4 Best Day Jobs for Musicians

Flamenco Guitarist

Being a musician is an exciting career, but it doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. While you’re busy setting up gigs and building a fan base, you also need to make sure that you have a steady stream of income available. This doesn’t mean that you have to resign yourself to sitting in a cubicle five days a week. There are plenty of other types of day jobs that can provide you with steady pay and a more interesting work environment.

1. Bartending

Being a bartender is a great choice if you’re outgoing and comfortable making small talk. It gives you the chance to meet plenty of people and hear their stories, which could lead to song inspirations. Although you might be expected to work a certain number of evenings and weekends when the bar is at its busiest, you might also have an advantage when it comes to getting gigs. If the bar you work at features live musical performances, you shouldn’t have a problem booking yourself or your band. You’ll also be familiar with the stage set-up, acoustics and typical crowd, so you’ll know what to expect.

2. Graphic Designer

If you’re brimming with creativity, put it to use at a day job by doing something creative like graphic design. You can work a regular full-time job or work as a freelancer. Keep in mind that you might not have steady pay when you’re freelancing. You’ll also have to take the time to market yourself in order to get clients. If you’re working as a graphic designer for a company, you might not have as much say in the types of projects you work on. It still provides you with a creative outlet though, as well as a very decent paycheck.

3. Temp Work

Taking on temp assignments is perfect if you don’t want to commit to working for one company. When you work as a temp, you have more flexibility. If you know you’re going to be focusing more on your music career or if you have a lot of out-of-town gigs lined up, you don’t have to take on the temp assignments you’re offered. If you’re doing something like office work though, it shouldn’t interfere with performing local gigs in the evenings or at night. You can find work as a temp in several areas, including accounting, administrative support and information technology.

4. Music Teacher

If you really want to focus on music as your day job, consider becoming a music teacher. You won’t make a lot of money, but you’ll get steady pay and benefits. You’ll also have weekends, holidays and summers off to work on your music career. You can teach music to elementary or high school students at public or private schools. You’ll need to have a teaching degree and certification, if your state requires it. Teaching music can be a rewarding experience since you get to pass your knowledge on to a younger generation. It also gives you a chance to inspire them and encourage an appreciation for music.

No matter which type of day job you decide to take, you might feel restless or trapped from time to time. It’s important to remind yourself that your bigger interest of building a career as a musician takes time. Holding a steady job gives you the ability to pursue your dream without having to worry about falling into financial debt.

Kerstie Kerr writes for education blogs nationwide. Several schools offer degrees in music education including University of Florida and New York University.

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