Jobs That Involve Music and Science
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Music is inherently rooted in science, since all music derives from vibrating sound waves that travel through the air and other mediums. For individuals who have a passion for music but don't choose performance-based careers, jobs that involve music and science may be a good choice. Some jobs that combine music and science include audio equipment technician, music science researcher and auditory neuroscientist.
Audio Equipment Technician
Audio equipment technicians, also known as engineers or operators, set up and operate audio equipment, including speakers, monitors, microphones and recording devices. They connect cables and wires to various inputs and bypasses and organize and control the sound and other audio levels, such as reverb. They commonly work at concerts, recording sessions, conventions, presentations and sporting events. A one-year vocational certificate is usually sufficient education, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, but many technicians earn an associate or bachelor's degree. Audio technicians must have sufficient knowledge of electronics and voltage. Otherwise they could damage equipment or produce poor quality sound.
Music Science Researcher
Music scientists perform research on topics such as how musicians interact with their instruments or the acoustics of different instruments, including brass or wind instruments. The University of New South Wales has post-graduate research positions to train students with engineering or science degrees to perform such research. This interdisciplinary program combines resources from various academic departments, including physics and music. For example, some researchers study how pitch is transmitted and perceived through cochlear implants, aiming to make these implants better for listening to music. Students who have completed master's or Ph.D. degrees in this program have obtained jobs in academia and in acoustics labs.
Auditory neuroscience is the branch of science which seeks to explain how music and sound affects and is affected by the structures and functioning of the brain and the nervous system. In particular, this branch of science seeks to understand the neurobiological basis for the human ability to perceive, learn and perform music. Auditory neuroscientists use their research not only to answer these questions, but also to diagnose and develop new therapies for auditory conditions, such as deafness. The majority of neuroscientists have Ph.D.s in neuroscience, neurobiology, cognitive science, psychology or a related field.
2016 Salary Information for Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians earned a median annual salary of $42,740 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, broadcast and sound engineering technicians earned a 25th percentile salary of $30,200, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $62,340, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 134,300 people were employed in the U.S. as broadcast and sound engineering technicians.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook -- Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
- University of Maryland: Auditory Neuroscience
- The University of New South Wales: Music Science Research
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
- Career Trend: Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
Erik Devaney is a writing professional specializing in health and science topics. His work has been featured on various websites. Devaney attended McGill University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanistic studies.