Composers write new and rearrange existing musical compositions such as songs, operas, symphonies, musical scores, and advertising jingles.

Specialisations: Music Arranger, Songwriter.

You need a high level of skill in your chosen musical field to work as a Composer. Formal qualifications might be useful but aren't essential. Composers often have university qualifications.

Tasks

  • Creates melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structures to express ideas and emotions in musical form.
  • Translates ideas and concepts into standard musical signs and symbols for reproduction and performance.
  • Undertakes research and liaises with clients when composing musical backing for television commercials, popular recordings, and productions across radio, television and film.

All Music Professionals

  • $1,662 Weekly Pay
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Average unemployment Unemployment

Composers

  • 310 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 63% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 48 hours Average full-time
  • 42 years Average age
  • 15% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Composers (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
from 280 in 2011 to 310 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Composers work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales and Victoria have a large share of workers.
  • Industries: They work in many industries such as Arts and Recreation Services; Information Media and Telecommunications; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time: Many work full-time (63%, similar to the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 42 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 15% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Arts and Recreation Services69.3
Information Media and Telecommunications19.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services5.9
Education and Training5.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateComposersAll Jobs Average
NSW51.231.6
VIC31.225.6
QLD9.020.0
SA4.07.0
WA3.010.8
TAS1.72.0
NT0.01.0
ACT0.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketComposersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-245.6-9.39.3
25-3421.5-22.922.9
35-4431.8-22.022.0
45-5418.2-21.621.6
55-598.3-9.09.0
60-647.3-6.06.0
65 and Over7.3-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationComposersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate19.4-10.110.1
Bachelor degree39.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma13.1-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV4.2-21.121.1
Year 1220.1-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below4.2-12.512.5

You need a high level of skill in your chosen musical field to work as a Composer. Formal qualifications might be useful but aren't essential. Composers often have university qualifications.

Membership with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Creative Arts and Culture VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Music Professionals who have strong interpersonal skills, can communicate well with diverse audiences and work independently.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Fine Arts

    85% Skill level

    Compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

  2. Computers and Electronics

    77% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    65% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Communications and Media

    63% Skill level

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  5. Sales and Marketing

    55% Skill level

    Showing, promoting, and selling including marketing strategy, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-2041.04 - Music Composers and Arrangers.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Structured versus Unstructured Work

    97% Important

    How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

  2. Electronic Mail

    95% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  3. Spend Time Sitting

    94% Important

    How much time do you spend sitting?

  4. Freedom to Make Decisions

    94% Important

    How much freedom do you have to make decision on your own?

  5. Level of Competition

    90% Important

    To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 27-2041.04 - Music Composers and Arrangers.

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