How to Become a Music Technician: Education and Career Roadmap

Find out how to become a music technician with this video lesson. Research the education requirements, and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in music technology. View article »

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  • 0:00 Music Technicians
  • 0:43 Complete a…
  • 1:41 Find Employment
  • 2:04 Build a Strong Reputation

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Video Transcript

Music Technicians

Degree Level High school diploma or equivalent; associate's degree or certificate preferred
Degree Field Audio or sound engineering
Experience Prior experience in the audio engineering field preferred
Key Skills Strong communication and problem-solving skills; hand-eye coordination; comfortable using audio recording and editing software and equipment
Salary $53,330 (median for sound engineering technicians)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine

Music technicians, also referred to as sound engineering technicians, ensure that sound levels are recorded correctly for musicians or recording companies. This typically involves operating and maintaining the electronic audio equipment that's used before, during and after music is created. These professionals work in recording or broadcasting studios. The work is fast-paced, and overtime work is typical, including nights and weekends. This job can be physically demanding, with heavy lifting to move equipment and climbing for occasional tower maintenance sometimes required. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, $53,330 is the median annual salary for sound engineering technicians.

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Step 1: Complete a Postsecondary Training Program

Aspiring music technicians have a few different options when it comes to education. While it's not always a requirement to have a postsecondary certificate or degree, it may give an applicant a better chance of finding work. Vocational or technical schools offer sound engineering diploma and certificate programs that take between a few months to one year to complete. However, many college-trained music technicians hold associate's degrees in sound or audio engineering. Coursework in one of these programs may cover topics like acoustics, sound reinforcement, studio recording procedures, MIDI skills and microphone techniques.

Success Tip:

Get practical experience. Finding an internship or volunteering with a recording studio is a good way to become acquainted with the industry and the job of a music technician. Students may also consider working with this equipment on their own time to better understand all of the complex equipment used to record music, like speakers, equalizers, mixing boards and effects.

Step 2: Find Employment

Many artists and recording studios only hire music technicians who possess samples of music they've recorded. In order to build a collection of samples, a music technician needs to find an entry-level job. Competition for work in large-market cities and studios is especially intense. For many job applicants, the best way to get a foot in the door is to take a job in a small-market area. Some entry-level positions provide on-the-job training.

Step 3: Build a Strong Reputation

Gaining a reputation as trustworthy and skilled can help a music technician become successful. This reputation can be earned through experience and by recording music that artists like. Once a music technician creates a portfolio of work to present to potential employers, moving to a larger market may be more likely.

In summary, to become a music technician, you should complete a postsecondary training program, including internships and direct experience building; find employment; and build a strong reputation in the business.

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