Not necessarily. It can be the case for many up-and-comers in crime, but there are many variables. Can the guy earn? If the guy can earn well he can be made merely on the premise that his envelope is going to be big every week, no matter what. The only reason some of these guys are required to murder and earn is to prove a certain amount of loyalty before they are formally inducted, as we saw in last night's episode with Bobby; murder, whether you like it or not, is going to leave a tremendous impact on your concious. As clearly portrayed throughout the series, sociopaths, like us, make good and bad decisions and they can often leave us siding with the authority who made us do it. I think that at least was the reasoning behind making some guys "make their bones," at least 30+ years ago it was. It all circumstantial. These top guys, they don't want a loose-cannon that is going to cause beefs while blowing away every guy that pisses them off, but in certain cases, when the murder is beneficial or just in the eyes of the top, it will certainly help push your name into the books.
Here are two pretty specific examples of guys who have murdered to get in and guys who did not have to:
In 1973 Gotti participated in the murder of James McBratney, the member of a gang that specialized in robbing and kidnapping bookmakers and loan sharks. The murder was ordered after a nephew of Carlo Gambino's had been kidnapped and found dead. Taking part in the McBratney killing eventually meant for Gotti another two years in prison, but it also made him eligible for Cosa Nostra membership. After Carlo Gambino died, after 'the books were opened' and after serving his time for the McBratney murder, John Gotti was 'made' in 1977. http://www.organized-crime.de/revmus03johngotti.htm
In my opinion, John Gotti could have been made without carrying out this hit under Carlo Gambino, but not his predecessor, Paul Castellano, who as most know, had his share of problems with Gotti that lead up to his assassination. Doing the short-sentence, murdering for a top guy and earning made enough Gotti-supporters in the family that he was made.
Case #2 (of many): Thomas Gambino, son of the late Gambino boss Carlo. Never had to murder; made millions of dollars in stock market and internet scams. Even if he hadn't been Calro's son, someone pulling in that much money is going to be made so that tribue can fall into place accordingly. Capeci even referred to the guy as "a capo in the crime family that bears his father Carlo Gambino's name (right )but he has never been known as a tough guy.
Gambino, never charged with a violent crime, strikes so little fear in people that his stockbroker allegedly stole $2 million from him while he was jailed for racketeering and other federal charges in 1996." A college educated guy that can pull in big money are a diamond in the rough now days in Organized Crime. Besides, there's cases of guys buying buttons today. Also varies family to family.