Music Apprenticeships

If you can’t imagine your life without music and want to turn your passion for music into a job, you can. Read on to find out all about apprenticeships in music.

Music Apprenticeships

If you can’t imagine your life without music and want to turn your passion for music into a job, you can.

Getting a job in the music industry might seem like trying to break into Fort Knox, but it is super possible. How? Through a music apprenticeship.

It’s one of the most exciting industries to work in. You’ll rub shoulders with some pretty well-known people, get the opportunity to travel all over the world and encounter experiences you might not get in a regular office role.

Music is big business. In 2022, music industry sales in the UK smashed a record £1.9 billion ($2.4 Billion) for the first time since 1987. And that’s just the retail side.

Read on for more about music apprenticeships and how you can get involved.

Can you do a music apprenticeship?

YES. At times the music industry can seem like an exclusive member’s club, and in some way - it can be. However, there are plenty of ways to enter the industry that don’t involve having to be a musician.

There is a wide range of music apprenticeships, including aspects you probably didn’t know were possible. 

A music apprenticeship is one of the best routes to a career in music. Why? Because you get the all-important experience, employers are looking for right from the start and combine that with a nationally-recognised qualification.

What apprenticeships are there in music?

You’d probably be surprised to hear that the music industry isn’t all X Factor. In reality, it’s an incredibly diverse industry with many avenues that don’t require you to pick up a microphone. However, it helps greatly if you have a genuine passion for the music industry. 

There are loads of music apprenticeships across all levels.

Level 4 Assistant Recording Technician

One for fans of sound design, an assistant recording technician edits and produces music and sound content for use across various platforms, including TV, radio, film and games. You’ll also assist in the final mixing stage, working on levels and adding little touches. 

After a music apprenticeship, assistant recording technicians can become sound engineers, senior sound technicians or production managers.

Organ Builder Apprenticeship

Yes. This is real. Organs are one of the most interesting instruments in the world, and you can have a hand in building them.

During an organ builder apprenticeship, you’ll learn how to craft, create and assemble an organ and train in organ maintenance and repair. Once you’ve finished training, the Institute of British Organ Building will recognise you as a qualified organ builder.

Live Sound Production

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work on the sound for a live show or tour, here’s your chance. You'll learn to prepare, maintain, and set up impressive (and heavy) sound equipment as a live sound production apprentice. You’ll also train in how to use the equipment.

"“They were a great company to work with and work placements can be a great stepping platform in getting work and future employment. The people you get to work with and meet will teach you some of the greatest lessons.” " Sound Engineer, fac365

Level 3 Business Administration

Admin is a huge part of the music industry. From handling contracts and maintaining records to attending client meetings and answering enquiries, you’ll ensure the music business's back end is as shiny as the front end.

Level 3 Label Assistant

If you’ve ever wanted to know what working for a record label is like, now’s your chance. As a label assistant, you’ll work in a fast-paced environment where no two days are the same.

You’ll cover a range of tasks, including assisting on media campaigns for new artists to admin tasks. Plus, you’ll meet various people, from label executives to artists.

The great thing is you don’t necessarily have to stay within that particular section of the music industry. If you started in sound production, there’s no reason why you can’t move onto the business side and vice versa. It’s all about getting your foot in the door.

Want to know what it’s like to be an audio engineer? Watch this day in the life.

Who offers music apprenticeships?

Now you know what’s available, where can you do a music apprenticeship?

Glad you asked. A few places often advertise music apprenticeships, and to help you find them - they’re below.

Music Industries Association

Also known as the MIA, the Music Industries Association aims to make musical instruments, music technology and music learning accessible to everyone in the UK.

So naturally, it’s a great source to find yourself an apprenticeship. Its industry vacancy page is filled with jobs from every corner of the music industry and often advertises apprenticeships.

You can also check out their Twitter and LinkedIn for updates.

The Association of Independent Music (AIM)

If you’re a fan of independent artists and labels, an apprenticeship with AIM will be right up your street. AIM provides services and commercial opportunities to independent labels and artists, helping them innovate, grow and break into new markets.

Its Amplify Apprenticeship Scheme aims to positively impact the music industry by improving diversity and inclusion in the independent music sector. The scheme offers apprenticeships in label assisting, which will lead to a qualification in business administration.

The Brit Trust

You’ve probably heard about the Brit Trust; if you haven’t, you’ll probably have heard of the Brit School and the Brit Awards. They’re all under the same umbrella.

Founded in 1989, the Brit Trust is all about using music for good and providing young people and people from various backgrounds with a route into the music industry.

The Brit Trust often advertises music apprenticeship positions in the following: 

  • A&R

  • Administration

  • Business affairs

  • Digital media

  • Licensing

  • Marketing

It’s best to keep an eye out for future Brit Trust apprenticeships via its website.

Sure we can tell you about what’s available, but why not hear it from actual apprentices? We host over 40,000 apprentice-written reviews for you to read through.

Browse Apprenticeship Reviews

What GCSEs do you need for music apprenticeships?

It all depends on the apprenticeship and level you go for. Most music apprenticeships are Level 3, meaning you’ll need the following…

  • Five GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and Maths.

However, some music apprenticeships will take on apprentices who don’t have the above qualifications. However, you must take English, Maths, and ICT at GSCE levels 4 to 9 during your apprenticeship.

It also obviously helps to have a keen interest in the music industry. So when you apply for a music apprenticeship, it’s your opportunity to show off any skills and experience you may have already picked up.

Some skills you’ll likely already have. For example, if you’re applying for a label assistant role, you’ll need to have…

  • Knowledge of Microsoft 360/Google Docs or similar

  • Understand how music streaming services work

  • Know your way around social media

  • Great teamwork

  • Attention to detail.

See, you’re halfway there already. It’s also an excellent opportunity to boast about any hobbies you have that are relevant to the music industry on your CV. This can include…

  • Running a music blog or even a vlog

  • Being part of a music group or choir

  • Producing music

  • DJing

  • Assisting at music events and festivals.

How much can a music apprentice earn?

You’ll earn a minimum wage of £5.28 per hour as an apprentice. But employers pay well above the national average.

It all depends on the level of apprenticeship you do. For example, a Level 3 label assistant could earn £24,856 per year

As wages vary, shopping around and seeing what’s out there is a good idea.

What can I do after a music apprenticeship?

Once you’ve finished a music apprenticeship, the world is literally your jukebox. You could work towards becoming a recording engineer or even an A&R agent. Some other roles you can do include…

Tour Manager

You’ll be responsible for everything that an artist's tour involves. Whether that’s booking venues, organising lighting and sound engineers - you’ll have your fingers in many pies. You’ll need to know the music industry like you know the words to every Lizzo song. 

Music PR Agent

As a PR agent, you’ll work on getting music artists exposure to the media and the general public. You could organise promo for tours, organise TV and film appearances and ensure an artist’s social media is in tip-top shape.

It’s a hands-on role, and you’ll get involved with many projects - sometimes for multiple clients.

A&R Agent

If you’ve got the gift of discovering the next best thing, A&R (artists and repertoire) is the perfect role after an apprenticeship. 

Essentially, you’ll be responsible for finding and nurturing new talent. A strong business mind and music industry knowledge are a must. Who knows, you could discover the next Ariana Grande.

Booking Agent

You’ll do a lot and offer different services for artists that cover everything from marketing to distribution. A booking agent schedules live performances, including radio and TV appearances, concerts, tours and gigs. 

It’s about ensuring the artist is seen by everyone and develops their performing chops. 

Taking the leap into the career you deserve is always worth it. 

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