Music Professionals write, arrange, orchestrate, conduct and perform musical compositions.

A skill level equal to a Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed. High levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest are also important.

Tasks

  • creating melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structures to express ideas and emotions in musical form
  • translating ideas and concepts into standard musical signs and symbols for reproduction and performance
  • undertaking research and liaising with clients when composing musical backing for television commercials, popular recordings, and radio, television and film productions
  • auditioning and selecting musicians and Singers
  • selecting music for performances and assigning instrumental parts to musicians
  • directing musical groups at rehearsals and performances to achieve desired effects such as tonal and harmonic balance, rhythm and tempo
  • studying and rehearsing repertoire and musical scores prior to performances
  • playing music in recital, as an accompanist, or as a member of an orchestra, band or other musical group, from score and by memory
  • performing music and songs according to interpretation, direction and style of presentation, using highly developed aural skills to reproduce music

Job Titles

  • Composer
  • Music Director
  • Musician (Instrumental), or Instrumentalist
  • Singer or Vocalist
  • Oher Music Professionals
  • Composer

    Writes new and rearranges existing musical compositions such as songs, operas, symphonies, musical scores and advertising jingles.

    Specialisations: Music Arranger, Songwriter

  • Music Director

    Conducts choirs, orchestras, bands, ensembles, opera companies and musical performances.

    Specialisations: Band Leader, Choral Director, Orchestra Conductor

  • Musician (Instrumental), or Instrumentalist

    Entertains by playing one or more musical instruments.

    Specialisations: Drummer, Guitarist, Pianist, Violinist

  • Singer or Vocalist

    Entertains by singing songs.

    Specialisations: Band Singer, Chorister, Commercial Singer (Advertising), Jazz Singer, Opera Singer, Pop Singer, Rock Singer

  • Oher Music Professionals

    Includes Music Copyist, Music Researcher, Musicologist

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    Unavailable
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    12200
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    57.4%
  • Female Share

    42.6%
  • Full-Time Share

    43.3%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 12,200 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 5,001 and 10,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • Music Professionals work in most parts of Australia.
  • They mainly work in: Arts and Recreation Services; Education and Training; and Retail Trade.
  • Part-time work is very common. Full-time workers, on average, work 40.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • The average age is 36 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years).
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are male.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200513100
20069500
200712400
200815700
20099800
20108200
201110100
20129900
201311300
201411600
201512200
202013100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMusic ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
Full-time43.368.4
Part-time56.731.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)40.340

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Arts and Recreation Services86.2
Education and Training9.3
Retail Trade1.9
Information Media and Telecommunications1.7
Other Industries0.9

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateMusic ProfessionalsAll Jobs Average
NSW40.231.8
VIC1725.5
QLD23.719.8
SA5.76.8
WA11.111.2
TAS1.62
NT0.71.1
ACT01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketMusic ProfessionalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-196.6-5.45.4
20-249.4-9.99.9
25-3431.9-23.423.4
35-4415.3-21.721.7
45-5414.7-21.121.1
55-5913.3-8.78.7
60-645.2-5.95.9
65 and Over3.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryMusic ProfessionalsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males57.4Males53.6
Females42.6Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationMusic ProfessionalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate15.4-8.68.6
Bachelor degree43.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV15.4-18.918.9
Year 1225.6-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

A skill level equal to a Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed. High levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest are also important.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Music Professionals who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate well with diverse audiences and work independently.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Fine Arts

    93% Important

    Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

  2. English Language

    65% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  3. Education and Training

    55% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    52% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Foreign Language

    51% Important

    Foreign (non-English) language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar, and pronunciation.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Performing for or Working Directly with the Public

    90% Important

    Performing for, or speaking with, the public. This includes speaking on television, serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

  2. Building Good Relationships

    81% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  3. Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events

    81% Important

    Comparing objects, actions, or events, looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  4. Processing Information

    79% Important

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  5. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    78% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

Occupational Information Network Music Composers and Arrangers Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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