Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 2.07.17 PMDave Hiltebrand always knew he would be a professional musician. He was fortunate to have the support of his family, and was able to blend his passion for many areas of music into a successful, fluid career. Dave built his career — which includes a national tour with “Jersey Boys,” co-writing hit songs and building his own studio — with a strong conviction to his own values and to keeping an open mind.

A career as a musician or singer can take many forms, including composers and songwriters; people who play musical instruments; and singers or vocalists. Generally, a career as a popular musician or singer does not require formal or post-secondary education, although many seek education or vocational training to hone their skills and broaden their opportunities.

CAREER OUTLOOK

DH-4Musicians’ earnings are generally reported on an hourly basis because they fall into the category of workers who either work part-time or do not work year-round, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2014, musicians earned a median hourly wage of $24.16. The BLS lists a projected growth rate of 5 percent between 2012 and 2022 for the combined “musicians and singers” category, which is below average.

AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

We talked to Dave Hiltebrand about some of his greatest joys, challenges and insights as he continues to develop his career as a musician.