Music producer salary varies according to a numerous factors. According to Berklee Music - the one of the world's top "learning laboratory" in the music industry - a music producer salary ranges from $25.000 up to $1.000.000+ per annum. We need to take in consideration the fact, that when you start off recording and producing music, you usually start it for free, in exchange for your passion, commitment, feature goals. Once you get good enough, and when you earn the trust of the artists / record labels people start to pay you for your time. Music producer with 1-2+ years experience can ear on the low end, $20.000 per year. The best music producers in the industry can earn over $1 mil a year.
The highest paid music producers
Wheather you like Myles Cyrus or Eminem, the reason that song is played on the radio airplay chart or got popular through the other media and the real credit goes to the music producer, who had actually spent lot of time and effort before song came out. Music producers are best known for shaping the uncut diamond into a princess cut. They are responsible for the final outcome, making sure that every aspect of the song - from lyrics, melody, harmony and chord progression, sound, beat, etc...is sounding clear and crisp to the audience and can bring the expectation of the critics, record labels and fans.
Let's have a look in the list of the highest paid music producers and their salary - all these guys may not have gained credit for all their songs, however definitely they are the most respectable and the highest payable producers in the music industry.
Music Producer Salary: $15 Million: T-Bone Burnett
American soundtrack producer and songwriter responsible for the majority of the traditional American soundtracks. He collaborated with artist such a Counting Crows, Elvis Costello and many others.
Music Producer Salary: $150 Million: The Neptunes
Definitelly these guys deserve all their money. Orginigally, formed in 1990 as group of 4 people, later on reduced to Chad Hugo and Pharell Williams. in 2000's they've brought some fresh air into the music and since then have helped many artists to relaunch again their sleeping career. The Neptunes has collaborated with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Busta Rhymes...just to name the few.
Music Producer Salary: $60 Million: Butch Vig
Best known for the Nirvana album Nevermind. He is best known as the producer of the dark grunge era in 90s - Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, later on Foo Fighter, Garbage (the band where he is a drummer). He delivered some of the greatest records through the decades.
Music Producer Salary: $100 Million: Phil Spector
Very talented musician, songwriter, instrumentalist, famous for his "invention" wall of sound, back in 60s. He is associated with the biggest stars through the ages like John Lennon, Tina Turner, Ramons, Bob Dylan, etc....
Music Producer Salary: $250 Million: Max Martin
Nowadays, swedish music producers are ruling the world. This guy earned respect and popularity with producing the names and writing songs for artists like a Britney Spears, Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys, Pink or Kate Perry.
Music Producer Salary: $360 Million: Dr. Dre
Dr. Dre cannot be neglected in this list. Mostly hip hop music producer, responsible for the stars like Eminem, Tupac, Ice Cube or 50 Cent.
Music Producer Salary: $400 Million: Rick Rubin
This one is my favorite one. Rick has produced incredible diverse range of artists, he also revolutionized the music industry by introducing hip hop genre. He helped a Johnny Cash to relaunched his career. Budhist monk famous for the production of Beastie Boys and one of the best album of the 90s - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic. Watch the documentary how he made it!
How much money can I earn with music production? What would be my music producer salary?
The music production industry has seen steady growth in the recent years - music is becoming bigger and bigger every year, paradoxically internet age and invention of mp3's are helping this situation with setting new conditions and rules. The best indicator of a music producer salary is an estimated median salary (which is something above $40.000). Music producers are paid in numerous ways - some producers work in-house for a record label or a certain studio and are paid per projects, some big music labels like to sign up the biggest names in music production and keep them to work exclusively for their artistic house. Recent salary growth is expected to continue in the coming years, though the percentage may be somewhat diminished - but I don't believe that.
If you want to work for a record label or studio, you have to climb the ladder of success - step by step - from tea maker position, through studio assistant, recording engineer, etc... Those who’ve finished a degree in sound engineering, audio engineering or media communication can earn around $20,000 to $30,000 per annum. It can bring you stable amount of work and also regular income, with possibility of growth and learning and improving skills, getting new experiences on a regular basis. An Assistant Engineer, who supports the engineer with equipment setup/tear down, recording tracks, and mixing can expect to earn between $18,000 – $25,000. The latter being the lowest level expected of music producer jobs income.
More resources: Music Salary Guide