Career Choice: Choreographers

Career Choice: Choreographers
  • Type: Career Type
  • Opening Intro -

    The fine arts plays an important role in society.

    We have movies, plays, dances and other forms of entertainment that can inspire and uplift the world.

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Choreographers play an important role in advancing dance by creating new dance routines. They may also direct presentations.

Duties

How dancers perform their steps is the responsibility of the choreographer. Those intricate steps you may have seen in Footloose or Dirty Dancing were developed by choreographers. These professionals themselves are rarely seen in any production, but their work has a profound impact on most any play, movie or dance routine.

Choreographers design both individual and group dances and will also advise dancers on how to stand, move and express their parts. These professionals work closely with others to coordinate music, sound effects or narratives, as required. Choreographers typically are dancers themselves and must stay in shape to demonstrate their routines. They’re also tasked with keeping their dancers healthy, by addressing and preventing injuries.

Education

About one-quarter of choreographers have a bachelor’s degree. Most of the remaining professionals have taken college classes or possess a high school diploma. Some type of training can be advantageous, including taking courses in theory and technique.

Choreographers can also benefit from courses in sociology, history, communications, administration and management. Their skill sets should include the following: speaking, active listening, instructing, time management, social perspectiveness and critical thinking.

Salaries

The average salary for choreographers was $49,930 in 2013 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those in the 10th percentile earned $19,140 per year, while those in the 25th percentile earned $28,510 per year on average. The median wage for choreographers was $44,130 per year. Those in the 75th percentile earned $65,850 per year, while those in the 90th percentile made $94,830 per year on average.

Most choreographers are employed by schools, earning $49,140 per year on average. The highest pay of $55,570 per year was earned by those employed by performing arts companies. California had the highest number of choreographers, earning $64,150 per year on average according to the BLS. New Jersey, however, offered the highest pay average, coming in at $65,650 per year. Among metropolitan areas, San Francisco came in with an average annual wage of $75,080 according to the BLS. Wages, however, varied dramatically averaging just $18,100 per year in Milwaukee.

Job Outlook

The BLS’ job forecast for choreographers (and dancers) is good. The BLS has forecast a 13 percent increase in the number of jobs for the 10-year period ending in 2022, keeping pace with the average increase for all jobs. The BLS explains that a “…growing interest in dance in pop culture may provide opportunities in fields outside of dance companies, such as TV or movies, casinos, or theme parks.”

References

O*Net OnLine: Summary Report for: 27-2032.00 – Choreographers

US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook — Choreographers


See AlsoBest Career Paths For College Students

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