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Military Musicians

Military Career

General Information


Musicians in the Military perform for members of their own service branch and to engage the public. They play indoors in theaters, concert halls, and at dances, and outdoors at parades and open-air concerts. They perform many types of music, including marches, classical, jazz, and popular music. They also travel regularly and may lead or direct other musicians. There are many kinds of musicians, including instrumentalists, vocalists, and music composers and arrangers.

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Work Environment

Musicians play indoors in theaters, concert halls, and at dances; outdoors at parades and open-air concerts. They also travel regularly.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

Military Status

  • Enlisted
    • Hands-on/specialized
    • High school diploma required

Military Workforce

Musicians in the Military


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Average Salary


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Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 29%
  • Less than high school 19%
  • Master's degree 17%
  • High school 12%
  • Doctoral degree 9%
  • Some college 8%
  • Post-doctoral training 3%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Military training

All enlisted service members complete basic military training, which includes time spent in a classroom and in the field, and covers tactical and survival skills, physical training, military life and customs, and weapons training. Although musicians must be musically proficient to enter the service, music training is given to new band members. Training length varies depending on musical specialty. Musicians in the Military will gain skills through regular rehearsals, individual practice, and on-the-job experience. Job-specific training content may include: Music theoryGroup instrumental techniquesIndividual instrumental fundamentalsSight-reading musical scoresDance band techniquesSight singing and ear trainingPercussion techniques

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  • Fine Arts
  • English Language
  • Education and Training
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Communications and Media

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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