Music Director Salary (United States)

With just under two-thirds of Music Directors in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $17,091 to $68,087 per year and averages out to $35,793 annually. Health benefits are not claimed by all—about half lack any form of coverage—but more than half have medical insurance, and about a third have dental, too. Most Music Directors like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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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It is somewhat unusual to come across Music Directors who slip into positions like Radio Program Director (where salaries are often only $7,151 larger), but it does happen from time to time. Music Directors most often move into positions as Music Ministry Directors or Music Ministry Directors, where they typically take pay cuts of $2,062 or $2,946 per year.

Music Director Job Listings

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Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Music Directors who took the survey. 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. 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.
Workers new to the field can expect to earn $33K, increasing to $39K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, salary hovers around $39K. After 20 years on the job, salaries actually take a dive for Music Directors, averaging around $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.

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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%