Discover what it’s like to work in Music and how you can build experience, stand out and get inspired

While jobs in the music industry can be competitive, they are by no means out of reach. Experience, perseverance and a proactive attitude are important for working in this industry. 


The music industry is wide and varied in terms of the career options it offers. While choosing to work in music can sometimes seem precarious due to the freelance nature and high levels of competition in certain roles, the music industry is actually a huge contributor to the UK economy. According to This Is Music 2023 report, in 2022 UK music exports generated £4 billion, and the music industry’s contribution to the UK economy was £6.7 billion. Total UK music industry employment was 210,000 in 2022. 

This Is Music 2023 report

What’s it like? 

When it comes to jobs, while singers and musicians may be the most visible choices, there are actually many different areas you could work in with a range of different responsibilities – from working at a record label as an A&R, to music journalism, artist management, music education and more.  

These profiles from Prospects will give you an insight into some of the roles available: 

Job profile: Event manager (Prospects)

Job profile: Music therapist (Prospects)

Job profile: Musician (Prospects)

Job profile: Music producer (Prospects)

Job profile: Private music teacher (Prospects)

Job profile: Radio producer (Prospects)

Job profile: Sound engineer (Prospects)

Job profile: Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video (Prospects)


Portfolio careers are common in the music business. This means having several streams of income at the same time, often combining jobs with freelance work. 

For example, session musicians could also make money as private music teachers, and with the right knowledge and experience, DJs and recording engineers can move into music production. Concert promoters can move into marketing and PR roles. 

Developing your skills and building experience 

To help you stand out from the crowd, gaining work experience is crucial. It’s not all about internships, though; making sure you can show how you’ve been involved with music somehow – whether that’s through paid work, volunteering or personal projects such as writing music blogs or reviewing local gigs – is really important for breaking into the music industry. 

Internships are very competitive but can be a great way to gain relevant skills and insights. Major music companies such as Sony Music, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group offer industry placements or internships in a variety of functions, such as administration, marketing, promotions, digital, communication and artist relations and commercial sales. 

Sony Music

Universal Music Group

Warner Music Group

Music internships are also available at: 

Internships are not the only way to gain experience and any music-related experience will be helpful. Look for different ways to demonstrate your passion for music, for example: 

  • If you want to work in radio, why not get involved in a hospital or student radio show? 

  • Volunteering at music festivals, working part-time in a music shop or writing a music blog are all possible ways to demonstrate your passion for music.  

  • Attend gigs, go to concerts, tutor music lessons – think about what’s most relevant for your interests and skills. 

  • The Edinburgh University Students’ Association runs a range of student societies where you can get involved:

Electronic Music Society

Folk and Traditional Music Society

Music Society  

Where to look for vacancies? 

Music Jobs UK | One Search. Top Music Jobs ( music industry-specific vacancy site 

Meeteric: creative industries app with jobs and industry insights 

Scottish Music Centre: funding, development opportunities, job postings, advice on how to store music and cultivate music online  

Find out more 

UK Music: UK Music is the collective voice of the UK’s world-leading music industry, representing all sectors of the industry 

Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA): it offers careers info, videos and industry news  

The Musicians’ Union: an organisation which represents over 30,000 musicians working in all sectors of the British Music business  

New Music Scotland: an organisation that helps to connect, enable and support makers of innovative and experimental new music 

Creative Scotland: funding info/bursaries and opportunities  

PRS for Music (Performing Rights Society): pays royalties to members for the use of their work  

UK Music Careers Info Pack 

Chamber Music of Scotland

How to start your music career in 2024: blog from soundcamp  


The following blogs on our Inform.ed blog share top tips and experiences about a career in the music industry: 

Interested in a career in the music industry? Here are some top tips from the professionals 

Finding my musical key