Online Music and Music Production Degrees

With an online music degree or music production degree, you can turn your love of music into a viable career. A degree in this field exposes you to the business side of music, music theory, music education, music history, music technology, and much more.

Music enriches our lives, and there will arguably always be a need for musicians, composers, and music educators. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the job growth rate in this field will rise modestly and steadily over the next decade. Music technology is constantly changing; the more advanced your knowledge is, the more likely you will be to land a job aligned with your goals and interests.

An online music degree or music production degree may be a good fit for you if you play one or more instruments or are a vocalist, if you have a passion for music, and if you are willing to put in the work to take your music skills and knowledge to the next level. If you’re interested in a postsecondary degree in music, read on to learn more about the career options in the field and the academic path you will take to get there.

Online Music Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $11,646 15.21% 2 years $33,045 $46,000 8.8%
Bachelor's $18,897 10.16% 4 years $41,905 $48,500 4.9%
Master's $14,256 9.21% 2 years $57,393 $87,500 2.9%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Many musicians, singers, and private music tutors build successful careers with associate degrees in music. Some positions, including those as music teachers, composers, and music directors, require bachelor’s degrees. If you’re interested in one of these career paths, a music degree online may be a flexible and affordable alternative to on-campus programs.

A bachelor’s degree in music production will give you an edge in the job market, but an associate degree may suffice if you have enough real-world experience. The highest level positions in classical music typically require at least graduate-level music degrees in specialized areas of music performance.

Choosing Your Music Careers

Average Music Salaries

$49,820
$46,464

Music Directors, Composers, and Producers

Salary: $49,820
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 82,100 Bachelor's N/A

A music director leads orchestras, bands, radio stations, music departments in schools, and music ensembles. A composer comes up with original music that is used by groups like orchestras and the film industry for scores. A music producer works with musicians and singers to record and curate their music and disseminate it to the public. Many of the people who work in these positions have music degrees or music production degrees at the postsecondary level or beyond. In addition to their music degrees, they are also dedicated to music and able to persevere in a competitive field.

Musicians and Singers

Salary: $46,464
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
3% 173,300 High School Diploma or Equivalent N/A

Musicians and singers perform for a variety of audiences in various settings, including symphony halls, Broadway stages, live music venues, community events, and places of worship. Some musicians and singers achieve multi-million-dollar fame, while most find careers at local arts organizations or build local/regional followings that provide comfortable incomes. Successful musicians and singers are dedicated to practicing and improving their craft and often have music degrees to back up their dedication. Those with certain levels of patience and tenacity are more likely to rise to the top of the music world.

Online Music Degrees

Associate

A two-year music degree online or music production degree online can help you get your foot in the door as a private music tutor, audio technician, or music production assistant. It can also help give you the structured experience you need to improve as a musician or singer, ultimately helping you further impress potential employers and music venues with your knowledge and skills. An associate online music degree is ideal for those who want to pick up the technical skills they need to move forward in their careers.

Sample Courses
Music Theory, Applied Music, Ensemble Performance, Music Promotion, Aural Music
Common Majors
Music Performance, Music Production, Recording Technology, Music Business
Potential Jobs
Private music educator, disc jockey, audio technician, music production assistant, musician/singer
Average Income
$41,780 per year
Employment Prospects
The number of available careers for musicians and singers is expected to increase by 3% over the next decade.

Bachelor’s

Earning a music degree online from a four-year college or university can provide you with numerous career options. Many graduates of online music degree programs at the bachelor’s degree level land careers in the music industry and in the realm of academia. For higher-level jobs in the arts and in the public sector, a bachelor’s degree is often considered the minimum degree requirement to get noticed by employers. Music directors often have at least a bachelor’s degree and several years of experience.

Sample Courses
Audio Techniques for Recording, Ear Training, Music Education, Music Theory, Music Marketing
Common Majors
Music Production, Music Business, Songwriting, Music Performance (instrument-specific)
Potential Jobs
Music teacher, music producer, music agent, musician/singer
Average Income
$57,200 per year
Employment Prospects
There will be a 7% increase in the number of positions available for music teachers over the next decade. The number of positions available for music directors will increase by around 3% from now until 2024.

Master’s

Graduate music degrees are ideal for students who want to become experts in the field of music. Many jobs in the symphony require at least a master’s degree in music performance. A music degree online at the graduate level can give you a leg up when competing for positions that require technical mastery and advanced knowledge of music theory and practices. A graduate online music degree or music production degree is a good investment if you’re interested in a higher-level music career as soon as you graduate.

Sample Courses
Music history, Music Theory, Advanced Performance, Music Pedagogy
Common Majors
Music Performance (instrument-specific), Music Production, Music Composition, Music Conducting
Potential Jobs
Symphony performer, music composer, music director, music educator
Average Income
$49,820 per year
Employment Prospects
The number of available job openings for music directors and composers is anticipated to increase by 3% from 2014-2024. These types of jobs have a steady supply of openings, and the number of such openings is often based on geographic region and funding for the arts in particular regions.