Practising professional musicians note some of the factors inhibiting their professional development are a lack of work opportunities, lack of financial return from creative practice, and a lack of time to do creative work due to other pressures and responsibilities.
With too few professional music opportunities, professional musicians and other artists undertake arts-related work (mainly teaching music) and non-arts related work to support their creative practice.
Their non-creative work generally generates higher financial returns than creative work (musicians generate 44 percent of their income from creative practice, despite devoting 52 percent of their working hours).
The 2006 Census found high and increasing levels of employment in music teaching relative to other music occupations, which remained stable in the 2011 Census.
In terms of the size of the labour market, this means teaching music is one of the best opportunities for finding work in music.
Unlike the musician population, two thirds of all music teachers are women, suggesting women are working as teachers as opposed to practising artists.