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Audio Engineering Career Information and Job Duties

Audio engineering technicians require formal education and on-the-job training. Learn about the education, job duties and career information to see if this is the right choice for you.

Editing, creating, and recording sound is the main objective of an audio engineer. Since they manage numerous electronic equipment, technical skills and sonic sensibility are vital. Audio engineers can work in various industries, where the level of required training depends on the employer.

Essential Information

Audio engineering technicians, also called sound engineering technicians, don't just work in recording studios. They are responsible for the sounds we hear on the radio, in TV and movies, over the Internet and at live performances. Most of these professionals gain the necessary skills through formal education; on-the-job training is important as well.

Required Education A post-secondary non-degree award or a certificate in audio technology or a similar discipline
Other Requirements On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% for sound engineering technicians
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $53,330 for sound engineering technicians

Source: *United States Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information for a Career in Audio Engineering

Aspiring audio engineering technicians might be able to find entry-level work with training from a technical or vocational school. Programs typically run 1-2 years, with some schools offering accelerated programs that take only a few months. For students seeking more in-depth education, audio engineering programs also are available on the bachelor's and master's levels.

Audio engineering technicians work at various locales, including recording studios, radio or television stations, motion picture companies, editing and post-production houses, live theaters and commercial studios. Job titles for audio engineering technicians include recording engineer, sound editor, post-production editor, movie or video game soundtrack producer, music producer, radio or broadcast engineer and live sound engineer.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that employment in the audio engineering industry will grow by eight percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This limited growth is due to the double-edged sword of advancing technology; new innovations constantly improve quality, but they also increase productivity, keeping a cap on job growth. Opportunities for broadcast and sound engineering technicians are forecast to be most promising in the movie and television industries.

Income for audio engineering technicians depends upon their position and years of experience. The median annual income for sound engineering technicians was $53,330 in 2015, according to the BLS.

Job Duties

Whether working in a recording studio, at a live venue or in a post-production editing bay, audio engineering technicians must be knowledgeable about complex electrical equipment. Soundboards, equalizers, microphones, recording equipment, mixing consoles and editing software are the audio engineering technician's tools.

In addition to possessing technical skills, audio engineering technicians must be able to work well under pressure. They also need to be good listeners and communicators so they can distinguish and deliver the sound that an artist or producer is trying to achieve.

Most audio engineers complete some kind of post-secondary education and learn additional skills on-the-job. They are employed under a number of titles in motion picture, radio, or concerts. The audio engineer works to deliver the utmost sound capability and quality.

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