Play the acoustic or electric guitar professionally in a band or solo.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Guitarists do?

If you’re like most people, you can’t help but play a little air guitar when your favorite song comes on the radio. However, if gripping an imaginary instrument, strumming silent chords, and plucking the empty space in front of your stomach don’t satiate your rock-and-roll appetite, you might want to consider becoming a real Guitarist. Whether you specialize in rock, pop, country or folk, as a professional musician, you make you living by playing music.

If you’re a Guitarist and a Songwriter as well, your music is probably your own. And if you’re also a Singer, it’s likely accompanied by vocals. Either way, you’ve got to decide whether you want to be a soloist or part of a band. If you’re a soloist, it’s just you and your guitar. If you’re part of a band, however, you’re one of several Musicians collaborating on songs and performances.

In both cases, your days typically include one of several activities. You tune and re-string your guitar. You also record music in a studio so you can sell and stream it to fans. In addition, you rehearse music alone or with your band mates. And finally, you perform live concerts at venues ranging from street corners and coffee shops to clubs and even stadiums.

No matter what kind of Guitarist you are, one thing’s certain: While others work at desks with computers, phones, and staplers, you’re more at home on stage with amps, frets, chords, and guitar picks!

Should I be a Guitarist?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Social: You're happiest working on teams or with other people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Guitar Player

    How to become a Guitarist

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Guitarist-related education!
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