Conductors, Composers & Arrangers
Learn about this occupation – including typical duties, education required, salary and job outlook information, job boards and more.
Conductors select and interpret musical works and lead bands, orchestras and choirs during rehearsals and performances.
Composers create musical compositions such as television and film scores, theme music, songs, symphonies and music for interactive products such as video games.
Arrangers adapt and modify musical compositions to convey desired themes and to suit particular instrumental and vocal performances.
They are employed by symphony and chamber orchestras, bands, choirs, sound recording companies, and orchestras for ballet and opera performances, or they may be self-employed (National Occupational Classification, 2016).
Find detailed information about the occupation, including typical duties and working conditions, in the links below:
- National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Canadian Occupational Descriptions
- OCCInfo by alis - Alberta-based occupational information
- ONET - U.S resource for occupational descriptions and information
- Sokanu - Career info & videos (U.S.)
- Careers in Composition - Berklee College of Music
- Careersinmusic.com (U.S)
- Career in Culture: Music and Sound Recording – Cultural Human Resources Council
- So, You want to be a Music Composer? – Ottawa Film Office
- The Secret, Jet-setting Life of a World-famous Conductor - The Washington Post
A university degree in music or completion of a program at a music academy, conservatory or school of music is usually required. A period of specialized study related to conducting, composing or arranging is usually required along with experience as a musician and a demonstrated by a portfolio of work (National Occupational Classification).
U of M Academic Calendar
The Academic Calendar & Catalogue outlines program admission and course requirements. Use the left menu to navigate to a specific faculty and program. To determine which degree path suits your unique occupational goals, speak with a Career Consultant. For support with course registration and academic issues, speak with an Academic Advisor.
Faculty and Department Homepages
Visit U of M's faculty and department homepage to learn about program application deadlines and processes, as well as additional in-house resources and opportunities.
- Marcel. A. Desautels Faculty of Music
- Masters of Music
Exploring Other Education Options
Information for foreign-trained Conductor, Composer and Arrangers - from the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials
Labour market information
Labour market information informs users of supply and demand for specific occupations and sectors. It includes such things as salary and job outlook information. These resources support informed career decision making and job search efforts.
- Trend Analysis: Job Market Report
- Occupational Outlook Handbook
- I want to be a Screen Composer. What will my salary be? – Globe and Mail
- 2019 Orchestra Compensation Report (U.S.A)
- Game Audio Industry Survey 2019 – gamesoundcon.com
Professional associations organize events and directories, job postings, career and labour market information. Student membership opportunities are also available. This is a great way to learn and network.
- Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN)
- Music Professionals of Manitoba
- Choral Canada
- Manitoba Choral Association
- College Orchestra Directors Association
- Screen Composer Guild of Canada
- Canadian League of Composers
- Canadian Music Centre
- Association of Women Composers
- United States
Directories, Industry Associations, and Sector Councils
These resources provide industry news, labour market information and a list of potential employers. Remember, there are usually multiple industries worth exploring.
- Manitoba Music
- Orchestras Canada
- Canadian Independent Music Association
- Professional Associations, Organizations, and Societies – Berklee College of Music
Search occupations of interest in the industry-specific job boards below to learn about skill requirements, employers, job duties and available jobs. You may also wish to search more general online job boards.
External resources that will provide you with additional information about the occupation, areas of work and opportunities to build experience:
- University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra
- Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
- Winnipeg Youth Orchestras
- Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
- Manitoba Arts Council
- Canada Council of the Arts
- Film Scoring Jobs Online – MIDI Film Scoring
- The MIDI association – Global community of people who create music and art with MIDI
- Soundsgirls.org – Association focused on empowering and educating women in the music industry (see podcast, resources and profiles)
- ‘‘Take on your own power’: The women who are rising to the musical podium’- The Globe and Mail
Composers, Conductors, and Arrangers in Video Games
- ‘Is Video Game Music an Art and a Business in its Own Right’- Forbes
- ‘Bigger than MTC: How video games are helping the music industry thrive’ - The Guardian
- Game Audio Network Guild (U.S.A)
- Production Music Association (U.S.A)
- International Game Developer Association