Last updated Apr 02 '12 at 09:40
engineeer87 is spot on. Though I've since moved on, I used to work in music production/engineering (incl. a stint in a Nashville studio). Everyone I knew in the industry (myself included) got their start through a personal acquaintance or an apprenticeship.
I got my first job by making personal visits to all the major studios. I just stopped by and asked if I could work for free. Though most said no, I eventually found one that said yes. After a lot of hard work, they eventually started paying me.
Apprentices/interns work for little to no pay because it's understood that they will receive some form of education during the course of their work. Good engineers will go out of their way to teach you things during the course of your work. Make no mistake, you'll also do a lot of mundane, seemingly mindless tasks.
Pay particular attention to smaller studios, as you'll get more responsibility faster.
As your chops improve throughout the course of your internship/apprenticeship, you'll start to pick up paying gigs. Perhaps a live show here, an extra studio session there, etc. If everything works out and your network of clients expands, you'll eventually find that you're making enough money to eat more than Ramen. There are few salaried people in music - most live check to check.
Best of luck, I hope it works out for you.
Last updated Mar 30 '12 at 17:27
Disclaimer: I'm not a professional music producer. That said, I've been in/around pro musicians a lot. Here's my take on what I've learned from that.
Many music producers get their start apprenticing in a music studio under an existing producer. Although the pay isn’t great for the first few years, you get a tremendous amount of learning and experience on the job, which will make you highly desirable to other firms and companies in the music industry later. A lot of music is produced out of Tennessee, and especially Nashville – and not just country music! If you’re looking to get into the industry, take a look at internships over your summers down in Nashville, and you may find yourself working with a great production firm.