Competition is keen in some areas of music teaching, particularly at the college level. Most music teachers will eventually earn a master's degree or beyond because both tenure and salaries are tied to the number of years of experience and degrees earned. Many graduate programs require several years of teaching experience before candidacy for the degree is considered.
A popular option with college students is the double major. Many students take a music major while completing requirements for other professions including business, dentistry, law, psychology, social work, theology and more. Recent studies show that most postgraduate programs, including medical schools, show special consideration to applicants with a music background. A music degree gives the student career flexibility.
Each institution or school system has a salary schedule based on two criteria–years of teaching experience and number of degrees. Annual salaries for teachers in public high schools range from $25,000 to $55,000; private high schools, $25,000 to $50,000; and state and private universities, $25,000 to $100,000. Private instruction can earn from $25 to $100 an hour; symphony players, $15,000 to $85,000 or more a year; studio musicians, $165-$210 for 3-hour sessions.
Music students go on to a wide variety of careers, including many who go on to medical school.
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