Careers for Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre Majors
This week’s CAS Careers post provides career planning resources for students majoring in Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre. Although each of these performing arts fields comes with its own knowledge and skill set, career options for these three degree programs are similar in many ways. After the break, you’ll find some brief information on what you can do with your major after graduation, along with statistics on average salaries and links to other helpful resources.
Careers in Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre
Coming from a background in two of these three fields, I can say with 100% certainty that some readers may feel slighted by the way I’ve lumped these degree programs together. And you’d be entirely justified in that response; the beauty of each of these fields is that they come with their own unique and highly specialized skill sets. Yet the foundation of all three is performance. You may go on to teach, direct, or provide technical support for one of these fields, but you’ll probably teach, direct, or do tech for the same reason other people will go on to act or sing (or both).
You love your art, and you want to share it with others, or support the people who share it with the world. It’s that passion for the art that enables you to communicate themes and concepts through performance, and to think critically about the intersections of art, culture, history, and aesthetics. Other professional skills you’ll gain from your degree program include:
- Experience writing, performing, and directing theater productions, dance routines, and music programs
- Experience adapting techniques, tools, and materials to different creative processes, budgets, and final uses
- The ability to design performances to meet the needs and tastes of diverse clients and audiences
- Experience reviewing, evaluating, and explaining works of performance art
- The ability to memorize and follow detailed instructions
- Costume, set, and effect design skills
Here is a brief list of some popular careers in Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre, along with their national median salary*:
Visit our Career Resource Library and check out some of our books on careers in Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre:
- Career Opportunities in Theater and the Performing Arts by Shelly Field
- Great Jobs for Theater Majors by Jan Goldberg
- Opportunities in Music Careers by Robert Gerardi
- Resumes for Performing Arts Careers: With Sample Cover Letters by the Editors of VGM Career Horizons
- The Fine Artist’s Career Guide: Making Money in the Arts and Beyond by Daniel Grant
Here are a few websites with information on careers in Music, Theatre, and Musical Theatre:
For a full list of relevant websites, other career options, and books in our Career Resource Library related to Performing Arts, visit this site.
If you’re a Performing Arts major, and would like some more personalized information on your career options, schedule an appointment with one of our CAS Career Advisors: Anna Litman or Marie Spaulding. Also, feel free to stop by our CAS drop-in hours, which are held every Tuesday from 1:30-2:30 next to the entrance to TDR.