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Sacred Music Major

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Sacred Music

274 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
96 Master's Degrees Annually
#240 in Popularity
$59,790 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Sacred Music Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many sacred music graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 286
Master’s Degree 96
Associate’s Degree 27
Graduate Certificate 19
Doctor’s Degree 15
Undergraduate Certificate 8
Basic Certificate 3

What Sacred Music Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to sacred music were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Sacred Music Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in sacred music should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • 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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to sacred music:

  • 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

As a sacred music major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

  • 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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with sacred music:

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 Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Music?

286 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
48% Percent Women
17% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 274 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sacred music in 2018, making it rank #240 in popularity. Roughly 48% of the graduates are women, and 52% are men.

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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 8
Black or African American 8
Hispanic or Latino 18
White 228
International Students 4
Other Races/Ethnicities 20

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Sacred Music, too. About 1.4% 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?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of sacred music students with a bachelor’s degree is $26,150 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $25,575 (25th percentile) and $26,725 (75th percentile).


One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to sacred music.

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 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Some degrees associated with sacred music may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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.

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 the 2017-2018 academic year, 162 schools offered some type of sacred music program. 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) 9 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 8 2
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 19 3
Bachelor’s Degree 8 4
Post-Baccalaureate 9 0
Master’s Degree 35 4
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 7 1
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!


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

Major Number of Grads
Theological & Ministerial Studies 18,745
Biblical Studies 4,645
Pastoral Counseling & Specialized Ministries 3,145
Missionary Studies 1,655
Religious Education 1,537
Theology & Religious Vocations (Other) 1,378


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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