Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers

(NOC 5132)

in All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Conductors, composers and arrangers include those who conduct bands and orchestras, compose musical works and arrange instrumental and vocal compositions. They are employed by symphony and chamber orchestras, bands, choirs, sound recording companies, and orchestras for ballet and opera performances, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 735 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically temporary positions (such as a term, contract, or casual work).

The median employment income for 30% of Conductors, Composers, and Arrangers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$16,959

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$10.81

Minimum

$16.00

Median

$31.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Conductors, composers and arrangers include those who conduct bands and orchestras, compose musical works and arrange instrumental and vocal compositions. They are employed by symphony and chamber orchestras, bands, choirs, sound recording companies, and orchestras for ballet and opera performances, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

The following is a summary of the main duties for some jobs in this group:

  • Conductors select and interpret musical works and lead bands, orchestras and choirs during rehearsals and performances.
  • Composers and songwriters create musical compositions such as television and film scores, theme music, songs, symphonies and music for interactive products such as video games.
  • Music arrangers adapt and modify musical compositions to convey desired themes and to suit particular instrumental and vocal performances. // Conductors, composers and arrangers usually specialize in a particular type of music such as classical, country, jazz or popular.

Sample job titles

  • composer
  • conductor
  • lyricist
  • music adapter
  • music arranger
  • music director
  • music writer
  • singer-songwriter-composer
  • songwriter
  • writer-composer-performer

Skills

To work in these fields, you should be dedicated, motivated, and willing to accept constructive criticism. Talent, creativity, and technical skills are essential. You must be comfortable working with others. Self- discipline and a good business sense are also helpful.

Job requirements

  • A university degree in music or completion of a program at a music academy, conservatory or school of music is usually required.
  • A period of specialized study related to conducting, composing or arranging is usually required.

Other considerations

Many factors can affect an individual's earnings in these jobs. Therefore, incomes will likely vary greatly throughout the year and from one year to the next. Many people find it necessary to work at other jobs to supplement their income. Experience as a musician is required. Composers often work as arrangers. Musical and creative talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.

By the numbers

Quick look

120

employed in 2016

47.8%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

44.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
56%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
51.8

median age

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

59.4%

employed full-time

33.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

48.0%

Halifax

20.0%

Northern

16.0%

Annapolis Valley

12.0%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

40.0%

Information, Culture & Recreation

40.0%

Other Services

12.0%

Educational Services

8.0%

Health Care and Social Assistance

What is the age of Employment?

50.0%

55-64

33.3%

65+

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

43.8%

35-44

35.4%

45-54

12.5%

25-34

8.3%

55-64

4.2%

65+

Top levels of education

27.3%

Doctorate

N/A
22.7%

High school

$33,810 median annual income
22.7%

Bachelor's degree

$44,503 median annual income
13.6%

College certificate or diploma

$35,136 median annual income
9.1%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A

Compared to: All Arts, Culture, Recreation and Sport

27.5%

Bachelor's degree

$19,705 median annual income
26.2%

High school

$7,127 median annual income
20.3%

College certificate or diploma

$20,158 median annual income
10.2%

Less than high school

$2,298 median annual income
8.0%

Master's degree

N/A

Education & training

Jazz/jazz studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to study and master the performance and composition of jazz. These programs include courses in the history of Jazz and related musical styles such as the Blues, Jazz composition and theory, improvisation, Jazz instrument and ensemble performance, and related topics.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Music - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the introductory study and appreciation of music and the performing arts. These programs include courses in music, dance, and other performing arts media.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Nova Scotia Community College - Waterfront Campus & Aviation Institute

80 Mawiomi Place

Dartmouth, NS B2Y 0A5

(902) 491-1100

Music management and merchandising

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to organize and manage music organizations, operations, facilities, and personnel. These programs include courses in business and financial management; marketing and fundraising; personnel management and labour relations; event promotion and management; music products merchandising; artist agency and promotion; music law; and applications to specific activities such as managing theatres, recording studios and companies, bands and other ensembles, individual artists, and music organizations.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Musicology and ethnomusicology

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the systematic study of the forms and methods of music art, and the functions of music, in Western and non-Western societies and cultures. These programs include courses in music theory, musicological research methods, and studies of specific cultural styles such as jazz, folk music, rock, ethnic musical traditions, and the music of non-Western cultures.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Music Nova Scotia
2169 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS B3K 3B5
Tel: (902) 423-6271
Fax: (902) 423-8841
Atlantic Federation of Musicians
16 BALCOMES DRIVE
Halifax, NS B3N 1H9
Tel: (866) 240-4809
Fax: (902) 479-1312
Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
41 Valleybrook Drive
Toronto, ON M3B 2S6
Tel: (866) 307-6226

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

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