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Audio Engineering

Audio engineers use equipment to record, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects. These engineers can work on the production of movies, commercials, music recordings, live shows, and even video games.

Similar Titles

  • Audio Engineer

  • Sound Engineer

  • Recording Engineer

  • Sound Engineering Technician

  • Mixing Engineer

  • Studio Engineer

$52,000 

$129,000 

Opportunities
  • Music Production

  • Film Production

  • Television/Commercial Production

  • Radio Production

  • Video Game Production

  • Live Audio Venues

  • Education

Median & Top-level
Salary

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Professional Spotlight

Tremaine Williams

Production Manager/Audio Engineer

In 2012 Tremaine was elected to the Recording Academy's Los Angeles Chapter Board of Governors and served as Chair of the Membership Committee. As one of the youngest members ever elected, he helped make a difference and proudly represented his next generation of music makers.

Aside from albums, he has moved into the TV/Film world. His work can be seen and heard on the hit show Empire, NBC's New Amsterdam, BET Sunday Best, Apollo Live, ComicView, Keeping up With The Kardashians, Real World, and Bad Girls Club.  He also scored his first feature film, “The Last Fall” which regularly airs on Starz.

 

 

Most recently he has moved into the touring world spending several years traveling the globe with icons Mariah Carey, Bruno Mars, Tyler The Creator, and Swedish House Mafia.

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Audio engineering refers to a wide range of jobs, typically in the entertainment industry, that all involve setting up, operating and maintaining equipment utilized in working with sound to create a more polished or complex end product. Jobs under the audio engineer blanket can vary from music producers to post-production sound design for movies, but a key element of the job is being knowledgeable in a subject and personable enough to help bring out a creator’s best work.

The typical “day in the life” of an audio engineer varies based on what kind of industry the engineer works in. For example:

  • In the music industry, most of the day is spent working with musicians and singers on developing an album by interlacing various sound files together on mixing software.

  • In post-production film audio, days are spent recording scores that are performed by orchestras and producing a final version to play over the movie.

A Day in the Life

Audio Engineering

Mixer Keys

SKILLS

  • Attention to Detail

  • Tenacity

  • Computer/Technical Savvy

  • Communication Skills

  • Listening to/Monitoring Multiple Activities

  • Manual Dexterity

  • Problem-Solving Skill

  • Active Learning

  • Time Management

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • A Grasp of Popular Culture

  • Musicality

  • Fine Arts Knowledge

  • Teamwork

Recording Music
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Expectations

& Sacrifices

  • Somewhat high education/knowledge barrier to keep up with constantly changing technologies, skills, popular culture trends, etc.

  • Large monetary investment if buying out software and technology to develop one’s own career rather than joining a pre-existing studio.

  • Large time investment (saving a year’s worth of finances is recommended for the time it takes to get a foothold in a larger market, as most places don’t hire without previous experience)

  • Possible long-term risk of hearing damage or afflictions like arthritis.

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  • Audio Engineers don’t always need a bachelor’s degree to get started, but some students finish programs in fine arts, performing arts, or communications technology

  • Many Audio Engineering schools, such as the Los Angeles Recording School, offer compressed certificate, associate, and bachelor’s programs  

  • Some workers don’t go for a bachelor’s but just finish an associate’s in Audio Engineering 

  • Develop critical listening skills to “train your ears”  

  • Sample college courses may include “Recording Techniques, Recording Theory, The Business of Audio, Musicianship for Audio Engineers, Mixing Essentials, and Vocal Production”

  • Per O*Net, 22% of “Sound Engineering Techs” have an associate’s and 22% have a bachelor’s degree, while 19% have neither

  • Additional ad hoc certifications can bolster your credentials,

Education

& Training

Woman in a Studio
Listening to Music on Phone

Top Schools

& Programs

  1. Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA

  2. Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL

  3. Mid Tennessee State University - TN 

  4. The Los Angeles Film School, Los Angeles, CA

  5. Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

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