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Music Therapist Salary (United States)

Music Therapists in the United States can expect to earn an average of $40K annually. The bottom of the pay range sits near $25K, and the top verges on $74K per year. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — slightly less than a third lack coverage. On the flip side, more than half have medical insurance and slightly more than half receive dental plans. There are far more female Music Therapists who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 87 percent. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Music Therapist 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.
)
$24,088 - $57,045
(Median)
24K
30K
40K
49K
57K
MEDIAN: $39,577
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Music Therapist 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.
)
$14.77 - $50.50
(Median)
15
19
31
51
MEDIAN: $23.00
10%
25%
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$25K$50K$75K
Salary
$24,088 - $57,045  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $1,468  
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).
)
$25,482 - $74,419  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 144
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$14.77 - $50.50  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $36.23  
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 - $1,468  
   
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).
)
$25,482 - $74,419  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 111
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Job Description for Music Therapist

Music therapists visit with patients individually or as a group to conduct music therapy such as singing, listening to music, playing musical instruments, and/or moving to music, among others. These therapists' duties vary based on their employer and position, and the ability to meet the client population's needs using best practices and effective techniques is needed. For example, a music therapist employed by a hospice facility is generally required to coordinate with caregivers, pastoral staff, supervisors and others within their facility; in a hospice setting, therapists must be well-versed in techniques for caring for hospice patients and their families. Other populations with whom music therapists may work include older adults, developmentally disabled individuals, at-risk youth, and hospital patients, among others.
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Music Therapist Tasks
  • Develop treatment plan with instrumental and vocal music strategies based on assessment, interests and objectives of therapy.
  • Assess patients' development, abilities, personality, interests and conflicts.
  • Prepare and submit patients' reactions and progress reports, confer with treatment team.
  • Encourage patients with special needs and circumstances to express themselves creatively with music.

Music Therapist Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Music Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $40K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $49K. On average, Music Therapists make $52K following one to two decades on the job. For some reason, Music Therapists with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $50K.

Pay Difference By Location

New York
up arrow 19%
National Average
$43,000
Chicago
up arrow 1%
Indianapolis
up arrow 8%
Cleveland
up arrow 28%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Music Therapists, New York provides a pay rate that is 19 percent greater than the national average. Place of residence plays a huge part in a Music Therapist's salary, with Cleveland Music Therapists earning salaries that are 28 percent less than the national average.
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Experience Affects Music Therapist Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 23%
Late-Career
up arrow 16%
Mid-Career
up arrow 14%
National Average
$43,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 53 votes.

Gender

Female
87%
female alumni
 
Male
13%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 68% dental benefits Dental: 53%
vision benefits Vision: 40% employee benefits None: 31%