Career prospects and earning potential

Growing numbers are studying music – and some musicians establish themselves at a young age

The ABS reports that 37,100 people aged between 15 and 64 had a music qualification[1] in 2009 - up from 31,100 in 2007. This exceeds the number of people with a qualification in drama/theatre (16,500), fine arts (28,000), photography (16,100), and craft (15,700).

The majority of the 5,175 full-time equivalent students studying music at the end of 2010 were enrolled in performance or creation (with smaller numbers studying musicology, music technology or music teaching).

Over 18,000 young people under 30 years of age currently have registered works with APRA, and Throsby and Zednik’s research shows that young people can establish themselves as professionals at a young age. They estimate professional performing musicians (excluding composers) are on average 26 years old when they become established – the youngest of all artists.

[1]   Non-school qualification – referring to educational attainments other than those of pre-primary, primary or secondary education