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Music Therapy Major

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Music Therapy

471 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
149 Master's Degrees Annually
#45 in Popularity
$57,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Music Therapy Majors Are Getting

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

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 471
Master’s Degree 149
Graduate Certificate 32
Doctor’s Degree 3

What Music Therapy Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, music therapy 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 Music Therapy Majors

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

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  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • 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 Music Therapy Majors

When studying music therapy, 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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  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Music Therapy Majors

A major in music therapy will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

What Can You Do With a Music Therapy Major?

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

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Therapists 19.9% $50,980

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy?

471 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
86% Percent Women
18% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 86% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Music Therapy Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 21
Black or African American 9
Hispanic or Latino 44
White 356
International Students 13
Other Races/Ethnicities 28

Geographic Diversity

Music Therapy appeals to people across the globe. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Music Therapy Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Music Therapy majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $57,680 to $122,320 (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 Music Therapy Major  ( 57680 to 122320 )
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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 degrees associated with music therapy 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.

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

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
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) 2.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 12.5%
Master’s Degree 35.9%
Doctoral Degree 24.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 19.1%

Online Music Therapy Programs

In 2018-2019, 68 schools offered a music therapy 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 1 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 10 0
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 28 4
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Music Therapy Worth It?

The median salary for a music therapy grad is $57,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 45% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $355,600 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
Physical Therapy/Therapist 12,865
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 9,142
Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor 1,232
Rehabilitation Science 1,164
Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy 1,079
Other Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions 1,062
Art Therapy/Therapist 711
Orthotist/Prosthetist 333
Kinesiotherapy/Kinesiotherapist 144
Assistive/Augmentative Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering 104
Dance Therapy/Therapist 37
Animal-Assisted Therapy 31

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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