There are three broad types of trumpet jobs: those that center on playing, those that involve primarily teaching, and those concerned with instrument construction and repair. The trumpeting world is relatively small, and it is not uncommon for people to hold jobs in multiple categories. Players often offer lessons, for instance, and trumpet makers may also play in orchestras. In some circumstances, trumpet jobs provide enough income to serve as primary careers, but this is not always the case. It is common for musicians and trumpet enthusiasts to have other jobs and careers outside of trumpeting, as well.
Trumpet players usually have some of the most easily recognized trumpet jobs. People who play in professional brass bands or orchestras are obvious examples. Some trumpeters are also recording artists, either playing solos or serving as back-up to a number of bands and singers. A trumpet player who is highly skilled and has the right connections can often make a lot of money in performance and recording.
Instructors also hold very important trumpet jobs. Although some trumpet masters are self-taught musical prodigies, most rise to fame through organized study and individual instruction. Trumpet teachers and professors are usually the people who pass on their expertise through lessons and help the next generation of players refine their skills.
There are several different kinds of jobs within the “teacher” category. Some players will offer individual lessons out of their homes, teaching students on a one-on-one basis. Others take jobs as school band directors, helping coach student trumpet players and teaching basic techniques.
Teachers who work primarily with children often teach not only trumpet, but also other brass instruments. Most instruments in the brass family have similar characteristics. People who are skilled in playing one often find that they can also teach others, particularly at an elementary level. Being able to teach multiple instruments often opens up a lot of other employment possibilities. Much depends on the market, but trumpet jobs as private teachers and band instructors are often only part-time.
The most prestigious teaching jobs usually occur in universities or performing arts schools. Professional institutions often recruit expert musicians to teach and train students with burgeoning skills. Musical professorships are usually full-time appointments that require a blend of individual instruction, conducting, and composing. Some individual research or performance work is usually also expected.
Not all trumpet jobs require musical expertise. Trumpet makers must understand basic principles of sound quality and mechanical composition, but the quality of their own playing ability usually has no bearing on their potential for success. Making a trumpet is usually a time-intensive undertaking that requires a deep understanding of brass workmanship and market trends more than anything else.
Trumpet repair falls within a similar category. Repair shop workers must usually have an expert knowledge of how trumpets work, but need not necessarily know how to play them to any great degree. Some musical instrument repair focuses exclusively on trumpets, but this usually requires a large market. More often than not, individuals in this sector must also handle other related instruments in order to stay profitable.