Associates Degree in Audio Engineering: Program Information

Audio engineers are responsible for producing and recording sounds for music labels, broadcasting companies, video game companies, live venues and other organizations. Audio engineers can begin their education by enrolling in an associate's degree program in audio engineering or production.

Essential Information

In audio engineering or production programs students learn about acoustic software, auditory range, soundboards and mixing. Students gain hands-on experience working with audio equipment, such as mixers and microphones. Graduates of an associate's degree program might pursue entry-level work or go on to study at the bachelor's degree level.

  • Program Levels in Audio Engineering: Associate's degrees, Bachelor's degrees
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent; possible placement testing

Associates Degree in Audio Engineering

Audio engineering students experience hands-on training while learning various aspects of technologies such as sound equipment and acoustic software. They are educated on the fundamentals of audio signal, acoustics, music theory and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sequencing. Music business and management are also touched on. Depending on the program, students may create a final portfolio of work prior to graduation. Common coursework includes:

  • Acoustic planning
  • Acoustic recording methods
  • Algebra and mathematics
  • Checking sounds and mixtures
  • Civic communication
  • English composition
  • Music principles and comprehension
  • Physical science
  • Social interaction
  • Songwriting and writing skills

Popular Career Options

Graduates are equipped with the expertise and technical recording and mixing skills to enter audio engineering careers within a variety of companies. Some popular career options include:

  • Acoustic engineer or music producer
  • Radio or broadcast engineer
  • Sound designer or master engineer
  • Studio manager
  • Electronic musician

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sound engineering technicians earn a median annual salary of $49,870 as of May 2014. Those working in motion picture and video industries earn the most, with a mean wage of $75,180 per year. However, employment is expected to see little to no change from 2012-2022, due largely to advancements in technology and software that enable audio engineering work to be completed at a much faster rate than in the past.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of an associate degree program in audio engineering may choose to enter into entry-level positions in the field or further their education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program. Bachelor's degree programs provide advanced knowledge in core concepts of music theory and principles, as well as marketing and distribution. Some colleges allow students to transfer their associate degree credits to a bachelor's degree program.

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