There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a music composer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.27 an hour? That's $54,646 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 1% and produce 800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Music Composer Do

There are certain skills that many music composers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership, musical talent and promotional skills.

Learn more about what a Music Composer does

How To Become a Music Composer

If you're interested in becoming a music composer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 67.5% of music composers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 13.3% of music composers have master's degrees. Even though most music composers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Average Salary for a Music Composer

Music Composers in America make an average salary of $54,646 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $106,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Music Composer Salary
$54,646 Yearly
$26.27 hourly
$28,000
10 %
$54,000
Median
$106,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Music Composer Education

Music Composer Majors

41.8 %

Music Composer Degrees

Bachelors

67.5 %

Masters

13.3 %

Associate

9.8 %

Top Colleges for Music Composers

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

4. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

5. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

6. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

Top Skills For a Music Composer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 21.6% of music composers listed audio equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership and musical talent are important as well.

  • Audio Equipment, 21.6%
  • Music Videos, 16.4%
  • Video Games, 13.6%
  • Music Program, 13.6%
  • Sound Design, 9.9%
  • Other Skills, 24.9%

Music Composer Demographics

Music Composer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
87%
Female
Female
13%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among music composers, 13.2% of them are women, while 86.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among music composers is White, which makes up 82.8% of all music composers.

  • The most common foreign language among music composers is Spanish at 40.6%.

Online Courses For Music Composer That You May Like

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Best States For a Music Composer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a music composer. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, and Connecticut. Music composers make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $70,325. Whereas in Arizona and Delaware, they would average $67,405 and $66,586, respectively. While music composers would only make an average of $65,776 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Music Composer Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$125,000
Location Quotient:
2.72

2. Arizona

Total Music Composer Jobs:
14
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
1.24

3. Connecticut

Total Music Composer Jobs:
8
Highest 10% Earn:
$124,000
Location Quotient:
1.25
Full List Of Best States For Music Composers

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Top Music Composer Employers

Most Common Employers For Music Composer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Microsoft$132,917$63.902
2Homes.com$100,652$48.391
3J. The Jewish News of Northern California$70,743$34.012
4GEICO$57,788$27.781
5University of Pittsburgh$55,708$26.781
6Songtradr$54,210$26.062
7*n/a*$54,202$26.062
8On Location Education$53,474$25.711
9Video Games Live$53,030$25.502
10St. Edward's University$49,229$23.671