|Quick Facts: Music Directors and Composers|
$50,590 per year
$24.32 per hour
|Less than 5 years|
|6% (As fast as average)|
Music directors, also called conductors, lead orchestras and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. Composers write and arrange original music in a variety of musical styles.
Most music directors work for religious organizations and schools, or are self-employed. Music directors may spend a lot of time traveling to different performances. Composers can work in offices, recording studios, or their own homes.
Educational and training requirements for music directors and composers vary, although most positions require related work experience. A music director or conductor for a symphony orchestra typically needs a master’s degree; a choir director may need a bachelor’s degree. There are no formal educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music.
The median annual wage for music directors and composers was $50,590 in May 2017.
Employment of music directors and composers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The number of people attending musical performances, such as symphonies and concerts, and theatrical performances, such as ballets and musical theater, is expected to remain steady. Despite expected growth, tough competition for jobs is anticipated because of the large number of people interested in entering this field.
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Learn more about music directors and composers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.