Relative to the number of people studying and practising music, employment levels in paid musician occupations are low.
Recent ABS figures show around 500,000 adult Australians were involved in writing song lyrics, or mixing or composing music, including digital composition in 2010-11. Around 950,000 were involved in singing or playing a musical instrument.
A proportion of these also had a tertiary qualification relating to their participation. Of those engaged in singing or playing a musical instrument, 176,100 said they had had a relevant qualification, and 37,700 have a qualification relevant to writing music.
Very few of these participants earned any wage or salary for their engagement. Further, most of those who did earned less than 25 percent of their total income in this way.