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Sacred Music Major

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Sacred Music

114 Master's Degrees Annually
14 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#232 in Popularity (Master's)
$59,790 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Sacred Music Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many sacred music graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 114
Doctor’s Degree 14
Graduate Certificate 8

What Sacred Music Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to sacred music and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Sacred Music Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Philosophy and Theology - Knowledge of different philosophical systems and religions. This includes their basic principles, values, ethics, ways of thinking, customs, practices, and their impact on human culture.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.

Skills for Sacred Music Majors

A major in sacred music prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • 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.

Abilities for Sacred Music Majors

Sacred Music majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Sacred Music Major?

People with a sacred music degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Music Directors 5.7% $49,630
Philosophy and Religion Professors 12.3% $71,890

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Sacred Music?

114 Master's Degrees Annually
55% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
The major attracts more women than men. About 55% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of sacred music majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Sacred Music Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 7
Black or African American 7
Hispanic or Latino 9
White 71
International Students 11
Other Races/Ethnicities 9

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Sacred Music, too. About 9.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • South Korea
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Nigeria
  • India

How Much Do Sacred Music Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree in sacred music made a median starting salary of $37,650 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $37,125 (25th percentile) and $38,175 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a sacred music degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $59,790 to $82,420 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to sacred music. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Sacred Music Major  ( 59790 to 82420 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with sacred music require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for sacred music careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.5%
Some College Courses 0.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 3.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.6%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.1%
Master’s Degree 17.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.3%
Doctoral Degree 55.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 6.4%

Online Sacred Music Programs

In 2018-2019, 162 schools offered a sacred music program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 7 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 7 3
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 20 3
Bachelor’s Degree 10 2
Post-Baccalaureate 7 1
Master’s Degree 37 3
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 2
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Sacred Music Worth It?

The median salary for a sacred music grad is $59,790 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 50% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $397,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to sacred music.

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 19,838
Biblical Studies 4,551
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,055
Religious Education 1,497
Missionary Studies 1,379
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,375

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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