Dave 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.
Musicians’ 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.