FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Composer

This job has expired and is no longer available.
APPLY NOW
Apply Now
×
FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

CONTENT HAS
BEEN UNLOCKED
Close this window to view unlocked content
or
find interesting jobs in

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign Up

SIGN UP TO UNLOCK CONTENT

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

Sign up to save the job and get personalized job recommendations.

Sign up to dismiss the job and get personalized job recommendations.

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Already have an account? Log in

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

Company Saved

Answer a few questions and view jobs at that match your preferences.

Where do you want to work?

Job Saved

See your Saved Jobs now

or

find more interesting jobs in

Job Dismissed

Find better matching jobs in

Your search has been saved!

Become A Composer

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As A Composer

  • Thinking Creatively
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Composer Do

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.

Duties

Music directors typically do the following:

  • Select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed for live audiences or recordings
  • Prepare for performances by reviewing and interpreting musical scores
  • Direct rehearsals to prepare for performances and recordings
  • Choose guest performers and soloists
  • Audition new performers or assist section leaders with auditions
  • Practice conducting to improve their technique
  • Meet with potential donors and attend fundraisers

Music directors lead orchestras, choirs, and other musical groups. They ensure that the musicians play with one coherent sound, balancing the melody, timing, rhythm, and volume. They also give feedback to musicians and section leaders so that they can achieve the sound and style they want for the piece.

Music directors may work with a variety of orchestras and musical groups, including church choirs, youth orchestras, and high school or college bands, choirs, or orchestras. Some work with orchestras that accompany dance and opera companies.

Composers typically do the following:

  • Write original music that orchestras, bands, and other musical groups perform
  • Arrange existing music into new compositions
  • Write lyrics for music or work with a lyricist
  • Meet with companies, orchestras, or other musical groups that are interested in commissioning a piece of music
  • Study and listen to music of various styles for inspiration
  • Work with musicians to record their music

Composers write music for a variety of musical groups and users. Some work in a particular style of music, such as classical or jazz. They also may write for musicals, operas, or other types of theatrical productions.

Some composers write scores for movies or television; others write jingles for commercials. Many songwriters focus on composing music for audiences of popular music.

Some composers use instruments to help them as they write music. Others use software that allows them to hear a piece without musicians.

Some music directors and composers give private music lessons to children and adults. Others work as music teachers in elementary, middle, or high schools. For more information, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.

For more information about careers in music, see the profile on musicians and singers.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become A Composer

Educational and training requirements for music directors and composers vary, although most positions require related work experience. A 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.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a master’s degree in music theory, music composition, or conducting for positions as a conductor or classical composer.

Applicants to postsecondary programs in music typically are required to submit recordings, audition in person, or both. These programs teach students about music history and styles, as well as educate them in composing and conducting techniques. Information on degree programs is available from the National Association of Schools of Music.

A bachelor’s degree typically is required for those who want to work as a choir director.

There are no specific educational requirements for those interested in writing popular music. These composers usually find employment by submitting recordings of their compositions to bands, singers, record companies, and movie studios. Composers may promote themselves through personal websites, social media, or online video or audio of their musical work.

Important Qualities

Discipline. Talent is not enough for most music directors and composers to find employment in this field. They must constantly practice and seek to improve their technique and style.

Interpersonal skills. Music directors and composers need to work with agents, musicians, and recording studios. Being friendly, respectful, and open to criticism as well as praise, while enjoying being with others, can help music directors and composers work well with a variety of people.

Leadership. Music directors and composers must guide musicians and singers by preparing musical arrangements and helping them achieve the best possible sound.

Musical talent. To become a music director or composer, one must have musical talent.

Perseverance. Music directors and composers need determination and perseverance to continue submitting their compositions after receiving rejections. Also, reviewing auditions can be frustrating because it may take many different auditions to find the best musicians.

Promotional skills. Music directors and composers need to promote their performances through local communities, word of mouth, and social media platforms. Good self-promotional skills are helpful in building a fan base and getting more work opportunities.

Training

Music directors and composers typically begin their musical training at a young age by learning to play an instrument or singing, and perhaps performing as a musician or singer. Music directors and composers who are interested in classical music may seek additional training through music camps and fellowships. These programs provide participants with classes, lessons, and performance opportunities.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Music directors and composers often work as musicians or singers in a group, a choir, or an orchestra before they take on a leadership role. They use this time to master their instrument and gain an understanding of how the group functions.

Show More

Show Less

Do you work as a Composer?

Send To A Friend

Composer Jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Do you work as a Composer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Music Arranger 5.4 years
Guitarist 4.0 years
Music Producer 3.8 years
Music Composer 3.4 years
Composer 3.0 years
Sound Designer 2.7 years
Arranger 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Composer
Internship 10.7%
Musician 6.5%
Instructor 5.7%
Director 5.1%
Pianist 4.5%
Editor 4.5%
Assistant 4.2%
Teacher 3.9%
Producer 3.7%
Artist 3.1%
Volunteer 3.1%
Guitarist 2.9%
Top Careers After Composer
Internship 8.7%
Editor 5.9%
Artist 5.1%
Musician 5.1%
Teacher 4.9%
Producer 4.6%
Director 4.4%
Pianist 4.1%
Instructor 4.1%
Assistant 3.7%

Do you work as a Composer?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
Show Salaries
$37,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$172,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Composer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Composer in the United States is $81,008 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $172,000.

Real Composer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Game Composer/Implementer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 01, 2011 $110,000
Composers Noel Presbyterian Church Saratoga, CA Jul 20, 2011 $82,659
Composer/Producer Brycesounds New York, NY Feb 18, 2013 $47,584
Composer Remote Control Productions, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jul 19, 2012 $43,159
Composer/Film Scorer Spectrum Films, Inc. Cambridge, MA Oct 01, 2011 $41,719
Composer Extreme Group Holdings LLC Santa Monica, CA Sep 13, 2016 $40,000
Composer Bleeding Fingers Custom Music Shop LLC Santa Monica, CA Sep 13, 2016 $40,000
Film Composer Powerhouse Music Productions LLC El Segundo, CA Sep 01, 2014 $36,899 -
$37,000
Composer Extreme Group Holdings LLC Santa Monica, CA Sep 15, 2014 $36,000
Composer Remote Control Productions, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Oct 16, 2010 $35,520
Composer Bur-Mac Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 01, 2011 $33,079
Composer Bur-Mac Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2011 $33,079

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

See More Salaries

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Composer?

Have you worked as a Composer? Help other job seekers by rating your experience as a Composer.

Top Skills for A Composer

  1. Video Games
  2. Final Cut Pro
  3. Adobe Photoshop
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Create original music compositions for various form of popular media such as television, film, web and video games.
  • Edited using the following programs: Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Avid, and Media Pro/Composer MISCELLANEOUS .
  • Created all graphics using Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Image Composer.
  • Composed, co-produced, and co-engineered original music for various award-winning documentary films.
  • Film score and television composer, scoring over 30 feature films, two television series, and several national advertisement campaigns.

Rank:

Average Salary:

Embed On Your Website

Top 10 Best States for Composers

  1. North Dakota
  2. Minnesota
  3. South Dakota
  4. Wyoming
  5. Georgia
  6. Colorado
  7. Vermont
  8. Nebraska
  9. Maine
  10. Arkansas
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Composer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,141 Composer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Composer Resume

View Resume Examples

Composer Demographics

Gender

Male

67.0%

Female

18.1%

Unknown

14.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

16.0%

Black or African American

10.5%

Asian

9.0%

Unknown

4.1%
Show More
Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.8%

French

19.2%

German

6.7%

Italian

6.7%

Japanese

5.8%

Russian

5.8%

Korean

4.2%

Mandarin

3.3%

Portuguese

2.5%

Chinese

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Irish

1.7%

Persian

1.7%

Greek

1.7%

Turkish

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%

Albanian

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%

Macedonian

0.8%

Kurdish

0.8%
Show More

Composer Education

Schools

Berklee College of Music

28.8%

New York University

15.2%

Full Sail University

8.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.2%

Manhattan School of Music

4.2%

University of Southern California

3.9%

University of North Texas

3.6%

Columbia College Chicago

3.6%

Academy of Art University

2.8%

DePaul University

2.8%

Ohio University -

2.5%

University of the Arts

2.5%

Savannah College of Art and Design

2.5%

University of Texas at Austin

2.5%

Brigham Young University

2.2%

Middle Tennessee State University

2.2%

Arizona State University

2.2%

Syracuse University

1.9%

Musicians Institute

1.9%

California Institute of the Arts

1.9%
Show More
Majors

Music

40.4%

Photography

12.1%

Writing

7.0%

Communication

5.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.7%

Graphic Design

3.7%

Computer Science

3.0%

Engineering

2.5%

Business

2.3%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

2.2%

English

2.0%

Entertainment Business

1.9%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Theatre

1.8%

Journalism

1.8%

Digital Media

1.7%

Psychology

1.6%

Education

1.5%

Music Performance

1.0%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

46.2%

Other

22.3%

Masters

18.7%

Associate

4.7%

Certificate

3.4%

Doctorate

3.0%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.3%
Show More

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

How Would You Rate Working As a Composer?

Are you working as a Composer? Help us rate Composer as a Career.

Top Composer Employers

Jobs From Top Composer Employers

Composer Videos

Jeff Rona On Advice for Aspiring Film Composers

Day in the Life: Film Composer

What's the Composer Say?" -- Parody to "What Does the Fox Say?""

Related To Your Recently Viewed Content