Symphony Orchestra Musician

Play your instrument in a large orchestra.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Symphony Orchestra Musicians do?

Orchestras have provided musical entertainment for hundreds of years. Audiences pack the halls for every performance because you and your fellow Musicians are the best of the best, the crème de la crème, the icing on the cake—well, you get the picture.

Becoming a Symphony Orchestra Musician (a symphony orchestra is an ensemble with 80 or more Musicians) requires years of practice, dedication, and self-discipline. If you’re considering pursuing a career as a Symphony Orchestra Musician, you probably began playing at a very young age, attended special schools to perfect your skills, and made a lot of sacrifices to hone your talent. If so, you’re on the right path. After all, being chosen as one of the few Musicians to perform with a select number of symphonies ranks right up there with being chosen for an Olympic event.

Once you make it through the Symphony Orchestra Musician boot camp, you spend your days analyzing and practicing music. Whether you play an instrument from the strings, brass, percussion, or woodwind section, you have a specific contribution to make to each piece of music. You might be the leader of your section, or perhaps earn the privilege of playing a solo during performances.

You commonly perform classical music, back up Opera Singers, and provide music for plays. You might even be part of an elite group of performers who create scores for video games or movies.

Should I be a Symphony Orchestra Musician?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Orchestra Musician

    How to Become a
    Symphony Orchestra Musician

    Most Symphony Orchestra Musicians have a Bachelor's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:y9aooa&chl=no+college+%2826%25%29|certificate+%2832%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2821%25%29|master%27s+%2821%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,26,32
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