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

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

Job description

Music Therapists plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.

  • Design or provide music therapy experiences to address client needs, such as using music for self-care, adjusting to life changes, improving cognitive functioning, raising self-esteem, communicating, or controlling impulses.
  • Assess client functioning levels, strengths, and areas of need in terms of perceptual, sensory, affective, communicative, musical, physical, cognitive, social, spiritual, or other abilities.
  • Sing or play musical instruments, such as keyboard, guitar, or percussion instruments.
  • Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client’s goals or objectives.
Read more about what does a Music Therapist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$50640 per year

Average hourly wage
$24 per hour

Music Therapists with little to no experience tend to make between $29590 and $37220 while the more experienced ones can earn over $61630 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $36 $75,810
DC $33 $68,430
WA $29 $59,860
CT $29 $59,450
NV $28 $58,480

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Music Therapist is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Music Therapists are CA, DC, WA, CT and NV.

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

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


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

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

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

Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy
Read more about how to become a Music Therapist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

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

Suitable for people who likes to work with designs
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Demand for this career is growing fast
Not suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Salary is below average
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

74% of Music Therapists said they were satisfied with their job and 82% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Marjorie O’Reilly, MT-BC, NMT
Bridgewater State Hospital

Kayla McBrien, MT-BC, NMT
Bridgewater State Hospital

Abby Klemm, MT-BC
Music Therapy Services, LLC

Noel Anderson
Source: Quora

Abigail Allison-Peace
Source: Quora

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Artists and The Helpers

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 working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

Learn more about Music Therapists

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Related career information

Music Therapists job description, Music Therapists salary, Music Therapists information, what is the job of a Music Therapist like, pros and cons about Music Therapists, colleges and universities for Music Therapists, is Music Therapists the right career for me, careers in Healthcare and Medical

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Board Certified Music Therapist, Clinician, Community Music Therapist, Director of Music, Director of Music Therapy, Director, Private Music Therapy Agency, Expressive Music Therapist, Hospice Music Therapist, Hospice Music Therapy, Music Therapist

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