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Musicians and Singers Job Outlook

Employment of musicians and singers is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Expected growth will be due to increases in demand for musical performances.

The number of people attending musical performances, such as orchestra, opera, and rock concerts, is expected to increase from 2010 to 2020. As a result, more musicians and singers will be needed to play at these performances.

There will be additional demand for musicians to serve as session musicians and backup artists for recordings and to go on tour. Singers will be needed to sing backup and to make recordings for commercials, films, and television.

However, growth will likely be limited as orchestras, opera companies, and other musical groups have difficulty getting funding. Some musicians and singers work for nonprofit organizations that rely on donations 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.

Job Prospects

Despite expected growth, there should be strong competition for jobs because of the large number of workers who are interested in becoming musicians and singers. In particular, there will likely be considerable competition for full-time positions.

Musicians and singers with exceptional musical talent should have the best opportunities.

Many musicians and singers experience periods of unemployment.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition