose original music, such as popular songs, symphonies, or sonatas.
  • Perform in television, radio, or movie productions.
  • Practice performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music or to maintain and improve skills.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

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.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • 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 materials.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
  • Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  • Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
  • Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
  • Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
  • Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?

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Experience Requirements

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 hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

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.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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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.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • 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.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • 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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • 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 that there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Interests

Interest code: AES
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • 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.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

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Work Values

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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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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.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • 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.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • 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.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$30.49 hourly
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
157,300 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Faster than average (10% to 15%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
20,800
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Related Occupations

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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.

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