Colleges, high schools and music studios rely on singing teachers to plan vocal lessons, assess the vocal talents of students and help them improve their singing skills. Singing teachers also schedule rehearsals to prepare students for musicals, plays and singing auditions. If you want to become a singing teacher, you need at least a bachelor's degree if you teach at a high school and a doctoral degree at a college. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging nearly $50,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The annual salary for a singing teacher was $48,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. Singing teachers come from many different backgrounds, but most have extensive experience singing and performing, whether it's five or 10 years or more than 15 years of experience. To teach at a high school, you need at least a bachelor's degree in voice or music arts. At a college or university, you need a doctoral degree as a voice professor. Singing teachers who open their own studios may not need a college degree if they are accomplished singers. Other essential qualifications for the job include patience and organizational, instructional, critical thinking and communication skills.
Average annual salaries for singing teachers varied the most within the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the least in Hawaii and most in California -- $31,000 and $52,000, respectively. Those in the South made $41,000 to $57,000 per year in Louisiana and Washington, D.C., respectively. If you worked as a singing teacher in Maine or New York, you'd earn an average of $41,000 or $58,000, respectively -- the lowest and highest salaries in the Northeast. In the Midwest, you'd make the most in Illinois and least in Nebraska or South Dakota at $53,000 or $35,000, respectively.
Singing teachers can earn higher salaries working for different types of employers, especially those in which music or other arts teachers earn more. For example, post-secondary music teachers earned $74,810 at junior colleges, according to May 2012 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while those at technical or trade schools made only $51,390. If you open your own singing or voice studio, you earn more money as you add clients. Your success in adding clients may be contingent on your reputation as a singer and singing success of existing clients.
The BLS predicts a 17 percent increase in employment for post-secondary teachers, including singing teachers, from 2010 to 2020 -- an average growth rate. Increases in the number of students attending college may increase jobs for singing teachers. The BLS only projects a 7 percent increase in jobs for high schools this decade, which is half the rate of the 14 percent national average for all occupations. Student enrollments at high schools will grow at a slower pace than those of other grade levels.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a High School Teacher
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: High School Teachers: Job Outlook
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: How to Become a Postsecondary Teacher
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Postsecondary Teachers: Job Outlook
- Indeed: Voice Teacher Salary
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
- Indeed: Voice Teacher Salary in Maine, and New York
- Indeed: Voice Teacher Salary in Hawaii, and California
- Indeed: Voice Teacher Salary in Louisiana, and Washington, DC
- Indeed: Voice Teacher Salary in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois
- Backstage: Becoming a Voice Teacher
- Kim Chandler: Choosing The Right Vocal Teacher
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
- Glassdoor: Vocal Music Teacher Salaries
- Professional Women Singers Association: Information Diva’s Links for Singers
- National Careers Service: Singing Teacher
- Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images