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Berklee Releases 2012 Study, ‘Music Careers in Dollars and Cents’

Berklee College of Music in Boston is releasing an updated version of its comprehensive directory of salary ranges for U.S. music positions including performance, business, audio technology, education, and music therapy. First released in 2010, “Music Careers in Dollars and Cents” has been revised for 2012 to keep up with a constantly changing industry.

New features include updated salary and job information; and more detailed salary ranges for many positions, such as TV and Film Score Composer, Music Supervisor, and Songwriter/Lyricist. Job titles that were not included in the previous edition—such as Videogame Composer, Film Score Conductor, and Concert Hall Manager—have ben added. Also new are a flowchart on negotiating a job offer and a resources section that includes professional music organizations and associations, along with artist revenue trends with information from the Future of Music Coalition’s recent survey.

Berklee reports that the study shows salaries trending upwards for certain positions (Orchestral Musician, Assistant Professor, Public Relations Specialist), while others are seeing a decline (Commercial Jingle Composer, A&R Representative, Music Education Administrator). Some changes are due to more comprehensive data collection, but market factors are also at work.

“It’s important to remember: Despite our best research efforts, all salaries represent only ranges, dependent on numerous variables,” says Peter Spellman, Director of Berklee’s Career Development Center. “There is downward pressure on many music performance salaries right now due to the slowing global economic recovery, changing perceptions of music’s value, and hyper competition. Thus, all the more reason for musicians to expand their repertoire of both musical and professional skills in this transforming industry.”

“Music Careers in Dollars and Cents” also includes an expanded Emerging Career Paths section highlighting current positions that are expected to experience continued growth in the coming years. These titles include Mobile Music App Developer, Social Media Manager, Integrated Marketing, Content Acquisition, Audio Advertising Producer, Online Video Music Teacher, and Creative Arts Therapist.

In addition to emerging careers, the study covers a broad range of more traditional music-related fields—including orchestral, Broadway, and studio musician—with information on union rates and scales; choir director; arranger; conductor; instrument maker; A&R representative; artist manager; music attorney; Live Sound; record producer and engineer; audiologist; and music teacher.

Berklee’s “Music in Dollars and Cents” study, produced by the college’s Career Development Center, is the result of months of research and revisions. The report aims to be the most comprehensive and user-friendly resource of its kind—not only for the Berklee community, but for the music industry at large.

Download Berklee’s ‘Music in Dollars and Cents 2012 Edition’ as a PDF document.

Visit Berklee College of Music’s Career Development Center.