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Music Therapist

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All About Music Therapists

Job Description: Plan, organize, or direct medically prescribed music therapy activities designed to positively influence patients’ psychological or behavioral status.

Life As a Music Therapist

  • Supervise staff, volunteers, practicum students, or interns engaged in music therapy activities.
  • Document evaluations, treatment plans, case summaries, or progress or other reports related to individual clients or client groups.
  • Design music therapy experiences, using various musical elements to meet client’s goals or objectives.
  • Establish client goals or objectives for music therapy treatment, considering client needs, capabilities, interests, overall therapeutic program, coordination of treatment, or length of treatment.
  • Communicate with clients to build rapport, acknowledge their progress, or reflect upon their reactions to musical experiences.
  • Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.

Music Therapist Required Skills

Music Therapists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Other Music Therapist Job Titles

  • Music Therapist, Public School System
  • Board Certified Music Therapist
  • Director of Music Therapy
  • Music Therapy Specialist
  • Music Rehabilitation Therapist

Are There Job Opportunities for Music Therapists?

There were about 19,200 jobs for Music Therapist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Music Therapist by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Music Therapists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Music Therapist are Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Music Therapist Average Salary

The salary for Music Therapists ranges between about $29,590 and $77,050 a year.

Salary Ranges for Music Therapists

Music Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Music Therapists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $42,860
Arizona $49,440
Arkansas $50,170
California $75,810
Colorado $49,300
Connecticut $59,450
Delaware $46,320
District of Columbia $68,430
Florida $48,290
Georgia $43,950
Hawaii $55,470
Idaho $40,770
Illinois $46,620
Indiana $42,280
Iowa $52,470
Kansas $35,850
Kentucky $45,330
Louisiana $41,180
Maine $49,390
Maryland $48,690
Massachusetts $55,570
Michigan $51,280
Minnesota $54,660
Mississippi $38,470
Missouri $46,000
Montana $44,730
Nebraska $39,420
Nevada $58,480
New Hampshire $46,660
New Jersey $58,220
New Mexico $38,680
New York $55,370
North Carolina $47,600
North Dakota $43,910
Ohio $45,750
Oklahoma $37,760
Oregon $55,410
Pennsylvania $45,900
Rhode Island $49,310
South Carolina $42,240
South Dakota $50,480
Tennessee $41,660
Texas $43,070
Utah $48,230
Vermont $43,120
Virginia $47,590
Washington $59,860
Wisconsin $44,970
Wyoming $50,170

Tools & Technologies Used by Music Therapists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Music Therapists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Electronic health record EHR software
  • Avid Technology Pro Tools
  • Musical instrument digital interface MIDI software
  • Virtual instrument software

How to Become a Music Therapist

Individuals working as a Music Therapist have obtained the following education levels:

Music Therapist Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Music Therapist?

Music Therapist Work Experience

Who Employs Music Therapists?

Music Therapist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Music Therapists employed by various industries.

Music Therapist Industries

References:

Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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