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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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51121 – Conductors, composers and arrangers

Conductors, composers and arrangers conduct bands and orchestras, compose musical works and arrange instrumental and vocal compositions. They are employed by symphony and chamber orchestras, bands, choirs, sound recording companies, and orchestras for ballet and opera performances, or they may be self-employed.


Example titles

  • Arranger
  • Bandmaster
  • Choir director
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Music adapter
  • Orchestrator
  • Singer-songwriter-composer
  • Songwriter
  • Artistic director - music
  • Lyricist
  • Musical director

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
    • Select and interpret musical works and lead bands, orchestras and choirs during rehearsals and performances.
    • Create musical compositions such as television and film scores, theme music, songs, symphonies and music for interactive products such as video games.
    • Adapt and modify musical compositions to convey desired themes and to suit particular instrumental and vocal performances.

Employment requirements

  • A university degree in music or completion of a program at a music academy, conservatory or school of music is usually required.
  • A period of specialized study related to conducting, composing or arranging is usually required.
  • Experience as a musician is required.
  • Musical and creative talent and ability, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are important hiring criteria.

Additional information

  • Composers often work as arrangers.
  • Conductors, composers and arrangers usually specialize in a particular genre of music such as classical, country, jazz or popular.


  • Musicians and singers (51122)
  • Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations (51120)

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
1 – Occupations usually require a university degree
Major group
51 – Professional occupations in art and culture
Sub-major group
511 – Professional occupations in art and culture
Minor group
5112 – Creative and performing artists
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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