List of Audio Technician Schools in the U.S.

Audio technicians or sound engineers are employed by companies in many different industries, often including film and video, theater, live music, studio recording and corporate events. Prospective students who wish to enter into the field have the option of choosing between a certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree program.

A certificate or degree program in audio technology can help an aspiring audio tech prepare for entry-level employment or move into positions of responsibility more quickly. These programs might offer awards in such fields as audio technology, audio engineering or sound production.

Schools with Audio Technician Programs

Below is a list of a few of the schools that offer these programs, as well as their location and tuition.

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered 2015-2016 Tuition*
Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN 4-year, Public Associate's and Bachelor's $10,388 (in-state), $33,741 (out-of-state)
American River College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's degree $1,104 (in-state), $7,440 (out-of-state)
Texas State University - San Marcos San Marcos, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's degree $9,348 (in-state), $9,348 (out-of-state)
Sacramento City College Sacramento, CA 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's degree $1,104 (in-state), $7,440 (out-of-state)
Mesa Community College Mesa, AZ 2-year, Public Certificate, Associate's degree $2,046 (in-state), $7,830 (out-of-state)
Cuyahoga Community College District Cleveland, OH 2-year, Public Associate's degree $3,136 (in-district), $3,953 (in-state), $7,648 (out-of-state)

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a program:

  • Students should consider how much time they want to dedicate to a program; certificates and associate's degrees take two years or less to complete, while bachelor's degrees usually take four years.
  • For students who want to pursue entry-level jobs in the field, a certificate or associate's degree may be sufficient. However, for higher level jobs, employers may require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree.
  • Students who are considering associate's degree programs may want to find out if the credits are transferrable to bachelor's degree programs in the future.
  • Prospective students should find out about the school's facilities in order to ensure that they will gain experience with industry-standard software and audio equipment.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs for aspiring audio technicians include Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in fields such as audio engineering technology or sound and music technology. In these two-year programs, students learn about music theory and gain experience with audio recording and editing equipment. In addition, they gain an introduction to the aspects of the media industry where they can apply their skills. Associate's degree programs take two years to complete and include general education requirements.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

At the bachelor's degree, level, students may earn either a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) or Bachelor of Science (BS) with a major in sound engineering, sound arts, interactive audio or a closely related subject. Like associate's degree programs, they cover the conceptual foundations of the field and provide students with hands-on sound production training, alongside general education coursework. However, because they are longer, bachelor's degree programs tend to include more extensive studies in the field. For instance, students may be required to take introductory piano classes, or they may have the option of pursuing a minor in electrical engineering. These programs may also culminate in a final research project.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

Certificate and diploma programs in audio technology or recording provide similar coursework as associate's degree programs, including both didactic audio-related coursework and hands-on sound production training. Therefore, they prepare graduates for entry-level jobs as audio technicians, but they do not include general education courses. In total, certificate programs usually take nine to twelve months to complete.

Depending on their occupational goals, aspiring audio technicians can choose from a number of programs ranging from nine months to four years in length. Schools offering these programs typically feature recording studios that allow students to get experience working with industry-standard technology.

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