Trumpet Job Numbers

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 12.14.03 AMFollowing up on my exploration of trumpet degrees versus jobs, I would like to clarify my reasons for pursuing this data.

From my comment reply from yesterday’s post:

There are two thoughts on college education: the first is that it is a pathway to greater knowledge and mastery; the second is that it is a precursor to better employment. Reading a Gallup pole blog, I quote: “No matter who you ask — whether it’s a representative sample of Americans, incoming college freshmen, or parents of 5th-12th graders — they say the most important reason for a degree beyond high school is to get a good job.” I think the economics of getting a degree (between $40K and $200K depending on what institution you choose) involve a financial risk, unless you somehow can independently afford your degree without concern for future employment. So . . . getting a job is, at the very least, in the back of students’, parents’ and teachers’ minds.
Of course, no one knows who will be successful in their chosen college career path, nor who will try a different path after college. Most will arrive at their place of success if not immediately, then after some wait, or after a long and winding road. All of that is good.
I want to reveal some of the discrepancies between music degrees and the job market as a “consumer” disclaimer so that everyone can make the best decisions. If nothing else, a trumpet student who more accurately understands the numbers, can get really motivated!!

Today I want to show some fairly accurate numbers on last year’s trumpet employment as listed on the ITG Employment Webpage (thanks to editor Dr. Jason Dovel for providing this break-down):

Job Type Total Jobs Tenured (continuing prospect of employment) Temporary Full time (visiting or 1 year appointment) Part-time
American Ochestra Jobs 10 6 4
Foreign Orchestra listed in ITG employment Page 3 3
Academic Non-jazz Positionis 21 16 2 3
Academic Jazz Positions 4 3 1
Military Trumpet Jobs 5 5
Other trumpet jobs 4 The breakdown of “other trumpet jobs” is not known
Assistantships 15
Total U.S. Jobs (not counting assistantships or foreign listings) 44 at least 33 at least 2 8


Obviously, there are many other employment opportunities than these listings. Many small performing groups do not get listed in the ITG Employment Page. Many part-time faculty jobs are unannounced, as well. There are a very few trumpeters who have unusual jobs that are never listed, such as studio trumpet jobs or Broadway musical jobs. Getting one of these jobs differs from the orchestra audition or academic interview process  (the exploration of which would make a good future blog entry). Nevertheless, most of the big jobs ARE listed on the ITG site. In addition to “positions” in the trumpet employment world, many trumpet players are fully self-employed and take a variety of ad hoc jobs.

This link will take you to an excellent breakdown from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Occupational Employment and Wages (May 2010) for Musicians and Singers.

It is interesting to me that, based on this page, there are currently 42,100 music jobs in the U.S. Now, what I want to know is how many trumpeters figure into that? Based on the HEADS survey of NASM institutions that I referred to yesterday, trumpet enrollment in the fall semester last year was 1,549 compared with a total music student enrollment of 116,351 in the same semester. That means that trumpeters in general represent 1.3% of the total music population (at least in academia). If we extrapolate that figure as it relates to the 42,100 music jobs in the U.S., we come up with about 560 trumpet jobs. The traditional figure used to calculate replacement needs is 8.7%. Thus, we can guess that there are about 49 new trumpet jobs each year.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 12.12.40 AMJust to recap my findings:

  1. We are teaching about 1,549 in higher education
  2. We confer about 369 trumpet degrees each year
  3. Women, blacks and hispanics are under-represented by a large factor (a third to a tenth less than the general population)
  4. If the trumpet students are trying to get a job in the real world, they are seeking to replace vacancies in the approximately 560 trumpet jobs that we have in the U.S. (this is about 49 as figured above)
  5. They are vying (along with former graduates who are still unemployed) for 44 listed job openings, 33 of which are full-time, 2 of which are temporary, and 8 are part-time
  6. The remaining 5 (49 total vacancies less the listed openings) “jobs” will be cobbled together from part-time positions and ad-hoc jobs.
  7. If every trumpet graduate this year wanted to get a job upon graduation, this would unfortunately result in unemployment for 320 of the 369 graduates, which correlates to about 87% trumpet unemployment. But, as mentioned before, the unemployed graduates remain in the job market for some time. This creates a much higher rate of unemployment.

Screen Shot 2013-08-31 at 12.14.40 AMWhat do we do with this information? Do we discourage people’s dreams? I do not advise this. Our dreams are sacred! However, I propose that this problem be tackled from different angles:

  1. Redirect trumpet students who really do not burn with a passion to play trumpet (I do not think this number is negligible)
  2. Use this information to motivate current students as much as possible
  3. Use this information to encourage students to study an alternate curriculum to maximize employability (while still pursuing trumpet studies)
  4. Re-focus on excellence in trumpet teaching for earlier ages (I believe that the magic trumpet “window” of learning is earlier than college)
  5. Encourage students to follow different paths in order to make their own unique trumpet jobs
  6. Encourage more diversity in trumpet programs of study
  7. Encourage teachers to develop their students in creative and personalized ways

What are your thoughts?


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Trumpet Degree Statistics in U.S. Music Institutions

Today, I was able to look at the latest Higher Education Arts Data Services (HEADS) Music Data Summaries 2011-2012. This survey is conducted for all of the National Association of  Schools of Music (NASM). There are about 636 public and private institutions who report statistical information to NASM.

When I posted my article, “Why Do We Grant So Many Trumpet Degrees?” on August 10, I made quite a few guesses about the numbers of there were and how many degrees were conferred each year. Now that I have some concrete statistics on higher education trumpet study, I’d like to share that with you.

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 12.13.28 AMNot all 636 NASM schools offer trumpet degrees. 18 offer Associate’s degrees; 269 offer Bachelor’s degrees; 131 offer Master’s degrees; and 47 offer Doctoral degrees. I was not able to find out the total number of institutions that offer some trumpet degree, but with a little common sense, I was able to make a good guess. Because most master’s degree programs offer bachelor’s degrees, and because most doctoral programs offer both the master’s and bachelor’s degrees, I assume that there are about 270 trumpet degree-granting institutions in the U. S–that reported statistics for the HEADS. The following chart shows the break down of trumpet majors in these institutions:

Trumpet Major Enrollment, All NASM Institutions
Degree level Number of Institutions with majors Summer enrollment Fall semester Degrees conferred
Associate 18 7 38 7
Bachelor’s 269 87 1066 213
Master’s 131 27 296 125
Doctorate 47 24 149 24
Totals about 270 145 1549 369

You might want to know the statistics of total music major enrollment at all 636 music institutions: summer enrollment was 16,676, fall semester enrollment was 116,351 and the total music degrees conferred were 22,721.


In addition, demographics of doctoral trumpet students were presented in the study:

  1. In 19 institutions that granted doctoral degrees (and reported to HEADS on demographics) this last year, there were 27 trumpet degrees given (this is slightly more than reported above because some institutions may not report all pertinent data). Of these 27 graduates, 1 (3.7%) was a black male, 1 (3.7%) was a Hispanic male, 23 (85%) were white, non-hispanic males, 1 (3.7%) was a white female and 1 (3.7%) was an Asian male.
  2. In 43 institutions reported on enrolling a total of 136 doctoral trumpet students (again this is slightly different that reported above because some institutions may not report all data), 4 (2.9%) were black males, 1 (0.7%) was a Pacific islander female, 5 (3.7%) were Hispanic males, 83 (61%) were white males, 17 (12.5%) were white females, 4 (2.9%) were Asian males, 2 (1.5%) were Asian females, 17 (12.5%) were “other/race unknown” males and 3 (2.2%) were “other/race unknown”females.

There were no American Indian or Alaskan Native trumpeters in doctoral programs. The following chart compares these demographics with U.S. demographics on race as a whole:

Enrolled Trumpet Doctoral Student Demographics Compared to U.S. General Population
Race/Ethnicity U.S. Population Percentage Doctoral Trumpet Enrollees Percentage
White/European American 72.4% 73.5%
Black/African American 12.6% 2.9%
Asian American 4.8% 14%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.9% 0.0%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0.2% 0.7%
Hispanic 16.4% 3.7%
Some other race (or unknown in trumpet demographic study) 8.0% 2.2%