Music Director Salary

Roughly two-thirds of Music Directors in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $17K to $76K per year, but median earnings come to around $36K per year. Geography and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Work is enjoyable for Music Directors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Although roughly one-half have medical coverage and roughly a third have dental coverage, approximately one-half claim no health benefits at all. Men account for the majority of Music Directors who responded to the questionnaire — 62 percent to be exact. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$16,595 - $67,862
(Median)
$17K
$36K
$68K
MEDIAN: $36,266
10%
50%
90%

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$10.01 - $52.15
(Median)
$10
$20
$52
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
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$26K$52K$78K
Salary
$16,595 - $67,862  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,017  
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).
)
$17,244 - $76,038  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 337
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$18$36$54
Hourly Rate
$10.01 - $52.15  
   
Overtime
$14.22 - $49.58  
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 - $5,017  
   
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).
)
$17,244 - $76,038  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 39
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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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Although it's unusual, some Music Directors transition into jobs as Radio Broadcasting Program Directors. The latter group reports earning a slightly lower median of $43K per year, though. Music Directors most often move into positions as Music Ministry Directors or Church Organists. Music Ministry Directors actually earn $4K less on average, however, and Church Organists earn $17K less per year than Music Directors do.

Music Director Job Listings

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Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, facility with Singing, People Management, and Team Leadership are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 20 percent, 19 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Worship Planning and Leading and MUSIC as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks.

Pay by Experience Level for Music Director

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $33K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $40K. Music Directors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $40K. Respondents who boast more than 20 years of experience can't seem to boast paychecks reflecting that extensive experience, though; veteran Music Directors report making only $37K on average.

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Experience Affects Music Director Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 6%

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

National Average
$38,000

Late-Career
up arrow 3%

Entry-Level
up arrow 13%

Skills That Affect Music Director Salaries

Singing
up arrow 20%

People Management
up arrow 19%

Team Leadership
up arrow 17%

musician
up arrow 13%

Administration
up arrow 6%

National Average
$38,000

MUSIC
up arrow 35%

Worship Planning and Leading
up arrow 36%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 78 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
16%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
36%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 51% dental benefits Dental: 33%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 48%
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