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Music Directors and Composers

Music Directors and Composers
Quick Facts : Music Directors and Composers*
2010 Median Pay$45,970
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201293,200
Job Outlook10% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change9,600

Music directors and composers are more commonly known as conductors. They lead orchestras and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. They also write and arrange original music in a variety of musical styles.

What Music Directors and Composers Do

  • Select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed for live audiences or recordings
  • Prepare for performances by reviewing and interpreting musical scores
  • Direct rehearsals to prepare for performances and recordings
  • Audition new performers or assist section leaders with auditions
  • Continually practice conducting to improve technique

Work Environment

Some music directors and composers work in religious organizations, concert halls, or recording studios. However, many are self-employed.
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Job Outlook

Employment of music directors and composers is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020 because the number of people attending musical performances, such as symphonies and concerts, and theatrical performances, such as ballets and musical theater, is expected to increase.
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In May 2010 the average salary of music directors and composers was $45,970.
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Music Directors and Composers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Music Directors and Composers


Arts, Design, Sports & Media Occupations


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Music Directors and Composers*
Percent Change in Employment

Music Directors and Composers


Arts, Design, Sports & Media Occupations


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Becoming a Music Directors and Composers

A conductor for a symphony orchestra typically needs a master's degree, but a choir director may need a bachelor's degree. For those interested in writing popular music there is no requirement for formal educational.
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