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Music Engineering Degree Program Information

Oct 10, 2019

Music engineering degree programs prepare graduates for careers in the music and entertainment industries with musical and technological skills. Learn more about the certificate and program requirements, course descriptions, and career options available upon graduation.

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Essential Information

Certificates in music and audio engineering can be earned in about a year on their own, but are often earned in combination with associate and bachelor's degrees in various musical disciplines. Higher-level programs enhance students' computer proficiency and increase their ability to read music. The curricula of undergraduate and graduate programs may include a research project and internship. Completion of such degree programs can yield a wide variety of job opportunities in professional studios and live music settings. Demonstrated musical proficiency may be required for admission to all programs.


Certificate in Music Engineering

Certificates in audio engineering prepare students for entry-level jobs in professional studios and production facilities. Using both analog and digital technologies, students will learn multiple areas of production, post-production, mixing, editing and live sound. If pursued as stand-alone programs, they generally take about a year to finish. Musical skill and a high school diploma or GED may be required. Often, students are offered hands-on experience with audio equipment in music labs. Students will learn a wide range of concepts and skills which include:

  • Music and dialogue editing
  • Pro Tools skills and applications
  • Recording and mixing live audio
  • Video and lighting production
  • Pre- and post-production skills

Bachelor's Degree in Music Engineering

Bachelor's degrees in audio/music technology and engineering may be offered through college or university music departments, or technological departments of post-secondary music schools. These four-year programs award graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Music Engineering or Music Technology. Prerequisites often include instrument proficiency, computer skills and the ability to read music. This degree level focuses not only on music technologies but also music theory, software, and electrical engineering. Students can expect to become proficient in:

  • Arranging and instrumental studies
  • History and literature of music
  • Engineering hardware and software
  • Studio design
  • Mixing techniques and skills

Master's Degree in Music Engineering

Master's degree programs in music engineering combine elements of music technology with computer science and electrical engineering. Students must have a bachelor's degree in an engineering field and display advanced proficiency in a variety of musical applications. Programs take about two years to complete and culminate in a research project on a topic of the student's choosing in music engineering, computer engineering, or other music areas. Specific courses may include:

  • Computer graphics
  • Digital signal hardware
  • Acoustics and psychology
  • Digital audio programming
  • Designing digital filters

Popular Careers

Once experienced with technologies such as Pro Tools and Logic, certified music engineers may be qualified for positions such as:

  • Assistant producer
  • Live sound technician
  • Studio technician

Graduates of bachelor's and master's programs will have an understanding and mastering computer technologies in music and audio production and may find work in the following fields:

  • Recording mixer for video and film
  • Producer
  • Acoustic consultant
  • Live sound engineer
  • Recording engineer

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

In addition to acquiring advanced credentials, music engineers must be savvy with networking and display qualities that stand out in this highly competitive field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual mean wage for sound engineering technicians was $63,500 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov).

Music engineering degree programs teach students not only the technology in music - including post-production, production, mixing, editing and live sound - but they also focus on music theory, software, and electrical engineering. Graduates can find job opportunities in professional studios, production facilities and live music settings as studio technicians, producers, and recording engineers among others.

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