In audio engineering or production programs students gain hands-on experience working with audio equipment, such as mixers, soundboards and microphones. Graduates of an associate's degree program might pursue entry-level work or go on to study at the bachelor's degree level.
Applicants are required to have a high school diploma or equivalent, and may need to take some placement testing. Depending on the program, students may create a final portfolio of work prior to graduation.
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Associates Degree in Audio Engineering
Audio engineering students experience hands-on training while learning various aspects of technologies such as sound equipment and acoustic software. They are educated on the fundamentals of audio signal, auditory range, acoustics, music theory and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sequencing. Music business and management are also touched on. Common coursework includes:
- Acoustic planning
- Acoustic recording methods
- Checking sounds and mixtures
- Civic communication
- Physical science
- Songwriting and writing skills
Popular Career Options
Graduates are equipped with the expertise and technical recording and mixing skills to enter audio engineering careers within a variety of companies. Some popular career options include:
- Acoustic engineer or music producer
- Radio or broadcast engineer
- Sound designer or master engineer
- Studio manager
- Electronic musician
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sound engineering technicians earn a median annual salary of $53,330 as of May 2015. Those working in computer systems design earn the most, with a mean wage of $99,990 per year. Employment for broadcast and sound engineering technicians is expected to see a 7% increase from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an associate degree program in audio engineering may choose to enter into entry-level positions in the field or further their education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program. Bachelor's degree programs provide advanced knowledge in core concepts of music theory and principles, as well as marketing and distribution. Some colleges allow students to transfer their associate degree credits to a bachelor's degree program.
Associate degree programs in audio engineering prepare students for a bachelor's degree program or entry-level positions in sound engineering. Students learn about recording, music theory, and acoustics.