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Salary Outlook for MM ME Graduates

The career path for a graduate with a Master of Music Education can vary from public schools and private schools, postsecondary schools, choir or ensemble directors to private instruction. Salary ranges vary depending not only on region, but also on the chosen area of instruction.

The Berklee College of Music’s Career Development Center compiled a detailed report on positions and salaries available in the music industry.1 Their compilation from a variety of sources show that the salary range for each position can vary widely based not only on experience of the teacher, but also the size and type of organization. Choir director salaries, for example, can range from $20,000 – $85,000 per year. Public school teachers focusing on music education can find positions with salaries anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000 per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 20112, indicates the median annual wage for postsecondary art, drama and music teachers is $62,330 per year. Regionally, the report shows that with a few exceptions, the highest annual wage for postsecondary music teachers occurs in the northeast and California, with annual mean wages reaching $120,000 per year. Areas of the Midwest and Northwest generally have lower salaries than the rest of the nation.

This report also indicates that the highest saturation of employment opportunities is available in the states of California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts and Ohio. These states have annual mean wages of $60,610 to $105,420. For postsecondary music education professors, the BLS reports median wages of $69,010 per year.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job outlook to be “good to excellent” until at least 2016 for teachers in general in both primary and secondary schools. In general, the BLS predicts that teaching professionals can expect a 15% job growth rate, outpacing other professions and industries in the same time frame, where sub -10% is expected.

As more and more adults turn to musical instruction to reignite their passion and creativity, private instruction rates will continue to rise. With recent studies showing playing an instrument or singing can significantly reduce stress; adults are choosing to take private lessons. Private musical instructors, depending on background, instrument and location range from $30 an hour to over $150 per hour.

Whether Master of Music Education graduates want to pursue teaching music to children, adults, or seniors, these reports indicate that there are a wide variety of positions and salaries that could be available. With the predicted increase in job growth for teachers nationally and with the increasing opportunities for private instruction, job opportunities should continue to rise over the next decade.

1The Career Development Center. Salary Ranges for U.S. Music Positions. Berklee.net/cd

2Bureau of Labor Statistics ‘Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011. 25-1121 Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary. Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251121.htm. May 7, 2012.

3Baird A, Samson S. Neuropsychology Review. 2009 Mar; 19(1): 85-101. Epub 2009 Feb. 13. “Memory for Music in Alzheimer’s Disease: Unforgettable?”

4Randstad, U.S. Employment Confidence Index Newsletter. April 2014.  Retrieved from: http://www.randstadusa.com/workforce360/jobs-the-economy/employment-newsletter-april-2014/183 . April, 2014.

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