Music Director Salary

Slightly less than two-thirds of Music Directors in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $18K to $73K per year, but median earnings come to around $39K per year. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Music Directors claim high levels of job satisfaction. Music Directors who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 65 percent. Some workers in this field — roughly one-half — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by around half and dental plans are enjoyed by nearly one-third. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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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 may not see large compensation differences if they transition into an upper-level role such as Radio Broadcasting Program Director. Radio Broadcasting Program Directors on average make about as much as Music Directors do. A lot of Music Directors advance their careers by becoming Music Ministry Directors and Church Organists. However, those positions offer $6K less and $19K less per year on average.

Music Director Job Listings

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Music Directors report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. 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.


For Music Directors, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $34K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $40K. Music Directors bring in $40K after working for 10 to 20 years. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $41K.

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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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