Choreographer Career

choreographer-500As a choreographer, you will read a musical score or a script and figure out how to translate the writer’s ideas into original dance moves. Professional choreographers work on large productions like Broadway musicals, music videos and televised events, as well as in smaller venues like dance schools and musical theaters.

As a choreographer, you’ll primarily work directly with individual dancers and full dance groups. You will work alongside dancers in close proximity, helping them express a story or concept through dance. This can be on stage in an opera house where the fully-rehearsed show will take place, or in an offsite studio.

Choreographer Career Snapshot

Further details on a career as a choreographer are listed below (statistics from the May 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average yearly pay for choreographers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a High school diploma or equivalent while 28% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Choreographer Education

Choreographers have to know some design skills and some teaching skills. A choreographer needs at least a high school diploma or equivalent to break into the business. 32% of choreographers have at least a high school diploma, 28% have a Bachelor’s degree and about 12% have at least some college training related to the field.

Choreographer Job Duties

A choreographer will spend part of her time creating new dances using technology and her imagination. Then you will need to be able to guide and direct dancers through sometimes lengthy rehearsals to carry out the show as you and the show’s director envision it. Choreography also involves a lot of physical activity as you demonstrate the materials to dancers.

Choreographer Salaries

As of May 2016 reports, the median salary for choreographers in America was $23.19, which works out to $46,380 annually. Choreographers who are just breaking in make about $10.35 an hour ($20,700 annually) while seasoned pros are making $45.39 an hour ($90,780 annually).

Choreographer Job Outlook

Jobs for choreographers are on pace to increase by about 6% from 2014 through 2024, which is as fast as the average job growth in America. More opportunities could open up outside of dance and theater companies if there is an unexpected spike in interest. You should know that competition for choreographer jobs expected to be fierce even with the current rate of job growth.

Choreographer Skills & Traits

Choreographer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Choreographers:Typical Work Activities:
• Active Listening
• Speaking
• Coordination
• Instructing
• Gross Body Coordination
• Oral Comprehension
• Oral Expression
• Originality
• Compact disk players or recorders
• Metronomes
• Notebook computers
• Stage lighting systems
• Thinking Creatively
• Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
• Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
• Performing General Physical Activities

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