There are currently an estimated 74,800 conductors in the United States. The conductor job market is expected to grow by 5.7% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are conductors?

CareerExplorer rates conductors with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 8,000 conductors. That number is based on 4,300 additional conductors, and the retirement of 3,700 existing conductors.

Are conductors in demand?

Aspiring conductors may look to Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel for their inspiration. They should not, however, look upon his career path as common or traditional. Dudamel skipped college because he became an international sensation at a young age. He is most certainly the exception to the rule, which generally requires that professional conductors have at least a master’s degree, if not a doctorate in conducting. Most conductors will further increase their employability if they specialize in one of three standard programs: wind ensemble conducting, orchestral conducting, or choral conducting. While positions with major and renowned symphony and philharmonic orchestras are at the pinnacle of the conductor world, there are other roads to success in the field. Local orchestras, military and marching bands, college choirs, and chamber music ensembles each present opportunities for conductors to hone their skills and advance their careers. Competition in all of these arenas, as in every musical field, is expected to be at a higher level than overall demand.

What’s the supply of conductors?

The conductor industry is concentrated in New York, California, Texas

Conductor job market by state

State Name Employed Conductors
New York 2,920
California 1,850
Texas 940
Ohio 820
Oregon 790
Florida 760
Illinois 750
Michigan 680
Virginia 530
Pennsylvania 460
Massachusetts 390
Tennessee 390
Georgia 380
Indiana 280
New Jersey 260
Minnesota 250
Connecticut 200
South Carolina 190
North Carolina 170
Montana 170
Kansas 160
Hawaii 160
Washington 160
Mississippi 140
Oklahoma 140
Missouri 130
Wisconsin 130
Utah 90
Maryland 90
Arizona 90
Colorado 80
Iowa 70
Louisiana 70
Alabama 70
Vermont 70
Nebraska 60
Rhode Island 50
New Hampshire 40
Idaho 40
New Mexico 40
Arkansas 30
Alaska 30