Audio technicians are required to have a vocational certificate, or an associate's or bachelor's degree. They typically work in television, movie, radio or recording studios, but may also be employed in schools, arenas, offices and hotels.
Audio technicians work at various venues setting up and maintaining audio equipment and installing audio systems. Formal education is not required, although many employers may ask for vocational certificates. Coursework in these programs covers topics such as studio recording, music theory, music business, electronic recording equipment and multimedia productions.
|Required Education||Vocational certificate; associate's and bachelor's degrees available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||7% (for broadcast and sound engineering technicians)*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$41,440 (for audio and video equipment technicians)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Audio Technician Job Duties
Workers often place speakers, microphones, cables, mixers and other technical equipment in appropriate spaces to create the best sound. Technicians also set-up technician booths, which are designated locations where they operate and maintain audio systems.
Some audio technicians also perform system installations. Technicians travel to private residences, schools, or businesses to assess what audio equipment is needed for the installation process. Workers also talk with clients to determine what type of audio set-up is preferred. Sometimes technicians merely update or repair old equipment, but other times workers install brand-new systems, which can involve taking measurements, drilling holes, running cables and anchoring equipment to supportive structures.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
During the decade between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicted that employment for audio and video equipment technicians would increase by 7%. Salary statistics gathered by the BLS in May 2015 indicated that the annual median salary for audio and video equipment technicians was $41,440.
Audio Technician Education Requirements
Although there are associate's and bachelor's degree programs in audio technology, the BLS stated that many entry-level positions only require applicants to hold vocational certificates in the field. Potential certificate programs include audio and visual technology, audio production technology or audio engineering. Coursework in these programs covers topics such as studio recording, music theory, music business, electronic recording equipment and multimedia productions.
Other Audio Technology Professions
Workers who earn certificates or degrees related to audio technology may be qualified for other audio technology professions. For example, broadcast technicians perform similar duties to audio technicians, except that broadcast technicians prepare and set-up sound equipment used during television and radio broadcasts.
Sound engineering technicians monitor advanced sound equipment systems used for mixing and altering multiple soundtracks. Since sound engineering technicians work with advanced equipment, they may require additional schooling in comparison to audio technicians.
Technicians may also advance into management positions after gaining enough training and experience. Broadcasting engineer supervisors, for example, manage audio technicians and engineers at broadcasting studios. These supervisors make decisions about what to record, recording schedules and equipment usage.
From 2014-2024 the job growth for audio technicians will be stable. With a vocational certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree it is possible to enter this career field. To gain experience high school students can join their school's A/V club or volunteer for sound work for the drama club productions.