All You Need To Know About A Singer Career

You consider becoming a singer but need additional information for making your final career choice?

Great! This article is exactly for you since I will show you everything you need to know about being a singer in the following chapters.

Not only will you learn how much money singers can make, but we will also talk a lot about job satisfaction, prospects, future outlook, educational requirements, duties, work-life balance and much more.

At the end of this article, you will also find an FAQ section where I answer the most common questions about working as a singer for you.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what a singer career looks like and whether you still want to become a singer or rather want to work in a different field instead.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What does a Singer do?

Singers perform songs in front of an audience on various occasions.

While they can perform solo, they can also be part of a band.

Singers sing at birthday parties, weddings and other celebrations and add a nice personal flavor to those events.

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Responsibilities & Duties of a Singer

  • Singing at birthday parties, weddings and many other occasions
  • Performing in front of an audience
  • Making sure that people have a good time
  • Recording songs
  • Selling songs on CDs and also online
  • Promoting songs on social media
  • Learning and memorizing songs
  • Rehearsing
  • Collaborating with managers
  • Collaborating with other musicians
  • Complying with copyright laws

What a Typical Day of a Singer looks like?

Singers spend most of their workday practicing songs to perform as best as possible on various occasions to make the audience happy.

Thus, they spend lots of time in the music studio.

However, mainly during the evenings or at weekends, singers also do live performances and get in touch with their fans.

Apart from making and performing songs, singers also promote their work using our digital channels to build a strong personal brand in the long run.

Thus, if you want to become and stay successful as a singer, you not only have to sing really well but you also need good marketing skills to distribute and sell your work in a profitable manner.

Singer Salary 2022

Singer salary brackets 2022

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $82,000> $40.93
Top 25 %$65,000 – $77,000$32.47 – $38.44
Bottom 25 %$35,000 – $42,000$17.48 – $20.98
Bottom 10 %$27,000 – $31,000$13.42 – $15.39
Range$27,000 – $89,000$13.42 – $44.45
Average (Mean)$48,000$23.94
Median$46,000$22.97

Singer salary 2022 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$27,000 – $36,000$13.42 – $17.91
Junior$34,000 – $41,000$16.93 – $20.47
Professional$38,000 – $47,000$18.95 – $23.46
Senior Professional$45,000 – $59,000$22.48 – $29.49
Expert$57,000 – $73,000$28.41 – $36.38
Top Expert$71,000 – $89,000$35.44 – $44.45

Singer salary by state 2022 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$44,800$22.37
Alaska$47,100$23.54
Arizona$49,300$24.63
Arkansas$45,600$22.77
California$57,200$28.59
Colorado$47,100$23.54
Connecticut$48,100$24.03
Delaware$45,200$22.58
District of Columbia$49,300$24.63
Florida$48,600$24.29
Georgia$43,800$21.88
Guam$44,700$22.34
Hawaii$48,500$24.23
Idaho$47,100$23.52
Illinois$44,300$22.14
Indiana$46,700$23.33
Iowa$47,200$23.58
Kansas$45,500$22.73
Kentucky$44,900$22.44
Louisiana$48,100$24.03
Maine$47,600$23.78
Maryland$49,200$24.57
Massachusetts$50,400$25.18
Michigan$47,300$23.63
Minnesota$45,600$22.79
Mississippi$43,100$21.54
Missouri$42,300$21.13
Montana$44,700$22.34
Nebraska$44,100$22.04
Nevada$45,700$22.83
New Hampshire$47,100$23.52
New Jersey$49,300$24.64
New Mexico$42,200$21.08
New York$53,600$26.79
North Carolina$49,200$24.57
North Dakota$46,200$23.08
Ohio$44,800$22.36
Oklahoma$45,100$22.53
Oregon$47,400$23.67
Pennsylvania$49,800$24.89
Rhode Island$47,800$23.86
South Carolina$46,300$23.13
South Dakota$44,700$22.34
Tennessee$47,100$23.52
Texas$43,600$21.78
Utah$48,200$24.09
Vermont$50,100$25.03
Virginia$47,300$23.64
Washington$51,100$25.03
West Virginia$47,600$23.78
Wisconsin$44,200$22.09
Wyoming$42,100$21.04

Job Security of Singers

Singers have no job security at all since they often work self-employed and also only get short-term contracts most of the time.

Consequently, singers always have to worry about their financial future since in case they don’t get enough new jobs, they will not be able to make a living from what they are doing.

Future Outlook of Singers

Future outlook for singers is pretty poor since competition in this field will become increasingly fierce since you will also have to compete with lots of automatically generated music content in the future and many singers will no longer be able to make a living in this industry.

Working Hours of Singers

Singers usually start their workday between 8 and 10 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

However, on days when they have to perform live on stage, singers often work until the late evening or even at nighttime and you should therefore be rather flexible regarding your working hours if you want to stay successful as a singer in the long run.

Job Satisfaction of Singers

Many singers are not fully happy with what they are doing for a living.

Even though singers love singing, they are still not happy with overall working conditions since they often make pretty poor money and also have to worry about their future quite a lot.

Promotion Opportunities of Singers

Since singers mainly work self-employed, they have barely any promotion opportunities apart from scaling their own business to get more responsibilities and to make more money in the long run.

Career Levels of Singers

  • Unknown singer
  • Singer known in his or her neighborhood
  • Singer known in his or her city
  • Singer well-known in her region
  • Singer recognized by the general public on a state-wide level
  • Internationally-recognized singer
  • World-class singer

Fields and Types of Singers

  • Singers performing solo
  • Singers playing as part of a band
  • Singers playing at private events
  • Singers focused on public events
  • Opera singers
  • Singers for movie productions
  • Singers also playing musical instruments
  • Singers focused on live performances
  • Singers focused on selling their songs on CDs and via online channels

Educational Requirements for Singers

Singers don’t need to get any fancy education.

Instead, you can start your singer career right after finishing high school and don’t need to spend lots of time and money on a fancy degree as many other people out there have to do to get their dream jobs.

How to become a Singer

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a singer
  2. Practice hard at an early age
  3. Make your first songs while you are still at school
  4. Try to sell your songs online
  5. Promote your songs on digital channels and social media
  6. Finish high school
  7. Build a strong personal brand
  8. Give your first live performances
  9. Grow your fan base
  10. Become a well-known singer

Character Traits you need as a Singer

  • Confidence helps you deal with snarky comments
  • You should be open to critical feedback
  • Ability to connect with your fans on an emotional level
  • You should not be afraid to sing in front of an audience
  • Stable mindset helps you to ignore people who just try to bring you down
  • You should have empathy for your fans
  • Patience helps you grow your personal brand in the long run
  • Persistence helps you overcome difficult periods of your singer career
  • You should have a talent for forecasting future music trends

Singer Skills

Hard Skills for Singers

  • Good memory so that you don’t forget texts of songs
  • Knowledge of how to give great live performances
  • Ability to fascinate your audience
  • Good knowledge of how to read sheet music
  • Ability to adapt to future music trends
  • You should have a nice voice
  • You should hear quite well
  • Good physical condition helps as well
  • Decent knowledge of foreign languages
  • Talent for singing in general
  • Digital skills help you promote your songs

Soft Skills for Singers

  • Attention to detail helps you stand out of the crowd of singers
  • Empathy for fanatic fans
  • You should know how to deal with adversity
  • You should not easily get discouraged by drawbacks
  • Commitment to singing helps you not to give up during difficult times
  • Willingness to work hard on your skills
  • Discipline helps you sacrifice leisure for your dream of becoming a famous singer
  • Ability to deal with poor feedback in an emotionally healthy manner
  • Teamworking skills help you make connections with important people in the music industry

Exit Options for Singers

Singers have pretty poor exit options.

While they can switch from playing solo to being a band member or music promoter, singers have a hard time finding a job outside the music industry since they are often pretty specialized and don’t learn many skills needed in the job market right now.

Singer – Similar Careers

  • Musician
  • Songwriter
  • Music producer
  • Booking agent
  • Singing teacher
  • Manager of singers
  • Sound engineer
  • Dancer
  • Choreographer

Singer Career FAQs

Is working as a singer physically demanding?

Being a singer can be physically demanding.

Even though you don’t have to lift heavy stuff as construction workers and roofers have to do on a daily basis, working as a singer can still be exhausting since you will barely be able to breathe while you are singing.

In fact, you will often see singers sweat on stage and this gives you an indication of how physically challenging this job can really be if you give it your all.

Is working as a singer mentally demanding?

Working as a singer can be mentally demanding since you have to remember lots of songs and texts by heart and in case you forget your text, you will look pretty stupid during your live performances and your audience will not be happy at all.

Is it dangerous to work as a singer?

Working as a singer is not extremely dangerous since you will spend lots of time in a music studio or learn songs at home.

However, you will still give some live performances and may be at higher risk of suffering from accidents or incidents compared to the average person out there who just works in a classical office environment.

How long do singers stay in their jobs?

Singers often stay in the music industry for some years and then start over to doing other things since most of them are not able to make a living from what they are doing.

Moreover, once singers get older, they often also get out of shape and no longer have the power to do great performances so that they are forced to quitting their careers sooner or later.

Is it easy for singers to find a new job?

Since the music industry is pretty competitive, most singers have a hard time finding enough new jobs to make a living from what they are doing and many singers really struggle in this regard and worry about their financial future quite a lot.

Is it hard to switch from being a singer to another field of work?

Since singers are pretty specialized and don’t learn many skills apart from singing, they also have a pretty hard time finding a job in a different field and often get trapped in the music industry.

Do singers have a high social status?

While world-class singers have a pretty high social standing, the average singer out there has a pretty low social status and your family and friends may not even consider what you are doing a real job and you may therefore have to justify yourself quite a lot regarding your career choice.

Can you help out your family and friends as a singer?

You can help out your loved ones as a singer by giving great live performances during weddings, birthday parties or on various other occasions so that your family and friends don’t have to rely on third parties in this regard.

Can singers work remotely?

While singers are able to work from home during times they just work on song texts, they also have to get to the music studio in person to record songs and also have to show up in person when they are booked for live performances.

Is it easy to find a partner as a singer?

Since most singers don’t make good money and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to their career in general, singers are not considered good providers and often have a much harder time finding someone for a long-term relationship compared to dentists, investment bankers or other people who make much more money on average.

Do singers have to work on weekends?

Singers often have to perform live during weekends and while most other people are able to enjoy their leisure with their loved ones, you will have to work during those times and this may become really frustrating in the long run.

Do singers have to work on holidays?

Singers also sometimes have to work on national holidays and while many other people will spend those days on their favorite hobbies or with their favorite people, you as a singer will just not have this luxury.

Do singers have to work at nighttime?

Singers often have to work in the late evening or even at nighttime.

In fact, most of your concerts and performances will not take place during the day but you will rather have to work when other people quit their workday and have time to listen to your music.

Do you have to travel as a singer?

Once you get to a certain stage where people recognize you on a state-wide level, you will also have to travel quite a lot as a singer to perform in different cities and regions and this means that you will be on tour and away from home quite often.

Are singer pensions good?

Since most singers are not able to make good money from what they are doing, they are also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and their pensions will often be pretty poor.

Are singer salaries going up?

Singer salaries have not been going up significantly over the past years since competition in the music industry has become increasingly fierce and many singers have a hard time competing in this environment and have to offer their services at pretty low wages.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a singer?

As a singer, you can have a big positive impact on society since you can make songs that show people how to behave like decent human beings to make the world a better place in the long run.

In fact, you can have a big impact on the behavior of your fans and can push them in a certain direction that benefits society as a whole.

How long does it take to become a singer?

Since you don’t need to get fancy education as a singer, you can become a singer within a few days.

However, it will still often take you many years to become successful with what you are doing and many singers will never be able to make a living from what they are doing.

Is it difficult to become a singer?

Becoming a singer is pretty easy since educational barriers to entry are pretty low.

However, becoming and staying successful in the music industry is a completely different animal and only very few people are able to make good money from their singer careers in the long run.

Do you need to be smart to work as a singer?

You don’t need to have a high IQ for working as a singer.

What’s much more important is that you are able to connect with your audience and that you are really passionate about singing and making music in general.

Do singers have a good work-life balance?

Singers have pretty poor work-life balance since they often have to work on weekends and also have to perform in the evening and at nighttime.

Moreover, singers are also on the road quite often and will therefore often complain about not having enough time to spend with their loved ones.

Do singers have to work many extra hours?

Singers don’t have a fixed schedule and often have to work long hours every week to promote their personal brand so that they can maintain a strong audience and are able to make enough money to pay their bills in the long run.

Thus, you should really be passionate about working as a singer so that you are willing to sacrifice leisure for your dream of making music for a living.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a singer?

The sooner you start spending lots of time singing and on making music in general, the bigger your chances of becoming a successful singer since the more time you spend on something, the better you will get at it in the long run.

Can singers work part-time?

Some singers also just work part-time and are not too serious about their careers.

However, if your dream is to make a living from being a singer, you will have to work full-time and will not have much time left for other things apart from making music.

Do singers work indoors or outdoors?

Singers work indoors in music studios and also outdoors during live performances.

Thus, you should not be afraid of getting in touch with your fans and performing live on stage during times of bad weather.

What does the workplace of a singer look like?

Singers spend lots of time practicing in the sound studio while they also give live performances and get in touch with their audience.

Hence, you should be a friendly and outgoing person to motivate your fans to come back to your gigs in the long run.

Do you have to look good for working as a singer?

Looking good can help you as a singer since the better you look, the more eager people will be to watch your music videos and to attend your live performances.

Looks just matter and you can’t deny that.

However, this doesn’t mean that ugly people can’t make a living in this industry.

It just means that they will have a harder to achieve the same goals in the music industry than good-looking people.

Is a singer career beneficial for your private life?

Working as a singer is not greatly beneficial for your private life since you will often be away from home while you are on tour and you will also not be able to make good money most of the time.

Consequently, your partner may start cheating on you sooner or later and your private life may fall apart.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a singer?

You don’t need a fancy degree for becoming a singer.

What’s much more important is that you have a natural talent for singing and that you are also willing to spend long hours on singing every day so that you are able to achieve your dream of making a living from your singing career in the long run.

Do you need to be certified to work as a singer?

You don’t need to get certified for becoming a singer.

In fact, there are no educational requirements you have to meet for working in this industry as long as you are great at singing and can provide enough value to your audience.

How much does it cost to become a singer?

Since you don’t have to spend lots of time in college, you also don’t have to spend lots of money on tuition and other expenses that come along with it.

Thus, you can become a singer at virtually no cost while many of your friends may have to take on enormous student loans to finance their degrees.

Is being a singer a good career?

Working as a singer is not considered a good career by the majority of the general public since most singers are not able to make a decent living and will also be away from home quite often and will not have enough time to spend with their families.

Is it easy to start your own business as a singer?

It is pretty easy to start your own business as a singer since you don’t have to spend lots of money on your business upfront and can rather use your workforce to get results.

In turn, almost everyone can start hir or her own business in the music industry and promote their work via our digital channels.

Can singers teach themselves?

Singers can teach themselves all they need to succeed in this field.

In fact, practice is much more important than theoretical knowledge and if you are willing to work hard on your singing skills and also have lots of natural talent, you can become a famous singer without having to pay for fancy courses.

Do singers make good money?

While a small minority of singers are able to make good money from what they are doing, the vast majority of singers are not able to make a living from their singing careers and often even struggle to pay basic expenses.

Is it ever too late to become a singer?

While it is never too late to start your career as a singer, it still makes sense to start out at a rather young age since the younger you are, the more time you have to improve your skills and the fitter you will be so that you can give great live performances and thrill the crowd.

Do singers have to quit their careers early?

Most singers have to quit their careers early since working as a singer can be physically demanding and most singers are no longer fit enough to live the musician lifestyle in their 50s or even 60s.

Thus, singers often have to get a different job after quitting their singing careers.

What is the hardest thing about working as a singer?

The hardest part about being a singer is that you always have financial pressure and that you can’t plan your financial future way ahead since you can never be sure to get enough jobs to make a living from what you are doing.

Some people also have a hard time playing in front of an audience and if you are a rather shy person, working as a singer may not be for you and you might want to go for a different job instead.

Can you provide for your family by working as a singer?

Many singers have a hard time providing for their families since they are not able to make good money and they also have to deal with huge income swings.

Thus, if you want to have a family sooner or later, you may not want to become a singer but rather go for a job with higher job security and better prospects instead.

Will singers suffer from old-age poverty?

Since most singers don’t make good money during their active careers, many of them are also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and therefore suffer from serious old-age poverty once they quit their active careers and retire.

Can singers retire early?

Most singers are not able to retire early since they don’t make enough money and rather have to work in the music industry or in a different field until they reach official retirement age and sometimes even longer so that they are able to pay their bills.

Do singers get a fixed or variable salary?

Since most singers work self-employed, their income greatly varies over time with the number of gigs they perform and the number of CDs and digital downloads they sell.

Can you get rich as a singer?

While very few singers get rich, the vast majority of singers barely make enough to make a basic living and often struggle financially for their whole lives.

Do singers need a second job?

Many singers are not able to make a living from what they are doing and often need a second job to pay their bills.

Do you get continuous training as a singer?

You don’t get any training as a singer.

Instead, it will be on you to hone your craft and to spend enough time on your career to get good enough to stay in the game in the long run.

Do you get sick pay as a singer?

Since singers usually work self-employed, they also don’t get paid in case they get sick.

Hence, singers often build an emergency fund during good times which they can use during times they get sick and are no longer able to make money so that they can still pay for basic expenses like rent and don’t lose their homes.

Do singers have a high level of responsibility?

Singers have a high level of responsibility since they can influence many people with their songs and can really change the behavior of their fans in a positive direction.

Can singers work abroad?

Singers are able to work all over the world.

Thanks to the internet, it has become pretty easy to distribute music globally at virtually no cost and you can therefore live wherever you want as long as you make music that attracts enough people to make a living from what you are doing.

Is it stressful to work as a singer?

Working as a singer can be stressful since you will often have to sing in front of a big audience and will also have to deal with many snarky comments along the way.

Moreover, you will also have to worry about your financial future and all those things add up and may really stress your nerves in the long run.

Is it boring to work as a singer?

If you are passionate about making music, working as a singer will never become boring for you since you will do the thing you love for a living and will likely never lose motivation for it.

Is being a singer hard?

Working as a singer can be hard from a physical as well as from an emotional level since singing can really stress your body and also your brain.

Moreover, you will also have to deal with high levels of emotional pressure and many people are not able to do so in a healthy manner.

Are singers at risk of burnout?

Due to the high stress levels you have to deal with as a singer, many singers are also at great risk of burnout and other mental or emotional diseases since they are not able to deal with all the pressure that comes along with such a career in a healthy manner.

Is there a dress code for singers?

Singers don’t have to comply with a certain dress code.

Instead, you can wear whatever you feel most comfortable with and can also express your personality on stage.

What kind of singers are paid the most?

The bigger your fan base is, the more money you can make as a singer since the more songs you can sell and the more money you can charge for your live performances.

What percentage of singers are women?

Only 38% of all singers are women while 62% are men.

However, an increasing number of women aspire to a singing career and percentages may therefore change in the near future.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a singer?

While you don’t urgently need a mentor, having an experienced singer on your side can still help you push through difficult times when you might consider giving up your dream of becoming a singer.

Do singers have a high life expectancy?

Singers don’t have a high life expectancy since they often live a pretty unhealthy lifestyle and also have to deal with lots of pressure on a mental as well as on an emotional level.

Do singers suffer from sleeping problems?

Since singers often have to perform at nighttime, they are not able to maintain a steady sleeping pattern and often suffer from serious sleeping problems sooner or later.

What states are best for working as a singer?

Since you can work as a singer from wherever you want, you should choose an area where the demand for live performances is pretty high while living costs are still low enough to make a living from your singing career.

Who do singers work with?

Singers often work solo and sometimes also play in a band.

You will often perform in front of a big audience and you should therefore be friendly and outgoing to connect with your fans so that you can stay successful with what you are doing in the long run.

Is working as a singer cool?

Being a singer is considered cool by the majority of people out there.

However, what most people don’t see is all the pressure that comes along with it and all the insecurity singers have to deal with.

Can you start a side hustle as a singer?

Since you will not learn many skills apart from singing, singers often have a hard time starting a side hustle unless they get lots of additional education.

Do you have to be creative as a singer?

Being creative definitely helps you succeed as a singer since the more creative you are, the better you will become at writing songs and the more value you can provide to your audience in general.

Do singers suffer from being overweight?

Since working as a singer can be physically demanding and many singers also have to deal with lots of stress, most singers don’t suffer from being overweight and rather stay slim.

How employable are singers?

The singing industry has become pretty competitive and singers are no longer that employable anymore.

In fact, many singers don’t find enough jobs to make a living from what they are doing in the long run.

Are singers happy with their jobs?

Most singers are not happy with overall working conditions since they don’t make good money and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to their jobs in general.

Is working as a singer exciting?

Working as a singer can be pretty exciting since you will never know how your performances turn out and you will also have to deal with many unexpected things during your career.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a singer?

Singers can have a big positive impact on our environment by spreading the news of how important it is to protect our planet and to behave eco-friendly.

In turn, many of their fans will follow their advice.

What are the pros and cons of working as a singer?

If you still plan to become a singer, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a singer career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/317681/number-full-time-musicians-label-independent-type/

https://www.statista.com/topics/1639/music/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/186061/employment-in-the-us-music-industry-by-sector-2008/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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