Music Director Salary

The majority of Music Directors in the United States — just under two-thirds — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $18K to $73K per year, and the median is $39K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Music Directors who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 65 percent. Work is enjoyable for Music Directors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Although approximately one-half lack health benefits of any kind, close to one-half do enjoy medical insurance, and around one in three get dental coverage, too. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$17,232 - $66,353
(Median)
$17K
$39K
$66K
MEDIAN: $39,349
10%
50%
90%

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$9.88 - $57.28
(Median)
$9
$20
$57
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$17,232 - $66,353  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,943  
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).
)
$17,847 - $72,796  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 385
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$9.88 - $57.28  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.00  
Overtime
$16.53  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,943  
   
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).
)
$17,847 - $72,796  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 50
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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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Music Directors sometimes move into a Radio Broadcasting Program Director role, where the salary is similar. Music Directors most often move into positions as Music Ministry Directors or Church Organists. Music Ministry Directors actually earn $6K less on average, however, and Church Organists earn $19K less per year than Music Directors do.

Music Director Job Listings

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Music Directors report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Conducting, Team Leadership, and People Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 46 percent, 16 percent, and 15 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Music Directors — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $34K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $40K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $40K in this role. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $41K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

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Experience Affects Music Director Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 3%

Experienced
up arrow 1%

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$40,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 14%

Skills That Affect Music Director Salaries

Conducting
up arrow 46%

Team Leadership
up arrow 16%


musician
up arrow 15%

Singing
up arrow 14%

Administration
0%

National Average
$40,000

MUSIC
up arrow 37%

Worship Planning and Leading
up arrow 39%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 73 votes.

Gender

Female
35 %
Male
65 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
16%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
38%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 50%
dental benefits
Dental: 34%
medical benefits
Vision: 24%
dental benefits
None: 49%
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