Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications

While there is no formal schooling or specific educational requirement to become a singer, many may find various types of lessons or classes very beneficial to their training.

"Some people choose to go into a music school and learn an instrument, or learn composing... or take voice lessons," says Connor McGuire. McGuire is a professional musician.

"It does depend on what kind of singer you want to be and what type of work you want to do," says Steve Dawson. Dawson is a solo artist, as well as a vocalist and musician for the band Dolly Varden.

"If you want to work in studios or in a choral group, you'll have to know how to read some music and sight sing," he says. "So there's lots of schools that have great ensembles and vocal instructors to help with those things."

Sarah Morrison says that while having some education behind you is beneficial, it doesn't guarantee a career in the music business. Morrison is a professional singer who has about 20 years experience in the music industry.

"First and foremost, you have to be good at what you do," she says. "If you are, you will work. If you aren't, a degree/diploma will not help you get the gig."

For a singer, experience is the best education. "It's really self-education," says McGuire. "There's nowhere where you can go to learn about the music business other than from people who are in the music business."

What They Have To Do:

  • Memorizes musical selections and routines, or sings following printed text, musical notation, or customer instructions.
  • Sings as a soloist or as a member of a vocal group.
  • Performs before live audiences, or in television, radio, or movie productions.
  • Interprets or modifies music, applying knowledge of harmony, melody, rhythm, and voice production to individualize presentations and maintain audience interest.
  • Practices singing exercises and studies with vocal coaches, in order to develop their voices and skills and to rehearse for upcoming roles.
  • Sings a cappella or with musical accompaniment.
  • Observes choral leaders or prompters for cues or directions in vocal presentation.
  • Makes or participates in recordings.
  • Seeks out and learns new music that is suitable for live performance and/or recording.
  • Composes songs and/or creates vocal arrangements.

Money Pay

North Carolina EarningsAverage Annual Wage$57,242Entry Annual Wage$23,920Experienced Annual Wage$86,174Average Hourly Wage$27.52Entry Hourly Wage$11.50Experienced Hourly Wage$41.43Median Hourly Wage$30.67
North Carolina Regional Earnings

North Carolina Metropolitan Areas Wages

RegionAverageEntry LevelExperiencedCharlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC MSA$61,568 or $29.60/hr$32,885 or $15.81/hr$87,693 or $42.16/hrVirginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC MSA$38,605 or $18.56/hr$16,307 or $7.84/hr$60,611 or $29.14/hr