Vocal Arranger

Decide how a song should sound.
picture of Vocal Arranger

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Vocal Arrangers do?

When someone hears a song on the radio, they’re listening not only to the voice of the Singer or the lyrics of the Songwriter, but also to the work of the Vocal Arranger who has put it all together. As a Vocal Arranger, you add the final touches or subtle nuances that make songs stand apart. Working with Singers, Songwriters, Music Producers, and Directors, you use your keen ear to decide how a song is sung.

Say, you’re working with a Country Music Artist during the production stages of an album. After hearing the initial performance, you decide it would sound better with an edge of rock and roll rather than the traditional twangy country sound. After identifying where differences should be made, you ask the Artist to add a vibrato (a wavering rather than consistent tone) to the chorus, or hold the last note just a few seconds longer. The difference may be subtle, but it often means the difference between a hit and a flop.

The Artist, Actor, or Producer expects you to use your music experience and background to make the project better. In this job, no two workdays are ever the same: You work with a Top 40 Artist or a Broadway star one day, and then it’s off to a recording studio or a radio commercial the next.

It’s essential that you’re able to deliver advice and criticism in a constructive manner, which requires excellent verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Whether critiquing the next big hit or assisting with the catchy jingle for a toothpaste commercial, you must be able to tune out all outside influences and focus on the sounds you hear.

Typically, a Vocal Arranger has an extensive background in music and the performing arts. Classes in music theory, vocal presentation, pitch, and tone turn your ears into a finely tuned music production machine. You put the “Ooohhh” and “Aaahhh” into the song, and make music fans and clients happy with every note.


Should I be a Vocal Arranger?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Vocal Artist, Vocal Performer

    How to become a Vocal Arranger

    Vocal Arrangers often have an Associate's degree or higher. Chart?chd=s:59a2ja&chl=no+college+%2824%25%29|certificate+%2826%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2823%25%29|master%27s+%2815%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,24,26
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