Skip navigation

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: Cellist, English Horn Player, Horn Player, Musician, Oboist, Orchestra Musician, Percussionist, Timpanist, Violinist, Violist

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed 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 or to maintain and improve skills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform before live audiences in concerts, recitals, educational presentations, and other social gatherings. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Specialize in playing a specific family of instruments or a particular type of music. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras, ensembles, or bands. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Sight-read musical parts during rehearsals. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Play from memory or by following scores. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Listen to recordings to master pieces or to maintain and improve skills. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Teach music for specific instruments. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Provide the musical background for live shows such as ballets, operas, musical theatre, and cabarets. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Audition for orchestras, bands, or other musical groups. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Make or participate in recordings in music studios. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct bands or orchestras. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Arrange and edit music to fit style and purpose. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Improvise music during performances. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Accessories for stringed instruments — Capos; String cutters; String winders; Stringed instrument bows See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Accordions See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Alto horns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Audio amplifier — Amplifiers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bagpipes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Banjoes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Baritone horns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Basses — Double basses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bassoon — Bassoons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bells — Handbells See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bongoes — Bongo drums See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bugles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clarinets — Bb clarinets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Clavichords See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cymbals — Orchestral cymbals See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drum stick — Drum mallets; Wooden drum sticks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drums — Kettle drums See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electronic instrument tuner — Digital tuners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • English horns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Euphonium — Euphoniums See more occupations related to this tool.
  • French horns See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Guitars — Acoustic guitars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Harps See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Harpsichords See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Instrument strings or picks — Finger picks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mandolins See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Maracas See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Marching bells See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Marimbas See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mellophones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metronomes — Electronic metronomes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Microphones — Clip-on microphones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical cornets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical flutes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical instrument stand — Cymbal stands; Guitar stands See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical instrument stands or sheet holders — Sheet music stands See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Musical organs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Mutes — Instrument mutes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Oboes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pianos See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Piccoloes — Piccolos See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Saxophones — Alto saxophones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Sousaphones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Synthesizer — Synthesizers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Timpanies — Timpani See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Trombones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Trumpets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tuba — Tubas See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tuning forks — Instrument tuning forks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Vibraphones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Viola — Violas See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Violins See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Violoncellos — Cellos See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Xylophones See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Zither — Autoharps; Dulcimers See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Accounting software — Financial tracking software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Calendar and scheduling software — Appointment scheduling software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Instant messaging software — Snapchat; Twitter See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Music or sound editing software — Apple GarageBand; Avid Technology Pro Tools; Avid Technology Sibelius; iZotope Ozone (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Video creation and editing software — YouTube Hot technology See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Web page creation and editing software — Blogging software; Facebook Hot technology ; Instagram See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

back to top

Knowledge

  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

  • Practice athletic or artistic skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Perform music for the public. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Study details of musical compositions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Train others on performance techniques. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Audition for roles. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Perform for recordings. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Promote products, activities, or organizations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create musical compositions, arrangements or scores. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinate musical rehearsals or performances. See more occupations related to this activity.

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 88% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 84% responded “Extremely competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 82% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 78% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 65% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 75% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 56% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 56% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 60% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 51% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 43% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 37% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 34% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 35% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 26% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 28% responded “Minor results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 28% responded “Never.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 32% responded “Limited freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

back to top

Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
38   Bachelor's degree
21   Master's degree
13   High school diploma or equivalent Help

back to top

Credentials

Find Training

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

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 (2015) $24.20 hourly
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 173,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Slower than average (2% to 4%) Slower than average (2% to 4%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 56,300
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs

back to top

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, 2016-17 Edition.

back to top