This is the second instalment in a series of blogs that provide information on occupational roles that UK employers struggle to fill and here we take a look at the role of orchestral musician.
There are regional differences in the skills and occupations where employers are experiencing shortages and throughout this series we will endeavour to provide information on where the greatest demand for the occupations and skills exist geographically.
A shortage of musicians
Whilst you may be aware of skills shortages in STEM you may be less alert to the skills gaps that exist in creative fields such as music. Specifically, the UK has a shortage of classical, orchestral musicians to perform with our great orchestras and these professional musician positions often have to be filled by musicians from outside the UK.
It goes without saying that you need to have a great deal of musical talent and ability to succeed as a professional musician at this level. You will also need a tremendous amount of dedication to your art as it takes practice and time to maintain as well as develop your skills.
Musical education and skills
For a career as an orchestral musician you will more than likely have developed your skills from an early age. You will also have developed a classical repertoire, taken graded music exams covering both practical performance and music theory and trained at a conservatoire or university.
Aside from musical training and ability the following skills are necessary for a career as an orchestral musician:
• Self-motivation, discipline and perseverance
• Confidence for performing in front of an audience
• Team working skills
Expected salary for a musician
Classical musicians can work on TV, film, on the radio or on the stage either live or pre-recorded. The average salary for a classical musician is between £23,000 and £29,000 for someone starting out and for a principal musician salaries average up to £40,000.
Working hours can be long, can include evenings and weekends and might include travel in the UK and abroad.