Music Director Salary

With roughly two in three 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 $17K to $76K per year and averages out to $36K per year. Residence and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Music Directors report high levels of job satisfaction. Although close to one-half have medical coverage and one-third have dental coverage, roughly 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: $36,418
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 - $5,000  
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: 2 Jul 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 - $5,000  
   
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: 2 Jul 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 some Music Directors become Radio Broadcasting Program Director, this progression is not the norm. However, the latter position does pay a little more at $43K. Many Music Directors choose to become Music Ministry Directors and Church Organists as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $4K less and $17K less, respectively.

Music Director Job Listings

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Music Directors report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Singing, People Management, Team Leadership, and musician are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 16 percent and 20 percent. Those listing Worship Planning and Leading and MUSIC as skills, on the other hand, should be prepared for drastically lower pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Music Director

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


The average beginner in this position makes around $33K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $40K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $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

Mid-Career
up arrow 6%

Experienced
up arrow 5%

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 18%

Team Leadership
up arrow 16%

musician
up arrow 12%

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: 50% dental benefits Dental: 33%
vision benefits Vision: 25% employee benefits None: 48%
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