6 jobs that let you listen to music while you work
Press play on your career with these top jobs for music lovers.
If you were ever a high school band geek, budding rock star or just a serious music junkie, you might have endured cluck-clucking from concerned parents who scoffed at the idea that you could incorporate your passion into your future paycheck—but we’ve got good news.
There are ways to make music a key part of your workday, even if that just means listening to it. Now, we don’t just mean popping in earbuds to drown out noisy co-workers (although that’s helpful in lots of jobs), but actually listening to music for good reason, and as part of your 9-to-5.
Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, Monster found six jobs that will help you jam out worry-free and move your career forward.
Why: Few jobs let you listen to more music more carefully than audio engineering—making sure every sound is perfect for the song and every mix is balanced. And for some, audio engineering is a job that leads to travel, too. “Music literally took me around the world,” says IRKO, a multi-platinum award winning audio engineer who has worked with the likes of Kanye West, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and Jay-Z.
What you’d need: As an audio engineer, you may or may not need a postsecondary degree, depending on the job and the level of experience required. However, given the quickly changing nature of the position, audio engineers often enroll in classes, training sessions, and certifications to stay up to speed on the latest audio software and hardware.
What you’d make: $63,340 average annual salary
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Why: Are you the music expert among your friends? The person who takes control of the music at every party? Being a DJ might be a perfect fit for you, and a surefire way to listen to music on the job.
What you’d need: You won’t need a specific degree to be a DJ, but you will need a lot of self-motivation to hustle for your next gig and to stay on top of popular music. You’ll also need to get good at branding yourself and building your business to ensure a steady lineup of gigs.
What you’d make: $36.30 per hour
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Why: As lead singer of U2 Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” If you like teaching and playing music, becoming a music teacher is a natural career path, and one where listening to your students play is a big part of the job.
What you’d need: To teach in most public schools, you’ll need to get a degree in education and music, which you can often achieve simultaneously. You’ll also need to pass various proficiency tests in music, which depends on your state and certification. Check out “How to Become a Music Teacher” on teacher.org to learn more.
What you’d make: $76,710
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Why: If you like to tinker with musical instruments, speakers, amplifiers, and other equipment, starting a career as an electronics technician focused on music repair might be the right choice. What’s the best way to know you’ve fixed the equipment? Play it or put on your favorite track, and listen away.
What you’d need: Along with an associate degree in electrical engineering, technicians often take courses in computer programming, since many musical instruments and related equipment now include computers.
What you’d make: $61,130
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Why: Also known as conductors, careers in music direction can take many different paths: from scoring for television and film, to overseeing programs at churches, schools, and other locations. But no matter where you’re doing the composing, a love of music is key.
What you’d need: Usually, a Bachelor of Music degree is required, particularly for jobs in education. But however you obtained it, you’ll need to be 100% proficient in reading music, scoring, and in most cases conducting. You’ll also need the ability to work with a large number of stakeholders (think of directing an orchestra or a choir).
What you’d make: $49,820
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Why: Yes, you read this correctly. And while it’s true that a love of music is probably not the top motivator for most surgeons to choose this grueling yet rewarding profession, many surgeons do listen to music while they perform operations, as it has been proven to increase the quality of their work by lowering stress.
What you’d need: Surgeons, like other physicians, require years of schooling, including four years of undergrad, four years of medical school, plus three to seven years of internships and residency programs, according to BLS.
What you’d make: $247,520
Find surgeon jobs on Monster.