Music directors, also called conductors, lead orchestras and other musical groups during performances and recording sessions. Composers write and arrange original music in a variety of musical styles.
Music directors work for religious organizations and schools. They also work in concert halls and recording studios. Music directors may spend a lot of time traveling to different performances. Composers can work in offices, recording studios, or their own homes.
Educational and training requirements for music directors and composers vary, although most positions require related work experience. A music director or conductor for a symphony orchestra typically needs a master's degree; a choir director may need a bachelor's degree. There are no formal educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music.
The median annual wage for music directors and composers was $49,820 in May 2015.
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. Despite expected growth, tough competition for jobs is anticipated because of the large number of people interested in entering this field.
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