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Career and Education Opportunities for Musicians in Bakersfield, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for musicians in the Bakersfield, California area. There are currently 21,000 working musicians in California; this should grow by 9% to about 22,900 working musicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for musicians are expected to grow by about 7.6%. Musicians generally play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

The average wage in the general category of Musical Entertainment jobs is $24 per hour or $50,466 per year in California, and an average of $19 per hour or $40,353 per year nationwide. Compared with people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment, people working as musicians in California earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Musical Entertainment nationally. Musicians work in a variety of jobs, including: church organist, organist, and trumpet player.

There are eight schools of higher education in the Bakersfield area, including two within twenty-five miles of Bakersfield where you can get a degree to start your career as a musician. The most common level of education for musicians is some college courses. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a musician if you already have a high school diploma.


Musician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, musicians play one or more musical instruments in recital, in accompaniment, or as members of an orchestra, band, or other musical group.

Musicians practice musical instrument performances, individually or in rehearsal with other musicians, to master individual pieces of music and to maintain and improve skills. They also perform before live audiences. Equally important, musicians have to play musical instruments as soloists, or as members or guest artists of musical groups such as orchestras or bands. They are often called upon to sight-read musical parts during rehearsals. They are expected to specialize in playing a specific family of instruments and/or a particular type of music. Finally, musicians play from memory or by following scores.

Every day, musicians are expected to be able to note differences between sounds as they change tone and volume. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for musicians to furnish the musical background for live shows such as ballets and cabarets. They are often called upon to transpose music to alternate keys, or to fit individual styles or purposes. They also promote their own or their group's music by participating in media interviews and other efforts. They are sometimes expected to make or participate in recordings in music studios. Somewhat less frequently, musicians are also expected to teach music for specific instruments.

They also have to be able to direct bands or orchestras and play from memory or by following scores. And finally, they sometimes have to perform before live audiences.

Like many other jobs, musicians must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Bakersfield include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.
  • Singer. Sing songs on stage, radio, or motion pictures.


Bakersfield College - Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield College, 1801 Panorama Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93305-1299. Bakersfield College is a large college located in Bakersfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,028 students. Bakersfield College has an associate's degree program in Music which graduated two students in 2008.

California State University-Bakersfield - Bakersfield, CA

California State University-Bakersfield, 9001 Stockdale Hwy, Bakersfield, CA 93311-1099. California State University-Bakersfield is a medium sized university located in Bakersfield, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,709 students and an admission rate of 48%. California State University-Bakersfield has a bachelor's degree program in Music which graduated five students in 2008.


AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield, California photo by Bobak

Bakersfield is situated in Kern County, California. It has a population of over 321,078, which has grown by 30.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bakersfield, 90, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Bakersfield are valued at $191,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,038 new homes were built in Bakersfield, down from 1,820 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Bakersfield are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.3% of Bakersfield residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Bakersfield is 10.1%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Bakersfield residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Cornerstone Community Church, Coronado Gardens Missionary Baptist Church and Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses are some of the churches located in Bakersfield. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Bakersfield is home to the Mesa Marin Raceway and the Avenue Oaks Country Club as well as Beale Park and Kern County Fairgrounds. Shopping centers in the area include Sagebrush Shopping Center, White Lane Plaza Shopping Center and Benton Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Bakersfield can choose from Best Western Heritage Inn, Best Western Hill House and America's Best Inn Bakersfield for temporary stays in the area.