What does it take to build a career as a music composer in the music industry today? Choosing a career in music, like any other area, has its ups and downs. However, building a career as a music composer can be much more challenging as this music career path is known for being highly competitive.1So, if you are interested in the music composer career path, here are a few things you need to know.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Music Composer 

Music composition involves arranging, writing, directing, and producing music for entertainment or art. A music composer’s job can involve creating original pieces of music (for movies, ads, or TV shows) and training musicians in orchestras, choirs, bands, solo artists, or symphonies to execute their creations.

Music composers write music professionally, and depending on their area of expertise, they may require the following skills: 

  • The knowledge of musical notations to create musical scores.3  
  • The experience and knowledge to prepare instructions for different types of musical instruments and vocal ranges. 
  • The skill to observe and recognize various characteristics of a song, like melody, chords, and tempo. 

Skills Required to Become a Music Composer

Depending on what your interests are in the area, you can either opt for formal training (by applying for a degree or majoring in the area of music) or begin building your music profile if you have independently developed your skills.4 However, having a good formal foundation in music theory and the fundamentals of music can increase your chances of getting work and better pay. Since the music industry is highly skill-oriented, music composers sell their finished work to clients and companies. 

It is also essential to be trained in a musical instrument to be able to compose music; most music composers use the piano as its versatility makes for easy composition. Having a good grasp of digital tools is a must as most music today is processed, mixed, or engineered on software and digital devices.  

Music Composer Career Path Rewards and Challenges 

The music industry is highly competitive like any other area today. Talent is abundant, and opportunities are limited. Knowing exactly what you want out of the career and setting realistic goals can help you find fulfillment, success, and satisfaction despite these challenges. 

If you plan on becoming a music composer, know the in’s and out’s of the music industry and be prepared to put in the hard work to gain the experience and expertise that is required to achieve success first. Working for the sole purpose of gaining fame and popularity can be disappointing, as in most cases, goals set on such outcomes do not factor in the effort needed or the contentment felt with the career choice. Make sure your decision to become a music composer is well thought out from every possible perspective, since this will be your future career and source of income. 

Career Options for Music Composers

Music composers have many options to choose from. There are opportunities for collaborative, contract, employed, and independent work. If you are passionate about composing music, here are a few options that may interest you:  

  • Creating original music for clients5
  • Sound design and music composition for libraries
  • Music orchestration, notation, transcription, and arrangement
  • Music production
  • Recording engineer
  • Live shows, events, and performances 
  • Studio session musician
  • Live streams on social media 
  • Music instructor 
  • Creating courses for music institutes and organizations 
  • Music journalism and blogging  

BYJU’S FutureSchool

Learn more about music with some of the best music teachers who use a well-researched curriculum to help you understand and grasp music skills in a fun and effective way. Book a free trial with BYJU’S FutureSchool to start your music journey today! Continue reading many more interesting blogs on music at BYJU’S FutureSchool blog.


  1. Become a Composer in 2021? Salary, Jobs, Forecasts – YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyR2P52ClPA
    2. Music Composer: Career, Roles, Skills, Salary & Roadmap. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.mentoria.com/career/music-composer
    3. What Does a Composer Do? Skills, Salary and Requirements | Indeed.com. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/what-does-composer-do
    4. How to become a music composer | detailed interview – YouTube. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HAXL4c6HXw
    5. How to Become a Music Composer (Success Guide) – Professional Composers. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://professionalcomposers.com/how-to-become-a-music-composer/