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How to start a career in music

Renowned among your friends for your extensive and legendary Spotify playlists? Music may be your perfect career.

Whether you love playing an instrument, singing a tune, or tinkering with Pro Tools, as a music lover you've do doubt thought about pursuing a career in the industry. But, how should you get started?

Let's not beat around the bush. The music industry is notoriously competitive and hard to get into. If you're willing to put in the work, why not give yourself the chance to pursue your dream?

Is it unrealistic wanting to pursue a career in the music industry?

According to the Australian Government's job outlook for music professionals, employment in the music industry is set to grow by over 8% by 2026. In fact, the number of jobs in the industry has almost doubled since 2018.

As the digital world expands, traditional roles in the industry are growing and opportunities are being created as new technology is created. Now is the perfect time to forge a unique and lasting career in music.

Will I make a decent living?

Again, according the the Australian Government's job outlook service, on average, full-time music professionals make just over $90,000 a year. Of course, your salary is largely based on the specific role you pursue in the industry and how determined you are to establish a successful career.

It's also important to note most jobs in the industry are casual, part-time or contractual. The music industry is at the heart of the gig economy and because of this, many music professionals combine a day job doing something like teaching music with working at night and on the weekends performing. 

As a performance musician, singer, composer or producer with an entrepreneurial mindset, social media and the internet could also be the key to unlocking a successful career in music. Rolling Stone magazine noted recently how the video sharing app TikTok has taken over the music industry and has been the catalyst for the success of some of today's biggest pop artists, both in terms of reach and capital.

Is it worth it to get a qualification in music?

By exploring a qualification in music, you can utilise your knowledge and passion to gain experience and skills in how to create the kind of music you want to listen to, as well as be taken seriously by people further along in the industry.

TAFE Queensland's Diploma of Music (CUA50820) offers Sound Production and Performance streams to tailor your study experience. Our campuses have purpose built studios and equipment to allow you to create the music career of your dreams.

Whether you want to be centre stage as a musician or vocalist, or work behind the scenes as a sound engineer, composer, or music manager, a music qualification can help turn your musical dreams into a reality. As an advanced qualification, you'll find a Diploma of Music (CUA50820) will open doors that are often closed to self taught or entry-level musicians.

How do I switch careers into the music industry?

The beauty of gaining a qualification like a Diploma of Music (CUA50820) is that you can study while you continue to work. You'll be able to work as a performer, composer, or industry professional after completing this course as it will equip you with the fundamental skills and knowledge required to get a job in the industry.

If you're not sure about your next steps, you can begin your studies with a certificate, like our Certificate III in Music (CUA30920), which takes around six months to complete, and dip your toes in the water while you work out your long-term plan. Once you've established that plan, you may decide to continue on to gaining your diploma, or take it even further by completing our Bachelor of Contemporary Music, offered in partnership with Southern Cross University.

It's also common for people to explore a career in the industry while still working a full or part-time job (like doing gigs on the weekend or tutoring students at night). Having the goal to make your side gig your full-time career means you maintain income security while you make industry connections and grow your network.

Ready to write your first hit song? Learn more from Mary, one of our passionate and creative music teachers. In her webinar, Mary discusses the unique experiences and connections you can create while studying music with TAFE Queensland.

Seize your opportunity with Fee-Free TAFE

The career of your dreams is within reach thanks to Fee-Free TAFE. Follow your passion with over 70 industry-recognised courses to choose from. Make a great decision for your future with in-demand skills in high-priority areas, including health and science, business, cyber security and IT, education and community, agriculture, and service industries. With a range of skill sets, certificates and diplomas available, now’s the time to get job ready with Fee-Free TAFE.