Music Composer Career

music-composer-500If you have a true passion for creating music, a career as a music composer can be quite rewarding both personally and financially. Composers write and arrange their own original music to be used in film, TV shows, commercials, concerts, etc.

Composers are often employed by film studios and production companies, as well as by a range of other businesses. Most composers spend at least part of their time working in a music studio and a large number of them spend much of their time working from home.

Music Composer Career Snapshot

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


is the average annual salary for music composers.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have some college, but no degree, while 22% have a Bachelor’s degree.

Music Composer Education

Although there are a wide number of conservatories and other musical schools that can teach you the basics of songwriting and composing, there are no actual formal requirements required. In fact, only about 22 percent of composers actually hold a bachelor’s degree. This is compared to more than 26 percent of composers who went to college, but didn’t graduate. Still, this means that almost half of all composers have gone to college for at least some time. In fact, schooling is highly recommended and almost always necessary for anyone who is not a musical genius.

Music Composer Job Outlook

Becoming a composer is typically something a person does because they love music, but unfortunately, the industry is extremely competitive and things aren’t expected to get all that much better over the coming years. In total, the number of composing jobs is expected to rise by around 3 percent by 2024, which is well below the growth rate for other careers. Nonetheless, there will always be work for those with enough talent and determination.

Music Composer Salaries

Composers are usually fairly well paid for their work, and in 2015, the average yearly salary was right around $50,000 according to reports. Still, you can find those who work for as little as $20,000 a year. On the other hand, the highest paid composers can easily earn well over $105,000 annually.

Music Composer Job Duties

Composers are responsible for writing and creating a piece of music from scratch. As the end product is up to the composer themselves, they will continually play with the instruments, tone, tempo, rhythm and other factors to achieve their desired musical composition. Many composers now use computers and synthesizers as part of this. Due to the huge differences between music styles, some composers work almost exclusively with electronic music while others still compose music for traditional instruments. Furthermore, composers may also write song lyrics and work these into the music.

Music Composer Skills & Traits

Music Composer Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Music Composers:Typical Work Activities:
• Reading Comprehension
• Writing
• Active Listening
• Critical Thinking
• Hearing Sensitivity
• Originality
• Near Vision
• Fluency of Ideas
• Cassette players or recorders
• Guitars
• Microphones
• Musical instrument digital interface MIDI interfaces
• Thinking Creatively
• Interacting With Computers
• Getting Information
• Communicating with Persons Outside Organization

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