Musician (instrumental)

What they do

Musicians play musical instruments to entertain an audience. Depending on their area of specialisation, they may write, arrange, perform and conduct music compositions. While there are many areas of music to work in, from studying its history to performing jazz or opera, musicians tend to specialise in a particular musical instrument or style of music. Despite this, they need to be flexible. For example, they may perform solo in an open air concert of a few hundred people in Kings Park, and then perform with a group of other musicians for a gallery opening in Subiaco.

Working conditions

Musicians perform in designated performance spaces, such as theaters or concert halls, as well as pubs, clubs, hotels or, when hired for smaller functions, at private dwellings. They must be prepared to work irregular hours, spend a great deal of time practicing, and may need to seek additional employment to support themselves. Many musicians supplement their income by teaching music.

Tools and technologies

Musicians use more technology than just their musical instruments. They also utilize microphones, amplifiers, speakers, lighting, music stands, and other equipment used for performance or recording. They must also be very aware of their public presentation and may be required to wear costumes, uniforms or make-up. Musicians may require a car or van to transport their instruments and equipment.

How do I become one?

Education and training




It is possible to work as an instrumental musician without any formal qualifications as some musicians are self-taught.

However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in music or a related area.

The Certificate IV in Musical Theatre and Diploma of Musical Theatre is available at Western Australian registered training organisations.

The selection process of most courses include an audition and you may be required to demonstrate a high level of musical proficiency.

   Search courses on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.

  You can also complete a degree majoring in music or music studies.

  Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

  Learn more about your study options.


Required registration and licensing