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Salary and Career Info for an Audio Producer

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an audio producer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about training, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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There is a lot of competition for job openings for audio producers. It may be possible to gain an entry-level position with a certificate in sound engineering, or an associate's degree in audio production. A bachelor's degree in journalism, broadcasting, or communications is preferred for audio producers in the broadcasting and film industry.

Essential Information

Audio producers, also referred to as music or sound engineers, plan, create, and edit the sound in television programs, radio broadcasts, movies, music videos, or albums. They do so by operating recording and editing equipment as well as computer software. Depending on the industry, a four-year bachelor's degree may be required for these positions; other jobs in this highly competitive field may require just an associate's degree or a certificate.

Required Education Certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree; requirements vary by industry
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 7% for sound engineering technicians
Median Salary (2015)* $53,330 for sound engineering technicians

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Salary Info for Audio Producers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), reported in May 2015 that sound engineering technicians, those who actually record and manipulate the sound in studio, earned a median annual salary of $53,330. Sound engineering techs working in the motion picture and video production industries earned a mean of $82,670 a year.

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Career Information

Audio producers use sophisticated equipment and technology to record, mix, and produce sound on movies, television, and radio broadcasts or music albums. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most audio producers are employed in the broadcasting industries, but they can also find employment through movie and theater production teams as well as recording studios.

The day-to-day duties of audio producers vary depending on where they work. Those in the movie industry work mostly in postproduction; they add sound effects, voice-overs, or background music. Audio engineers in recording studios may also be responsible for operating recording equipment. Those in broadcasting monitor audio signals and transmitters.

Education Requirements

According to the BLS, employers look for job candidates who have completed at least some technical training or a one-year vocational program in sound engineering or a related field (www.bls.gov). Specialized two-year associate's degrees in audio production are also available. These programs cover topics like audio engineering software, entertainment industry fundamentals, and recording techniques.

Employers in broadcasting and movie industries may seek audio producer with a four-year bachelor's degree in a field like journalism, broadcasting, or communications. Software training may also be necessary, but some employers offer this on the job.

Getting Started

Although entry-level audio producer positions may be available, they can be very competitive, especially in the broadcasting industry. The BLS recommends that aspiring sound producers gain experience in lower-level positions first, such as through the role of assistant producer, sound technician, boom operator, or editing-room assistant. Some college programs also offer relevant audio engineering internship programs through which students can gain entry-level experience.

Audio producers are the professionals that create and compile the soundtracks for television shows, movies, commercials, albums, music videos, and broadcasts. They record and edit the soundtracks and may add sound effects, voice-overs or background music.

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