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Dance Major

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Dance

2,660 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
221 Master's Degrees Annually
#116 in Popularity
$53,560 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Dance Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,661
Master’s Degree 221
Associate’s Degree 186
Basic Certificate 82
Undergraduate Certificate 62
Doctor’s Degree 16
Graduate Certificate 6

What Dance Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to dance 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 Dance Majors

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

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  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Dance Majors

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

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  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Dance Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a dance student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

What Can You Do With a Dance Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with dance:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Art, Drama, and Music Professors 12.0% $69,960
Choreographers 2.9% $47,800
Dancers 4.4% NA

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance?

2,661 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
88% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,660 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dance in 2019, making it rank #116 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 88% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Dance Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 98
Black or African American 308
Hispanic or Latino 320
White 1,638
International Students 79
Other Races/Ethnicities 218

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Dance. About 3.0% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • Canada
  • China
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • Mexico

How Much Do Dance Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dance have a median salary of $19,700 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $18,500 (25th percentile) and $22,000 (75th percentile).

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

Salaries According to BLS

Dance majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $53,560 to $82,560 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 Dance Major  ( 53560 to 82560 )
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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 dance 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 dance careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 7.9%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 13.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 2.7%
Some College Courses 7.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 14.9%
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. 0.4%
Master’s Degree 31.2%
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. 2.1%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.2%
Doctoral Degree 18.0%

Online Dance Programs

In 2018-2019, 355 schools offered a dance 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) 41 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 8 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 76 0
Bachelor’s Degree 3 0
Post-Baccalaureate 41 1
Master’s Degree 54 1
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 5 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Dance Worth It?

The median salary for a dance grad is $53,560 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 34% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $273,200 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Fine & Studio Arts 40,751
Design & Applied Arts 36,179
Music 26,968
Drama & Theater Arts 17,726
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 16,756
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,720
Arts & Media Management 4,766
Other Visual Art 1,071
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry 124

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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