Employment of music directors and composers is projected to grow 3 percent from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations.
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 moderately. Music directors will be needed to lead orchestras for concerts and musical theater performances. They also will conduct the music that accompanies ballet troupes and opera companies.
In addition, there will likely be a need for composers to write original music and arrange known works for performances. Composers will be needed as well to write film scores and music for television and commercials.
However, growth is expected to be limited because orchestras, opera companies, and other musical groups can have difficulty getting funds. Some music groups are nonprofit organizations that rely on donations and corporate sponsorships, in addition to ticket sales, to fund their work. These organizations often have difficulty finding enough money to cover their expenses. In addition, growth may be limited for music directors who work for public schools because state and local governments continue to struggle with school budgets.
Despite expected growth, tough competition for jobs is anticipated because of the large number of people interested in entering this field. In particular, there will be considerable competition for full-time music director and composer positions. Candidates with exceptional musical talent and dedication should have the best opportunities.
Music directors and composers may experience periods without work. During these times, they may work in other occupations, give music lessons, attend auditions, or write music.
Music Directors and Composers
Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24
Total, all occupations
Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers
Music directors and composers
Note: All Occupations includes all occupations in the U.S. Economy. Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program