While experienced music producers such as Jack Endino and Lauren Christy may earn six-figure incomes or more, those employed at the entry level earn salaries averaging less than $40,000 annually, according to Indeed. Geographical location and employer size are just a few factors that influence entry-level music producers' salaries. But, regardless of the salary differences, all music producers are responsible for overseeing the technical, creative, and financial aspects of recorded music for singers, movies, or television shows.
Salary and Qualifications:
The average annual salary for an entry-level music producer was $35,000 as of 2013, according to the job search site Indeed. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor's degree in audio engineering, music theory, composition, or conducting. Some of these professionals participate in musical camps as youths, and then take jobs as assistant musical producers or interns to gain experience. Other essential requirements for the job include self-discipline, perseverance, musical talent, and people skills.
Salary by Region:
In 2013, salaries for entry-level music producers varied somewhat within the four U.S. regions. In the Northeast region, they earned the highest salaries of $42,000 in New York and the lowest of $30,000 in Maine, according to Indeed. Those in the West made between $23,000 to $38,000, the lowest and highest amounts coming from Hawaii and California, respectively. These producers earned $29,000 to $41,000, Louisiana and Washington, D.C., representing the lowest and highest salaries, respectively, in the South region. In the Midwest, they made the most in Illinois and least in Nebraska and South Dakota -- $38,000 and $26,000, respectively.
An entry-level music producer may earn more in certain industries than in others. In 2012, music directors and composers, who work for music producers, earned relatively high salaries of $100,600 as independent contractors, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also earn considerably high salaries of $74,730 working for sound recording studios -- versus an industry average of $53,420. Although the BLS doesn't report incomes for entry-level music producers, they, like their veteran counterparts, may also earn more as independent contractors, and in sound recording studios. These music producers earn more in New York and California because living and housing costs are higher in those two states. For example, an entry-level music producer earning $35,000 in Kansas City, Kansas would need to make $77,042 in New York City to maintain the same living standard, according to CNN Money's "Cost of Living" calculator. In Los Angeles, one would need to make $46,760 per year.
The BLS doesn't report job opportunities for music producers. It projects a 10 percent increase in jobs for music directors and composers between 2010 and 2020, which is statistically about average compared to the 14 percent growth rate for all occupations. Music producers may likely experience a similar increase in job opportunities, since they hire music directors and composers for various projects. Job growth should continue for music producers in the next decade if the economy continues to improve.