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Career Profile: Choreographers

Create new dance routines. Rehearse performance of routines. May direct and stage presentations.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 4,600 people employed as choreographers in the United States. The median annual salary is $43,700. Entry level employees earn approximately $21,180 per year and senior employees earn approximately $101,250 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Coordinate production music with music directors.
  • Design sets, lighting, costumes, and other artistic elements of productions, in collaboration with cast members.
  • Manage dance schools, or assist in their management.
  • Restage traditional dances and works in dance companies' repertoires, developing new interpretations.
  • Record dance movements and their technical aspects, using a technical understanding of the patterns and formations of choreography.
  • Assess students' dancing abilities to determine where improvement or change is needed.
  • Direct rehearsals to instruct dancers in how to use dance steps, and in techniques to achieve desired effects.
  • Teach students, dancers, and other performers about rhythm and interpretive movement.
  • Choose the music, sound effects, or spoken narrative to accompany a dance.
  • Advise dancers on how to stand and move properly, teaching correct dance techniques to help prevent injuries.
  • Design dances for individual dancers, dance companies, musical theatre, opera, fashion shows, film, television productions, and special events, and for dancers ranging from beginners to professionals.
  • Seek influences from other art forms such as theatre, the visual arts, and architecture.
  • Experiment with different types of dancers, steps, dances, and placements, testing ideas informally to get feedback from dancers.
  • Train, exercise, and attend dance classes to maintain high levels of technical proficiency, physical ability, and physical fitness.
  • Develop ideas for creating dances, keeping notes and sketches to record influences.
  • Read and study story lines and musical scores to determine how to translate ideas and moods into dance movements.
  • Direct and stage dance presentations for various forms of entertainment.
  • Audition performers for one or more dance parts.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
4,600
Annual Openings:
1,000
Increase in Openings by 2030:
32%
Annual Salary Range:
$21,180 - $101,250
Education Requirements:
High school diploma