Choreographers: Salary Overview
Choreographers modify and create new dances, choose the music, audition the dancers, and lead rehearsals.
Some may also assist with costume design, lighting, and other artistic aspects of the show and may also help with budgeting and other administrative duties of the company.
Choreographers spend a lot of time studying new types of dance to find inspiration to create new dance routines.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for chiropractors was $48,420 or $23.28 per hour in 2019.
Salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors, including the choreographer’s level of experience, education, the region, and the employer.
The lowers 10 percent earned less than $21,340 ($10.26 per hour) while the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,520 ($44.48 per hour).
Like all careers in the entertainment industry, the hourly rate also varies widely based on the choreographer’s level of experience, reputation, and portfolio.
Choreographer Salary by Industry
In 2019 choreographers held approximately 5,300 jobs in the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of choreographers were employed in the field of educational services where they earned a mean annual wage of $55,340 or $26.60 per hour.
Choreographers who work for dance schools typically have a fixed schedule and standard work weeks when they teach students.
This helps them earn a more secure income and have fewer periods of unemployment.
Their second biggest employer was the field of performing arts companies, an industry that offered an average annual salary for choreographers of approximately $49,100.
Some choreographers work as independent artists and earned, on average, around $45,440 a year.
Choreographers who worked for other amusement and recreation industries earned a mean annual wage of $46,770 while those who worked for colleges, universities, and professional schools earned $49,260.
The industry the offers the highest salary for choreographers were Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events, a field that paid them $64,160 a year, on average.
However, choreographers held only 40 jobs in this field.
Choreographer Salary by Level of Experience
Experience and reputation play are an important factor in determining a choreographer’s rate and annual salary.
Entry-level choreographers typically earn somewhere around $10 an hour while top-level choreographers make more than $50 an hour.
Choreographer Salary by Compensation Structure
Choreographers may work based on an hourly rate or on a fixed salary paid weekly on monthly.
Some work for a dance company while others work as freelance choreographers and build their own client base.
Choreographers may also receive medical and dental health benefits.
Some choreographers also receive bonuses that can sum up to $4,900-$5,000 per year, according to payscale.com
Their compensation package also varies depending on their role in the company; for example, those who also have administrative duties, such as budgeting or scheduling performances may earn more.
A choreographer’s salary can vary depending on the time of the year; during tours, they have longer workdays and more billable hours but may be unemployed for months at a time.
Some choreographers, especially those who are at the beginning of their career, may hold other jobs between roles to make a living.
Employment for choreographers is projected to decline 3 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Finding a job in a large dance company can be hard and at the beginning of your career, you may find employment in a smaller company or in a company that stages dance competitions.
Choreographers who have some experience as dancers and those who have graduated from a dance school or conservatory may have better chances of finding work.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Choreographers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.