Commercial Music

music producer in recording studio

The Commercial Music program at Bakersfield College provides experience and exposure to key components of commercial music, allowing students to combine their passions for technology and music. Students will gain basic knowledge in technologies crucial to the modern recording studio, including the use of popular digital audio workstations such as Logic and Pro Tools.


studio microphoneWhat is Commercial Music?

Commercial music refers to music that is created specifically for commercial purposes, such as advertising, film, television, video games, and other media. Commercial music is often produced with the goal of making money through the sale of recordings, licensing, or other means. Commercial music can encompass a wide range of musical styles, including pop, rock, hip-hop, jazz, and electronic music, among others.

Commercial music is typically created with the intention of appealing to a large audience, and often incorporates elements that are designed to make the music memorable, catchy, and marketable. This might include memorable melodies, upbeat rhythms, and upbeat lyrics, among other elements. The focus in commercial music is often on creating a polished and marketable product, rather than artistic expression or exploration.

Is Commercial Music Right for Me?

Commercial music can be produced and recorded by individuals or by groups of musicians, and often involves collaboration between musicians, producers, and engineers. The commercial music industry is highly competitive, and success in this field often requires a combination of musical talent, technical skill, and business acumen. Nevertheless, for those who are passionate about creating and producing music for commercial purposes, commercial music can be a rewarding and fulfilling career.

Here are some traits and skills that may indicate that someone would be well-suited for a career in commercial music:

  • Musical talent
  • Technical ability
  • Creativity
  • Business acumen
  • Passion for music
  • Work ethic
  • Adaptability

These are just a few traits and skills that can indicate whether someone might be well-suited for a career in commercial music. Of course, not everyone who possesses these traits will be successful in commercial music, but having a combination of these skills and qualities can certainly increase your chances of success in this competitive and rewarding field.

Commercial Music Certificate

music soundboard with headphones

Exposure to sound synthesis providing perspective on the infrastructure of today's music software with access to a fully outfitted recording studio.

You may also be interested in the Music major.

BC students walking and talking on campus
Paying For Education

You CAN Afford BC

Don’t let finances get in the way of your goals. Get help paying for college costs like tuition, books, or sometimes even the rent with a variety of financial aid options to help you reach your educational and career goals.

two people talking in recording studioCommercial Music Careers

Some common careers for individuals that earn a certificate of achievement in commercial music:

  • Musician: Musicians are the performers of commercial music. They may play live gigs, record albums, or perform on recordings for other artists.
  • Music producer: Music producers are responsible for overseeing the recording and production process for commercial music. They work with musicians and engineers to create a polished final product.
  • Sound engineer: Sound engineers are responsible for recording, mixing, and mastering music. They work with music producers and musicians to create a professional-sounding final product.
  • Podcaster: Podcasters create audio content across an array of topics, highlighting sound design and editing as a form of storytelling.
  • Music educator: Music educators teach music lessons and help students develop their musical skills. They may work in schools, music studios, or as private instructors.
  • Music therapist: Music therapists use music to help individuals with emotional, physical, or developmental difficulties. They may work in hospitals, schools, or private practices.
  • Music journalist: Music journalists write about music and the music industry. They may work for newspapers, magazines, websites, or radio and television stations.
  • Music industry professional: There are many other jobs in the commercial music industry, including positions in music management, promotion, marketing, and sales.

These are just a few examples of the many careers available in commercial music. Depending on your individual interests and skills, you may also choose to pursue careers in other related fields, such as audio engineering, sound design, or music technology.

The Renegade Minute Podcast

BC's Commercial Music students created podcasts that are now available. Renegade Minute guests include Bakersfield College President, Sonya Christian, professors, such as Kris Tiner, students and members of the community. Take a listen: The Renegade Minute

Commercial Music Gear List

BC's commercial music program strives to provide their students with proper studio and sound equipment that will give them the experience necessary to be successful in the commercial music industry.

Gear List

Transfer Pathways

Students earning the Commercial Music Certificate of Achievement from Bakersfield College may choose to continue their education at a university to earn a 4-year degree after completing some additional courses. See your Counselor and/or a Transfer Specialist for specific questions, options, and opportunities.

Academic Department: Performing Arts

Career & Learning Pathway: Arts, Communication, and Humanities

Courses: Music (MUSC)

For more information, contact Dr. Josh Ottum at or call (661) 395-4044.

Not sure where to start? Let us help.

Meet with a Counselor

Take the right classes to meet your education and career goals. Create your Comprehensive Student Education Plan (CSEP) with your Counselor or Ed. Advisor.
Call (661) 395-4421.

Not sure about your career path?

Take the career quiz to discover the perfect career based on your personality type and interests.

Follow BC Commercial Music on Social Media