Employment of musicians and singers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations. Growth will be attributed to increases in demand for musical performances.
Digital downloads and streaming platforms make it easier for fans to listen to recordings and view performances. Easier access to recordings gives musicians more publicity and grows interest in their work, and concertgoers may become interested in seeing them perform live. Moreover, some musicians and singers license their music for use in advertisements or other commercial purposes, which creates more exposure and additional revenue opportunities.
There may be some additional demand for musicians to serve as session musicians and backup artists for recordings and to go on tour. Singers may be needed to sing backup and to make recordings for commercials, films, and television.
However, employment growth will likely be limited in orchestras, opera companies, and other musical groups because they can have difficulty getting funding. Some musicians and singers work for nonprofit organizations that rely on donations, government funding, and corporate sponsorships in addition to ticket sales to fund their work. During economic downturns, these organizations may have trouble finding enough funding to cover their expenses.
There will be tough competition for jobs because of the large number of people who are interested in becoming musicians and singers. Many musicians and singers experience periods of unemployment, and there will likely be considerable competition for full-time positions.
Musicians and singers with exceptional musical talent and dedication should have the best opportunities.
Musicians and Singers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers
Musicians and singers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program