Home Jobs & Education How Much Do Music Producers Make?

how-much-do-music-producers-makeMusic producers work hand-in-hand with recording artists and musicians to orchestrate the best possible recording of their music for people to listen to on the radio daily. Music producers are typically responsible for operating audio equipment to regulate volume and ensure quality, recording music on various recording equipment, synchronizing sounds, converting audio records for editing, repairing any equipment problems, composing new songs, and selecting musical arrangements.

Music producers are experts at using specialized equipment to record, synchronize, mix, and reproduce music to lead musicians to quality recorded representations.

How much does a music producer make? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics records from May 2012, the 14,280 music producers employed throughout the United States earn an average yearly music producer salary of $55,340, which is equivalent to a mean hourly wage of $26.60.

While the bottom ten percent in the profession makes just $22,810 a year, the top ten percent of music producers with the most experience and prestige earn $97,700 on average annually.

Music producers employed in sound recording industries bring home considerably less than average at $45,340, but those that work in motion picture or video industries make a mean $76,300. The top-paying state for this profession is by far Nevada, where music producers earn $81,050 each year.

Work Environment
Although jobs for music producers can be found all over the nation, many jobs are highly concentrated in cities where entertainment is thriving, such as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Nashville. Music producers often find employment in radio broadcasting, recording studios, concert halls, performing arts, and even their own homes. Around 38 percent of music producers are self-employed with their own independent consulting business for recording and editing music. Most music producers are employed on a full-time basis with recording sessions during normal business hours, but some special performances often occur in the evening or on weekends.

Job Outlook
Employment for music producers is expected to grow about as fast as the national average for all other professions at a rate of 10 percent, which will create 9,600 new jobs before 2020. Although there will be an increased need for arrangements to be made for original music and film scores, growth is predicted to be limited because of the lack of funding being provided to musical groups in the tough economic times.


  1. Music industry is well paid, but it is hard to get into it as a beginner. Of course at first, gains will not be so big until you will make a name, you’ll have your own concerts and so on. The upside is that once that you got there, you will enjoy a pleasant work environment, you will be better paid and more importantly, you do something that you are passionate about and you really like.

  2. While this article contains a lot of good information, I want to point out that the tasks and positions you describe as those of a Music Producer are, in fact, the job of a Recording Engineer. If a reader were considering a career as Producer, and attempted to get going in a union shop, he or she would be fired immediately for touching the console. It is true that in a great deal of indie, demo, home studio, and hip-hop/rap sort of stuff the person will wear many hats, but the jobs are VERY distinct.

    The Producer’s job is to have the “big picture” for the project. He or she must inspire and coach the artists, direct the Recording Engineer, make judgment calls about overdubs, retakes, arrangements, and keep track of the recording budget. This job only involves technical tasks rarely, since the Engineer is the one who knows how to best do that.

    The Producer DOES need to have a great musical ear, as well as a basic understanding of microphone placement, signal path, equalization, effects, and so forth, and many of the truly great Producers have a (usually closely guarded) “bag of tricks” they use to get that “special” sound.

    Having said that, the potential for Producer salaries is really unlimited, though it is similar to the plight of the professional musician who is considered extremely lucky if he or she lands a truly lucrative record deal, or achieves some level of fame and fortune. Your comments about the Film and Video industry are very apt, but again that is almost always a union shop, and hopefuls need to be cautious about overstepping their duties.

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