Music Composers and Arrangers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Music Composers and Arrangers write and transcribe musical scores.

  • Apply elements of music theory to create musical and tonal structures, including harmonies and melodies.
  • Use computers and synthesizers to compose, orchestrate, and arrange music.
  • Determine voices, instruments, harmonic structures, rhythms, tempos, and tone balances required to achieve the effects desired in a musical composition.
  • Experiment with different sounds, and types and pieces of music, using synthesizers and computers as necessary to test and evaluate ideas.
Read more about what does a Music Composer and Arranger really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$59790 per year

Average hourly wage
$29 per hour


Music Composers and Arrangers with little to no experience tend to make between $21640 and $30950 while the more experienced ones can earn over $69770 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
MN$43$88,570
CT$37$77,550
DC$37$77,220
AL$36$75,050
GA$35$73,470

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Music Composer and Arranger is to move to a higher paying state like MN. Right now, the highest paying states for Music Composers and Arrangers are MN, CT, DC, AL and GA.

However, a higher pay at MN doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MN might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Music Composer and Arranger is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Between Post-Secondary Certificate and Associate’s Degree

We asked other Music Composers and Arrangers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a College Certificate followed by a Bachelor’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Religious/Sacred Music
Musical Theatre
Music Performance, General
Music Theory and Composition
Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Read more about how to become a Music Composer and Arranger and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Music Composer and Arranger.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Demand for this career is growing
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
80%

Is this job meaningful
88%


80% of Music Composers and Arrangers said they were satisfied with their job and 88% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Entrepreneurs

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.




Learn more about Music Composers and Arrangers

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Related career information

Music Composers and Arrangers job description, Music Composers and Arrangers salary, Music Composers and Arrangers information, what is the job of a Music Composer and Arranger like, pros and cons about Music Composers and Arrangers, colleges and universities for Music Composers and Arrangers, is Music Composers and Arrangers the right career for me, careers in Art, Entertainment and Sports

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