Recording Engineering Certificate Program Overview

Undergraduate students looking for entry-level employment as audio engineers can learn about music theory, record production and how to maintain a studio within certificate programs that cover recording engineering.

Essential Information

At the undergraduate certificate level, studies in recording engineering are often included within broader programs. Relevant programs may have various titles, including programs in recording arts, audio sciences, sound engineering and music recording engineering. Certificate programs are available through community colleges and universities. These programs are not typically available online due to the hands-on nature of several of the courses. Some programs may also require an internship or additional hands-on training. Most take less than a year to complete.


Certificate in Recording Engineering

This type of training prepares students for careers involving studio maintenance, audio theory, sound mastering and sampling. Program curricula can include work on time signatures, note values, the manipulation of sound, instrument calibration and the generation of sound effects. Students also learn how to record, edit and master various forms of audio recordings, including music, soundtracks and dialogue for films. Topics of study include:

  • Music production
  • Scoring
  • Music fundamentals
  • Sound insulation
  • Mixing

Popular Careers and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 13,840 sound engineering technicians employed as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The same year, the median salary for a sound engineering technician is $53,330. Graduates from certificate programs can find employment in recording studios, live performance venues and post-production settings in the film and TV world. Here are some jobs that certificate holders may be qualified for:

  • Foley artist
  • Live performance sound engineer
  • Post-production audio engineer
  • Sound-board operator
  • Sound engineering technician

Continuing Education and Certification Information

The Society of Broadcast Engineers administers a voluntary certification test for audio engineers with at least five years of combined education and work experience (www.sbe.org). The 50-question, multiple choice exam covers audio theory, operating practices as well as safety concerns and how to resolve specific problems with equipment.

Although there are no undergraduate certificate programs specifically in recording engineering, students can get relevant training in audio technology and sound production through broader programs that cover relevant topics in the field.


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