Music Producer: Job Summary & Education Requirements

Those with a keen ear who love keeping up with the latest songs and recording artists may want to consider a career as a music producer. These professionals use their extensive musical and technical studio experience to oversee all aspects of a recording session.

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Music Producer Job Summary

Music producers should be able to bring out the best in recording artists through their knowledge of vocal and instrumental arrangements. Some producers hire musicians and singers to perform selected songs; other producers are hired by bands or solo artists to oversee recording sessions. Music producers may also confer with directors of movies or television programs in order to determine the placement of a song.

Many producers are experienced recording engineers, which allows them to bring additional technical capabilities to a project. They can assist audio engineers in the mixing, mastering and recording process. Some producers may have expertise in a particular style of music, such as rock or classical; others may work for a recording studio producing the music of artists that are under contract.

Educational Requirements

Although there's no standard level of education needed to become a music producer, many colleges offer music production programs - traditionally at the bachelor's degree level. These 4-year programs cover a broad range of courses to expose students to recording arts technology and the music business as a whole. Sample course topics include recording industry law and ethics, sound editing techniques, digital audio software and electronic music. Students may need to either produce a full-length recording or participate in an internship in order to graduate. Baccalaureate programs may result in a Bachelor of Science in Music Production or a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in production.

Employment Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of musicians and related workers was expected to grow ten percent during the 2010-2020 period (www.bls.gov). The BLS further noted that competition for full-time jobs in this field will be strong. Cities that feature a large concentration of recording studios, such as New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Nashville, offer better job prospects for all musicians.

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