Music Therapist Salary

Music Therapist Salary

Music therapists are mental health specialists who are familiar with the health benefits of music, and who use it to address the social, emotional as well as the physical issues of their patients. It often happens that music therapists work closely with people who have a hard time expressing their thoughts or their feelings, and who can find great relief through music. At the same time, music therapists can also fix numerous psychological disorders. The median yearly wage of a music therapist in the United States of America is of around $48,000, although their salary can reach as much as $180,000 a year depending on their work environment.

Pay Scale In Different Parts Of The United States of America

Music therapists are paid differently across the United States of America, and the highest paying states for these mental health professionals is the District of Columbia, where they get around $56,000. Also, in California they are paid with around $56,000 on average, in Washington with just over $49,000, in New Jersey with $47,000 while the states of Connecticut and New York pay their mental health professionals with around $46,000 a year.

Music Therapist Job Description

Music therapists have been around for a very long time, helping people deal with their physical, emotional, social and psychological issues in a healthy and efficient manner, with the help of music. Music is known to improve the physical and the mental health of their patients, and it is essential for these mental health providers to be patient, empathetic and creative. Good interpersonal and communication skills are also a must.

Music therapists come into contact with a variety of people who suffer from different issues, from substance abuse problems and interpersonal issues to psychiatric illnesses and even physical disabilities. It is their duty to try and improve the life quality of these patients with the help of music. These specialists can be found in community centers, private clinics, psychiatric facilities, general hospitals, schools as well as specialized training institutes.

At the same time, it often happens that music therapists work with people who have different communication disorders, anxiety, behavioral problems, anxiety and different eating disorders. Their work activities are somewhat related to their work environment, but generally speaking these professionals record all the therapy sessions with the consent of their patients, help their patients express their musical language and encourage them to use different musical instruments to express their thoughts and feelings, they help patients listen to music, play and sing along, they review and assess all the therapy sessions in order to track their efficacy and so on.

How To Become A Music Therapist?

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music_therapistTraining plays a crucial role in your development as a music therapist, and the coursework in music is very important. However, in addition to this, you will also learn the basics of biological sciences, behavioral sciences, physiology, anatomy, therapy and psychology, all of which are equally important for your success as a future music therapist.

At the time being, there are more than 50 different universities and colleges in the United States of America where those who are passionate about music therapy can get the necessary training in the field. After you have finished your basic college coursework in music therapy, it is essential to get a clinical training internship in the field that typically takes half a year. Only after that you can sit for the final certification exam that is administered by the CBMT, or the Certification Board for Music Therapists. Once you pass the exam you will be awarded a certification and become a MT-BC.

There are currently several different types of music therapy training programs available. One of them will culminate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Therapy, another one will result in a Master’s Degree while others will grant you a doctoral degree in the field.


As mentioned above, the certification for music therapists is provided by CBMT, and there are around 6,000 certified music therapists in the United States of America who have this credential.

Music Therapist Salary In Canada, Australia And The United Kingdom

In Canada, the median wage for these professionals is of Ca$59,000, in Australia it ranges between Au$36,000 and Au$100,000 while music therapists who work in the United Kingdom should expect to be paid between 20,000 and 80,000 pounds.

Verdict On Music Therapist Salary

Working as a music therapist is extremely pleasant and rewarding, both financially and professionally.