Choreographers


Overview

Introduction

Choreographers create dances that use movement to tell a story or elicit a mood and then teach them to dancers. There are many types of dance—ranging from tango and tap, to ballroom and ballet, to jazz, modern dance, and non-Western dances. Approximately 7,200 choreographers are employed in the United States.

Quick Facts


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Median Salary

$47,800

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Employment Prospects

Fair

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Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma


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Experience

Completion of an informal apprenticeship with an experienced chor


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Skills

Drawing/Design


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Personality Traits

Artistic

Earnings

Choreographers had median annual wages of $47,800 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Like dancers’ incomes, choreographers’ earnings vary widely. The lowest paid 10 percent of choreographers made less than $21,340 per year, while at the other end of the pay scale, the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $97,620 annually.

Many choreographers belong to unions, and...

Work Environment

The work of choreographers can be exhilarating and fulfilling (when the hours of brainstorming, creativity, and hard work result in a dance sequence or production that is well-received by both audiences and critics) and challenging and frustrating (when the choreographer faces “creative block,” dancers have difficulty learning the dance steps, and the choreographer disagrees with the director a...

Outlook

Approximately 7,200 professional choreographers are employed in the United States, and competition for jobs is very strong. The best opportunities are found with regional ballet companies, opera companies, and dance groups that are affiliated with colleges and universities. Choreographers with a strong track record of working on acclaimed productions will have the best job prospects. Many chore...

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