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Music Editing Professions: Job & Career Info

A music editor in the film or television industry is responsible for how a film or TV production's musical score relates to what's been filmed. For more information about education requirements, useful skills, career outlook and potential salary, read on.

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Career Definition for a Music Editor

Music editors use parts of a composer's score or a recorded song to best serve a movie or television episode. What works best is decided by the music editor, composer, director, producer and film editor. Specific music editing tasks include timing scene lengths and synchronizing the score to a scene, as well as mixing the volume and equalization levels of the sound track to aurally convey the scene's visceral and emotional impact.

Education Bachelor's and master's degrees in music technology or sound engineering available; experience preferred
Job Skills Music composition, songwriting, music editing with technology, teamwork, ability to meet deadlines
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $53,330 (all sound engineering technicians)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 8% growth (sound engineering technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Although a degree is not necessarily required to pursue a career in music editing, formal training may serve as a substitute for experience. Aspiring music editors may consider a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts program in music technology or sound engineering that includes coursework in music theory, film scoring or composition. Nevertheless, experience and networking are paramount, and sometimes the best 'classes' for music editors are workshops.

Skills Required

Music composition skills are a major plus, and most music editors are musicians or have an understanding of songwriting concepts. Knowledge of how to utilize music editing technology, like ProTools, is essential. Non-musical skills, such as diplomacy and the ability to work within deadlines, are also helpful.

Career and Salary Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of sound engineering technicians nationwide, an occupational group that includes music editors, is expected to grow by 8% from 2014 to 2024 (an average growth rate). As of May 2015, sound engineering technicians earned a median annual wage of $53,330.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers to music editing include the following:

Film and Video Editors

Film and video editors alter and enhance moving images for movies, videos and other related productions, which may include synchronizing action and visuals with soundtracks. Academic requirements include a bachelor's degree in broadcasting or film. According to the BLS, job opportunities for film and video editors across the country are expected to increase by 18% (faster than average), between 2014 and 2024. Film and video editors who were employed in May 2015 received median yearly salaries of $61,750.

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators use computer-generated or traditional hand techniques to create animated effects and visuals for games, feature films and television productions. Completion of a bachelor's degree program in digital or fine art is the usual requirement for obtaining a position, as well as experience with computer animation software and a professional portfolio. Between 2014 and 2024, opportunities for multimedia artists and animators nationwide are expected to increase by 6% (an average growth rate), according to the BLS. As of May 2015, professionals employed in the field earned median annual wages of $63,970.

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