Sound engineers handle the technical aspects of producing, recording, and mixing sound in order to achieve a certain goal. Several programs are available at different levels that prepare interested individuals for a career in the field.
10 Schools with Sound Engineering Programs
While a number of programs exist in this area, below are several of the most reputable.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degree's Offered||Tuition (2015-2016, in-state)|
|Spokane Falls Community College||Spokane, WA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$3,388|
|Mesa Community College||Mesa, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,046|
|Central Piedmont Community College||Charlotte, NC||2-year, Public||Continuing education courses||$2,664|
|Houston Community College||Houston, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,631 in-district, $3,360 in-state|
|Manchester Community College||Manchester, CT||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,052|
|Lane Community College||Eugene, OR||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,047|
|Washtenaw Community College||Ann Arbor, MI||2-year, Public||Certificate||$2,424 in-district, $3,816 in-state|
|Guilford Technical Community College||Jamestown, NC||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,064 in-district, $2,208 in-state|
|Community College of Philadelphia||Philadelphia, PA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,920 in-district, $9,360 in-state|
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School Selection Criteria
Sound engineering programs are available at community colleges, technical schools and universities. A few important considerations when choosing a program include:
- Some programs require students to be proficient in an instrument and perform in ensembles throughout the program, which may appeal to some students and not others.
- Students should consider program depth. While certificate programs are the shortest and offer potentially fast entry to the field, associate's and bachelor's programs may give students more hands-on opportunities to hone their craft.
- Sound engineering students should ensure a school offers instruction using the latest technologies and tools for audio engineering.
- Students should strongly consider attending a school that offers internships, since they're a good way to prepare for career entry and even network with professionals in the field.
Sound Engineering Program Overviews
Students of a certificate program are usually qualified for a specific type of equipment or job function, such as audiovisual technology, upon graduation. Depending upon the student's career goals, this option may be a fast and efficient way to enter the field. Certificate students take courses such as:
- Audio engineering
- Studio recording techniques
- Music business
- Music theory
- Pro Tools
Associate's Degree Programs
Graduates of these programs may be eligible for entry-level positions in the field. Programs may require students to complete a work experience or compile a portfolio. The curriculum of an associate's degree program in sound engineering includes coursework in:
- Sound reinforcement
- Music theory
- Sound mixing
- Music technology
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Students in a bachelor's degree program usually commit to a career path, such as working in the music recording industry, conducting acoustic principle studies or creating computerized innovations that process sound. In these programs, students may need to complete a senior project or thesis. They also study topics like:
- DC/AC circuits
- Music theory
It is important for prospective students to consider the location, technology needs, and future goals when choosing a sound engineering program. Different level programs provide experiences that may be specific and necessary to a career.