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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

In an O*NET survey, dance majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Dance Majors

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

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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

When studying dance, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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?

People with a dance degree often go into the following careers:

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. This major is dominated by women with about 88% of recent graduates being 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

Dance appeals to people across the globe. 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

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in dance made a median starting salary of $19,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $18,500 (25th percentile) and $22,000 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in dance, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their 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 the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to dance have obtained the following education levels.

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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

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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