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Until your music career takes off you need to find a way to live. Food and a place to live can't be bought with mere passion.
Yet you need to find a way to keep that passion for music alive and be able to act on opportunity when it arrives. That’s why you need a day job until you break into that music world.
As a musician, you need time to practice your art and keep improving your skills. Opportunity in the music industry can appear in the most unlikely places and you have to be ready to grab hold of that opportunity without putting your basic survival at risk.
What Makes a Good Day Job for Musicians?
The best day jobs for musicians are designed to allow you to continue your pursuit of music must allow flexibility in scheduling, provide a stable income, fit into your current skill set, and hopefully provide at least health insurance.
It is only when your basic needs for food, shelter, and safety are met that you can give your best to your art.
The best day jobs will allow you to do this while still giving you enough room to practice, seek out opportunity, and spend a portion of your day doing what you love most. There are some basic things this type of job have in common. Let's take a look.
The best day jobs for musicians provide a stable income. Whether freelance or an established position, you need to be able to pay rent and buy food. Look for something that will guarantee you enough to buy the basics. So in this article, we will list nine of the best day jobs for musicians.
Let’s get started…
Best Day Jobs for Musicians to Have Time for Your Music
1. Uber Driver
Overview: Uber drivers are like taxi service but drivers are expected to use their own vehicles. You pick passengers up when they book a ride with their phones and all payment is done electronically so you don't have to worry about having a fare skip out without paying or being robbed by someone looking to make easy money.
Average Income: On average, you will end up making between nine and twelve dollars an hour.
There is a required fee that is taken out by Uber and you will need to keep up maintenance and insurance on your own vehicle but the amount of money you make is actually up to you. It can vary depending on the amount of time you work and what locations you accept fares from.
Uber requires you to fill out an application and send them a photo of your vehicle, along with your driver's information and social security number. Once approved, they will send you a sign for your car and set you up with their software. You are ready to go.
2. Music Teacher
Overview: A music teacher can work in a school or other setting teaching students new to music the skills they need. If you work in an established program, you can count on a steady income regardless of the number of students. If you go it alone, you will need to spend time gathering a student base that is reliable.
Average Income: The amount of money you make will depend greatly on where you do your teaching. A job in an established program can see you making anywhere between $15 and $30 an hour while working on your own, you can charge anywhere from $40 to $60 an hour depending on demand.
Getting Started: Follow job boards online and look for open positions. You can approach established music schools and other places that have music programs and ask about open positions. You might even approach some schools without a music program to add one. Your people skills will come in handy when getting into this area.
3. Music Store Clerk
Overview: You will work in a music store and sell customers music-related items that may include sheet music, instruments, or recorded music. Customer service is a large part of this position.
Average Income: You may make minimum wage to start, although managers can expect a higher salary. Your amount of experience and ability to negotiate will help determine what a store is willing to pay for your service.
Getting Started: Walk into any store selling music products and speak with a manager. You will need to fill out an application in most cases and provide references. This is one of those jobs that your ability to be convincing and show how your skills are needed are invaluable.
4. Sound Technician
Overview: As a sound technician, you will work at live music venues or in a recording studio, working the soundboard for other artists. This is a great job for networking.
Average Income: Your income here will depend on how much experience you have and how big the studio you work for happens to be. On average, you can expect anywhere from $10 to $30 an hour, although larger venues may see you making more if you have a great deal of experience.
Getting Started: You can approach any place that requires sound technicians and inquire about openings or you can search for work on established employment boards. These positions are often filled by referral, so spending time in the company of people in the music industry can be beneficial.
5. Private Tutor
Overview: This job requires you to have private students who need extra help with something or want to learn something privately. Ideally, you would be tutoring music, but the subject categories are wide open to sharing any knowledge you have. Many of these tutoring positions are online.
Average Income: Private tutors can make as much as $40 per hour. This can vary, depending on whether you work with a company that takes part of the earnings or you go it alone.
Getting Started: Seek out and apply for positions with established tutoring agencies. If you would like to try tutoring privately on your own, advertise where students are likely to gather, depending on what subject you are looking to tutor.
6. Restaurant Worker
Overview: A restaurant worker can work a variety of positions. You may wait tables, cook, seat guests, or wash dishes. Private catering is also possible. While you aren't working in music, this is a great way to meet music industry people if you work in areas where they congregate.
Average Income: Most restaurant workers make minimum wage but several of the positions leave you the ability to get tips, which can add up in the right establishment.
Getting Started: One of the easiest positions to find, you can walk into any eating establishment and speak with a manager or leave an application. If you know someone that works in this area already, referrals work extremely well.
7. Office Clerk
Overview: The typical office clerk does things like data entry, correspondence, answering phones, and scheduling appointments. You may be expected to run errands.
Average Income: Average income for an office clerk is $20 an hour, but this can be higher in more upscale office buildings and can increase with experience.
Getting Started: Most office clerk positions are filled through employment agencies, both permanent and temporary. These will require you to fill out an application and perform some minor tests to establish your ability to do the work.
8. Freelance Writer
Overview: Freelance writers offer their services to a variety of clients. They may write a letter or sales copy. Some maintain a blog or be hired to write an e-book. Often this work is done anonymously, with the client getting credit for the work.
Average Income: Freelance writers can be paid as poorly as $3 an hour or as much as $50 or more an hour. All of this depends on the type of content you write, where you get your assignments, and how quickly you can write.
Getting Started: Advertise your availability or sign up for an established site that pairs writers with clients seeking a writer, such as Writer's Access. Do a little research online at sites that cater to freelance writers in order to know which sites to try and which to avoid.
Overview: A YouTuber creates content to place online for viewers to enjoy. These can be how-to videos, performance videos, or any other subject matter that can be done regularly and that draws a base of viewers.
Average Income: Income varies widely and often increases with time and effort. Your income will depend upon your ability to get sponsors and join affiliate programs. Donations are often the mainstay of your income so you will need to make your topic engaging and post new content often.
Getting Started: Decide what you would like to spend time on and create your first video. Upload the video to YouTube and announce it on all the social media channels, asking for shares. Keep creating and uploading material.
Final Thoughts on Day Jobs for Musicians
As a musician, you want nothing more than to breathe, eat, and live your passion but this takes time.
When your basic needs are not taken care of, you have no time and energy available to pursue that goal. Take a deeper look into the above best jobs for musicians and you will find the weight of basic survival lifting from your shoulders.
When that happens, you have both time and energy to pursue your passion. Success may take time, but with persistence, it can be achieved. Don't take your eyes off that final goal and the day when you can quit your day job and focus on your musical career.
And if you're looking for more ideas on finding a job that fits you, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 10 Happiest Jobs in America (and How to Get Them)
- 27 Jobs that Help People in Need
- 23 Best Low-Stress Jobs for People with Anxiety
Finally, if you want to find the best career for your personality, then take this FREE career test that matches your personality and interests to real-world careers.