Graduate degree programs prepare students for advanced careers in the field of broadcast and sound engineering. While audio engineering programs are often offered through a college's school of music, curricula pull from a combination of disciplines, including computer science. Some programs allow students to focus on a sub-specialty such as acoustics, music production or audio design. A research project or thesis might be required.
Master's Degree in Audio Engineering
Curricula for these programs typically include study of music theory, engineering principles, acoustics and the electronic and computer technologies used in audio engineering. A bachelor's degree is generally required for admission, but students without sufficient background in these areas might have to complete prerequisites before entering an audio engineering program. Specific courses might include:
- Psychoacoustics and electroacoustics
- Physical acoustics
- Music production
- Digital signal processing
- Audio electronics
- Recording systems
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Audio engineers, also known as sound engineering technicians, are employed in a number of industries, including radio and television broadcasting, film, music recording and performing arts. Employment for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was expected to grow at a rate of 7% over the period from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual salary for sound engineering technicians was $63,340 as of May 2015.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
The Society for Broadcast Engineers (SBE) offers voluntary certification for audio engineers, where candidates must meet experience or education requirements and pass a proficiency examination. Successful applicants are awarded the designation Certified Audio Engineer. SBE, along with other professional associations, including the Audio Engineering Society, also offers opportunities for continuing education.
Audio engineering programs at the graduate level will teach students about things like music production, audio electronics and digital signal processing. Certification and continuing education is available from the Society for Broadcast Engineers (SBE) and the Audio Engineering Society.