Audio Recording Major: Information and Requirements

A bachelor's degree in audio recording offers students a comprehensive overview of the recording process and the music business. Find out what is involved in taking this major and what career options and advanced studies are available to graduates.

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Essential Information

Individuals who wish to pursue a career in music may find a bachelor's degree in audio recording to be an effective way to learn about music technology and business. Students in these 4-year programs study a range of subjects including business, music history and technology. Many classes take place in classrooms resembling real-world recording studios. Most programs may be found at a college or university, allowing students to pursue other elective courses in addition to their core audio recording classes.

Prospective students need to have a high school diploma and submit an application and admission essay. Sometimes, SAT and ACT scores are required.


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Bachelor's Degree in Audio Recording

A bachelor's degree in audio recording is available to students at colleges or universities with strong music departments. Students can expect to study the technical process of recording. This may include microphone usage and placement, studio equipment and digital production software. Students will generally study other related subjects too, including music history and business.

To earn a bachelor's degree in audio recording from an accredited institution of higher education, students must complete a minimum number of credit hours in elective subjects, like history, mathematics and sociology. Students might take core courses in the following topics:

  • Audio theory
  • Copyrights and publishing in music
  • Audio postproduction
  • Digital mastering
  • Vocal production
  • Session recording

Popular Career Options

This degree program may lead to hands-on, technical careers in which graduates record, master and produce tracks, whether for other performers or for their own songs. Potential job titles include the following:

  • Production supervisor
  • Producer
  • Musician
  • Maintenance technician
  • Production assistant
  • Studio technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects employment growth of 3% for musicians and singers from 2014 to 2024. The median hourly wage for a musician or singer was $24.20 in May 2015. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians are expected to have 7% employment growth during the 2014-2024 decade, according to the BLS. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians earned a median salary of $41,780 in May 2015.

Continuing Education Information

Master's-level programs, leading to degrees like a Master of Fine Arts or a Master of Music, are available in areas such as sound recording technology, music engineering, audio sciences and recording arts technology. These programs offer advanced training for graduates holding a bachelor's degree in audio recording. Alternatively, students with bachelor's degrees in related science, music or technology areas - everything from music performance to physics - may pursue a master's-level program to refocus their skills on the audio and acoustic arts.

Students who have a passion for music may pursue a bachelor's degree in audio recording to learn more about the technical aspect of the recording process. Graduates may join the entertainment industry as musicians, producers or singers or they could choose to pursue master's degree programs to further hone their skills in sound recording.

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