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Music Therapist

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All About Music Therapists

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

Music Therapist Responsibilities

  • Assess the risks and benefits of treatment termination for clients.
  • Participate in continuing education.
  • Conduct information sharing sessions, such as in-service workshops for other professionals, potential client groups, or the general community.
  • Design or provide music therapy experiences to address client needs, such as using music for self-care, adjusting to life changes, improving cognitive functioning, raising self-esteem, communicating, or controlling impulses.
  • Analyze or synthesize client data to draw conclusions or make recommendations for therapy.
  • Identify and respond to emergency physical or mental health situations.

What Every Music Therapist Should Know

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

  • Board Certified Music Therapist
  • Music Therapist
  • Hospice Music Therapist
  • Community Music Therapist
  • Expressive Music Therapist

Job Demand for Music Therapists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,200 jobs in the United States for Music Therapist. 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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,200 job openings in this field each year.

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.

Salary for a Music Therapist

The typical yearly salary for Music Therapists is somewhere between $29,590 and $77,050.

Salary Ranges for Music Therapists

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

How much do Music Therapists make in each U.S. state?

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

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Music Therapists:

  • 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

Becoming a Music Therapist

What education or degrees do I need to become a Music Therapist?

Music Therapist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Music Therapist?

Music Therapist Work Experience

Where Music Therapists Work

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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