Professional singers and songwriters may work in a variety of facilities, from cafes and bars to larger live music venues and festivals. The wages singers and songwriters get paid are often based on their popularity, how much freelance work they do, the industry they are employed in and the area in which they live.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that singer/songwriters in the United States got paid an average of £18.9 an hour as of 2009. The median wage was £14.50; in the 10th percentile singers earned less than £5.2 an hour, in the 25th percentile they earned less than £8.20, in the 75th percentile they earned over £24.1 and in the 90th percentile they earned over £38.2.
The largest industry for employed singer/songwriters as of 2009 was performing arts companies, where the bureau reports the average salary was £20.30 an hour. Singer/songwriters working for religious organisations earned an average of £13.6 an hour, while those working in amusement parks and arcades earned an average of £15.10. Elementary and secondary schools employed singer/songwriters for an average wage of £13.90 an hour, and those working as independent artists and performers earned an average of £23.40 an hour.
The state with the highest concentration of employed singer/songwriters was Hawaii as of 2009, and the bureau reports the average hourly wage for this occupation was £20.70. The highest-paying state was California with an average of £22.70. Arizona ranked second with an average hourly wage of £22.5, followed by West Virginia with an average of £22.10.
Singer/songwriters interested in advancing in a career as a musician frequently seek the help of agents or managers to help find engagements and negotiate contracts, as well as assist with promotional activities. Singers employed by promoters of performing arts and similar events earned an average salary of £23.40 as of 2009, topped only by the industry of employment services, which the bureau reports offered an average salary for singer/songwriters of £32.0.
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