Sound technicians setup, maintain, and operate equipment for radio and television productions, concerts, movies and other sound recordings. In order to become a sound technician, you typically need to earn a post-secondary certificate or degree. This article discusses the educational requirements and job opportunities that are available in this field.
Sound technicians are employed in a number of industries, such as radio and television broadcasting, and are responsible for using audio equipment to record and reproduce sound. An associate's degree in sound engineering or some closely related field is usually the minimum educational requirement for entry-level sound technician positions. While not required, certification from a professional organization may make an applicant more appealing to employers. This field of employment is growing at about the average rate for all occupations.
|Required Education||Associate's degree in sound engineering technology or recording arts|
|Projected Job Growth||7% from 2014-2024*|
|Median Salary||$53,330 (2015)*|
Sources: * U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Job Duties of a Sound Technician
The primary duty of most sound technicians is to record or reproduce sound using audio equipment. However, they may also be responsible for setting up audio and mixing board equipment for sporting events or artistic productions. The duties of a sound technician vary according to the industry in which they are employed. For example, a sound technician working in the television broadcast industry may work inside a television studio and ensure that microphones are working properly. They may also adjust broadcasting equipment so that voices are clear and not too loud and that recorded tracks are devoid of any popping, static or cracking sounds. Other sound technicians may work outside on location and have to minimize environmental sounds that could possible interfere with a television broadcast or a scene in a film.
Sound technicians are needed in many industries. For example, it is not uncommon to find sound techs working in the film, television broadcast and radio industries. Some sound technicians work for companies that provide sound engineering services to sporting events, theater programs and concerts. About 10% were employed in the film and sound recording industries.
Salary and Job Outlook Information
The BLS also reports that a 7% increase in the employment of broadcast and sound engineering technicians is expected for the 2014-2024 period, which is about average. The median annual salary of a sound engineering technician, as of May 2015, was $53,330, per the BLS.
To become a sound technician, you will likely need to obtain a post-secondary certificate or degree. With an average growth rate in employment, you can find yourself working in a variety of fields depending on your career interests.