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Music Director Salary (United States)

Music Directors in the United States are often veterans in their line of work, with just below two-thirds bringing more than 10 years of experience to the table. Salaries slide in at $35K per year on average but can range from $17K to $68K per year. Slightly less than half of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, slightly more than half report medical coverage and close to one-third claim dental coverage as well. Male Music Directors are more common than women; more than half (62 percent) of Music Directors are men. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire form the basis for this summary.
Music Director Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$16,507 - $63,947
(Median)
17K
24K
35K
49K
64K
MEDIAN: $35,244
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Music Director Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$9.98 - $55.94
(Median)
10
21
31
56
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$16,507 - $63,947  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,964  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,091 - $68,087  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 312
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$19$38$57
Hourly Rate
$9.98 - $55.94  
   
Overtime
$13.75 - $35.50  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,964  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,091 - $68,087  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 33
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Job Description for Music Director

Music directors are responsible for organizing and overseeing music programs within an organization. Their job requirements may greatly vary depending on the employer. They may be required to conduct a choir or orchestra, select appropriate music to be played, plan and prepare sheet music, ensure copyright laws are followed, hold auditions for ensemble members, and/or promote and organize tours. Music directors' work is indoors and rarely physical, with the exception of conducting.
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Music Director Tasks
  • Plan and schedule rehearsals and performances.
  • Transcribe or rearrange musical compositions to fit the performance group.
  • Conduct and direct instrumental or vocal performance for musical performance groups including orchestras, and choirs.

Common Career Paths for Music Director

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Most Music Directors do not go on to assume a Radio Broadcasting Program Director role (where typical pay is $43K) but some have been known to make the move. Music Directors most frequently advance into Music Ministry Director and Director of Music Ministry roles even though the median salaries are $2K lower and $3K lower, respectively.

Music Director Job Listings

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Typical Music Directors report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, facility with Administration and People Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent and 25 percent, respectively. Those listing Worship Planning and Leading and MUSIC as skills, on the other hand, should be prepared for drastically lower pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Music Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average beginner in this position makes around $32K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $39K. Music Directors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $39K. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $33K. The range of experience in this workforce varies greatly: 34 percent of respondents have between one and nine years of experience; 31 percent have between 10 and 20 years, and 34 percent boast more than two decades of experience.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Music Director Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 10%
Mid-Career
up arrow 9%
National Average
$36,000
Late-Career
up arrow 8%
Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

Skills That Affect Music Director Salaries

Administration
up arrow 40%
People Management
up arrow 25%
National Average
$36,000
Worship Planning and Leading
up arrow 32%
MUSIC
up arrow 32%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 89 votes.

Gender

Female
38%
female alumni
 
Male
62%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
31%
20 years or more
34%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 52% dental benefits Dental: 33%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 47%