How Much Do Dance Choreographers Get Paid?

Written by wanda thibodeaux
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How Much Do Dance Choreographers Get Paid?
The best choreographers know how to use sets and props creatively. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Choreographers put together dance -- and occasionally athletic -- routines for clients. They work with dancers and other performers during rehearsals in preparation for performances. Often, choreographers have experience as dancers, which helps them do their job. For their work, choreographers earn average salaries of just over £26,000 a year, according to 2009 information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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National Data

Choreographers make an average salary of £27,384 a year as of 2009, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. This is about £13.1 an hour. Factors that influence salaries include experience, reputation and size of the company they work for. Choreographers in the 10th percentile make £11,836, or £5.60 per hour. Choreographers in the 90th percentile earn £44,895, or £21.5 an hour.

State Data

BLS statistics by state shows that, as of 2009, choreographers earn the most in Washington, at £34,703 a year; Georgia, £37,609; Florida, £39,325; Hawaii, £40,319 and New York, £43,647. The worst places for choreographers in terms of compensation include South Dakota, £16,204; Kentucky, £17,017; Delaware, £18,336; Alabama, £18,427 and Idaho £19,994.

Pay by Industry

Choreographers are not limited to one sector for employment. They may earn different salaries based on the sector they choose. Choreographers do best financially starting with amusement and recreation industries -- such as casinos and theme parks -- which pay £30,966 a year on average as of 2009, according to the BLS. Next are elementary and secondary schools, which pay choreographers £31,343 annually. Amusement parks and arcades pay £31,746. Choreographers in performing arts companies, the highest-employing sector for choreographers, make £32,324. The best pay is with junior colleges, which provide average annual compensation of £47,515.

Considerations

Like other artists, choreographers may belong to unions, including but not limited to the Screen Actors Guild, Actors' Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Choreographers who are union members sometimes command higher salaries because pay is determined by rates within union contracts. They also may receive fringe benefits such as pensions and paid sick leave; non-union members may have a harder time getting these perks. The BLS projects that choreography jobs will increase only 6 per cent between 2008 and 2018, slower than average compared to other industries.

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