How to Become a Singer
Singer Careers & Degrees

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The majority of people can name at least one pop singer and one of their most popular songs.

Although pop singers may the most easily recognizable performers, this profession has a wide range of possibilities through the musical genres available.

Individuals who want to become a Singer have a variety of musical genres to choose from when beginning their career.

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Education Requirements to Become a Singer

Typically, there are no educational requirements for people who want to become a Singer.

Although there are collegiate programs and majors focused in the arts, an individual does not necessarily need to take this route in order to become a Singer.

However, for individuals who want to perform as a Singer in the opera or in classical music, attaining a Bachelor’s degree will assist in securing a job.

For Singers who are also pursuing a college education, they have the option of focusing their studies in Music Theory or Performance.

This type of program can be competitive itself since applicants will be required to submit a recording or perform an audition in person.

Some programs may require both an audition and a recording in order to be accepted.

Other undergraduate programs will provide classes in musical expression, music history, classes to work on their vocal techniques and instruments.

Singers also have the option to pursue a graduate degree in fine arts or music.

For Singers who opt out of pursuing a college degree, they must have the capacity to work on their singing skills and working on innate qualities that successful singers possess.

Because there is stiff competition to become a Singer, an individual must possess the dedication and discipline to not only work on their craft and rehearse for hours on end, but to know that pursuing this career is not easy and that they may face a lot of rejection.

Individuals must also possess musical talent and have interpersonal skills in order to work with other music industry professionals such as managers, agents, music producers and other musicians involved in their work.

Additional skills that a successful singer might have include having the physical stamina to rehearse, record and do live performances.

Live performances might cause Singers to go on tour to perform in other cities and states, or for very successful Singers, in other parts of the world.

Successful Singers will be able to mentally and physically handle a busy schedule.

Singer Job Description

The life of a professional Singer revolves around music and the many different mediums they can express their talents through.

Singers can use a variety of platforms to get their music across including live performances, recordings and sometimes music videos.

They can expect to spend several hours rehearsing their music and fine tuning and perfecting songs they write or are hired to perform.

Successful Singers will also go on tour if the music that they recorded was well received by consumers.

Singer Salary and Career Path

Job opportunities for Singers will grow by 5 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered slower than average when compared to other industries and positions in the United States.

The projected growth is attributed to an increase in demand for live performances.

Another factor contributing to this demand comes from how easily accessible downloading music is due to internet downloads.

Music streaming platforms for both recordings and performances will also be a factor in this growth.

Singers should expect the hourly median wage to be approximately $23.50 and the exact figure will depend on the industry that the singer performs in.

For example, Performing Arts companies pay a median income of $26.72 per hour while Religious or other similar organizations pay a median hourly income of $19.43 per hour.

Professionals Singers should expect their hourly wage to start at approximately $8.81 per hour.

While experienced singers may be paid up to $65.24 per hour.

Individuals looking to pursue their dream of becoming a professional Singer have plenty of opportunity to work on their craft in many industries and musical genres.

Even though there is stiff competition to become an international superstar, aspiring Singers should pursue their dreams and express themselves through using their special talent.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
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  • Hourly

National Average Salary

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Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
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Texas- NA -
Utah- NA -
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Wisconsin- NA -
Puerto Rico- NA -

The top earning state in the field is Alabama, where the average salary is $.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

Alabama - $
Pennsylvania - $
New Jersey - $
New Mexico - $
New York - $
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Musicians and Singers, OCC Code 27-2042, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat do singers do?

Singers perform music for live audiences and in recording studios.

Singing needs a lot of practice and most singers continue to perfect their techniques throughout their careers.

Singers have to travel in different parts of the country, or the world, to perform for live audiences.

Preparing for a live performance requires many hours of practice.

As a singer, you also need to know how to promote yourself online and through photoshoots and interviews.

If you want to become a singer you should expect long periods of unemployment and you may have to get a second job.

Singers typically rehearse during business hours and perform live on weekends or at night.

QuestionHow much does a singer make?

Salaries for singers vary widely, depending on many factors, including celebrity, reputation, experience and so on.

The numbers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the median hourly wage for singers was $28.15, as of May 2018.

Wages typically start at less than $10 per hour and can go up to more than $70 an hour; the most successful singers earn way more than this but very few singers become successful.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become a singer?

There are no educational requirements for singers who want to perform in popular music, but many classical music singers hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s degree programs can cost anywhere between $20,000 and more than $150,000, depending on the college you choose and the program itself.

If you want to perfect your vocal technique you should also consider taking some vocal training.

Many vocal coaches offer singing and vocal lessons which cost, on average, around $60 an hour but hourly rates vary depending on the school and the coach you choose.

QuestionWhat is the demand for singers?

Employment opportunities vary depending on the region and the style of music you sing.

If you want to become a singer you should be aware of the fact that making it into the music industry can be really hard.

Nowadays fans have easier access to their favorite singers through streaming platforms and digital downloads so you have more opportunities of promoting yourself and your music.

The internet gives musicians more publicity and access to a larger audience.

Singers may also find employment as back up artists or on television.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for classical singers is expected to decline as opera companies have difficulties in finding funding.

Overall, employment for singers is expected to show little or no change over the next years.

QuestionHow long does it take to become a singer?

The answer to this question depends on what type of music you want to make.

There are no formal educational requirements for singers, especially in pop music.

However, many opera singers hold a bachelor’s degree in music.

Earning a bachelor’s degree will take you around 4 years of training but becoming a good singer requires a lot of practice and singers continue to perfect their skills throughout their career.

As a singer, you will have to practice almost every day in order to strengthen your vocal cords and to improve your technique.

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