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Music Director Salary

The majority of Music Directors in the United States — two-thirds — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $17K to $77K per year, and the median is $37K per year. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 63 percent of Music Directors are male. Job satisfaction for Music Directors is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — approximately one-half lack any form of coverage — but roughly one-half have medical insurance, and nearly one-third have dental, too. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$16,815 - $67,337
(Median)
$17K
$37K
$67K
MEDIAN: $36,781
10%
50%
90%

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$9.99 - $52.37
(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
$16,815 - $67,337  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,006  
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).
)
$17,483 - $76,753  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 331
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
$9.99 - $52.37  
   
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 - $5,006  
   
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).
)
$17,483 - $76,753  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 38

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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 doesn't happen often, but some Music Directors do move on to become Radio Broadcasting Program Directors. The average pay for that role is slightly higher at $43K per year. Music Directors most often advance into Music Ministry Director and Church Organist positions even though the median salaries are $4K lower and $18K lower, respectively.

Music Director Job Listings

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Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in People Management, musician, Administration, and MUSIC are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 12 percent. 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.


Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $33K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $40K. Music Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $41K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $36K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Music Director Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 6%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$38,000

Late-Career
up arrow 5%

Entry-Level
up arrow 15%

Skills That Affect Music Director Salaries

People Management
up arrow 12%

musician
up arrow 11%

Administration
up arrow 5%

National Average
$38,000

MUSIC
up arrow 36%

Worship Planning and Leading
up arrow 37%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 80 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
30%
20 years or more
36%

Common Health Benefits

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