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Music Director Salary

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. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — half lack coverage. On the flip side, roughly one-half have medical insurance and one in three receive dental plans. There are more male Music Directors than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 63 percent. Work is enjoyable for Music Directors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$16,259 - $64,485
(Median)
$16K
$35K
$64K
MEDIAN: $35,056
10%
50%
90%

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$9.92 - $53.58
(Median)
$9
$20
$54
MEDIAN: $19.00
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$16,259 - $64,485  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,976  
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).
)
$16,829 - $68,320  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 321
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
$9.92 - $53.58  
   
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 - $4,976  
   
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).
)
$16,829 - $68,320  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 35
United States (change)

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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Though some Music Directors move into positions like Radio Broadcasting Program Director (where the average salary is around the $43K mark), this progression is not the norm. Music Directors most often move into Music Ministry Director or Director of Music Ministry roles. However, the former pays $2K less on average, and the latter pays $3K less.

Music Director Job Listings

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Survey takers who work as Music Directors report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, facility with Administration, musician, and People Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 30 percent, and 25 percent, respectively. Worship Planning and Leading and MUSIC, on the other hand, are typically associated with much lower pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Music Director

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


Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $32K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. Music Directors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $39K. For some reason, Music Directors with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $32K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Music Director Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Mid-Career
up arrow 11%

National Average
$36,000

Late-Career
up arrow 9%

Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect Music Director Salaries

Administration
up arrow 40%

musician
up arrow 30%

People Management
up arrow 25%

National Average
$36,000

MUSIC
up arrow 31%

Worship Planning and Leading
up arrow 32%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 81 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
18%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
35%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 50% dental benefits Dental: 33%
vision benefits Vision: 24% employee benefits None: 49%