In a sound engineering or recording technology program, students learn to use sophisticated equipment to mix, record, reproduce and synchronize music, sound effects and voices. Students looking into these programs should weigh several factors before making an educational decision.
10 Colleges with Recording Engineer Programs
These colleges and universities offer recording engineer programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition* (2018-2019)|
|Berklee College of Music||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate $44,140; Graduate $41,963|
|Full Sail University||Winter Park, FL||4-year, Private||Associate's, Bachelor's||Undergraduate $24,109|
|Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||Undergraduate $48,522|
|Expression College for Digital Arts||Emeryville, CA||4-year, Private||Bachelor||Undergraduate $26,079|
|SAE Institute||Nashville, TN||2-year, Private||Certificate, Associate's||Undergraduate $31,415|
|University of Hartford||West Hartford, CT||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||Undergraduate $40,694|
|Columbia College - Chicago||Chicago, IL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's||Undergraduate $27,176|
|LaGuardia Community College||Long Island City, NY||2-year, Public||Associate's||Undergraduate: In-state $5,218; Out-of-state $8,098|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate $53,740; Graduate $53,740|
|Indiana University - Bloomington||Bloomington, IN||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||Undergraduate: In-state $10,681; Out-of-state $35,456|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
Students should consider several things before choosing a recording engineer school:
- Schools that provide training for aspiring recording engineers offer different program options, including career certificates and associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees.
- It's important to select a school that has enough well-maintained studios to meet student demand, as well as equipment that is state of the art.
- Students who want access to one-on-one time with instructors or desire a small classroom environment are advised to look for schools with low student-teacher ratios and frequent opportunities for close work with faculty.
- Hands-on experience in radio, television and movie studios, professional and community theaters, and sports arenas is necessary to develop skills in the recording industry, so students should look for schools that offer these kinds of experiential opportunities.
Completing a career certificate program for recording engineers usually requires a year or less. Admissions expectations vary by institution but usually include a high school diploma or GED. There also may be a reading and writing proficiency requirement.
An associate's degree program for aspiring recording engineers starts with a foundation of general education courses, as well as core training in elements of recording engineering. Associate's degree programs often require a 2-year commitment. Admission requirements are similar to those for a career certificate program.
Recording engineer programs at the bachelor's level have a broader foundation in general education, including additional math and communications classes. They also usually have core training in audio and recording technology. Bachelor's degree candidates also might be required to complete an internship.
Admission to master's degree programs in recording arts generally requires completion of a bachelor's degree with a major, minor or some related coursework in recording arts and technology. Prospective students also may be asked to submit a portfolio, which should demonstrate competency in areas like acoustics, music theory, audio engineering and production. Master's degree programs typically take 2-3 years to complete. Graduate students generally are required to complete a final project and may be asked to record studio sessions and live concerts for their college or university's music performance students.
Students interested in a career as a recording engineer can pursue studies at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some key considerations when choosing a school include well-equipped recording studios, modern sound equipment and the availability of internship opportunities.