How to Become a Sound Engineer

Professionals in the Sound Engineering field provide a variety of artistic sound support in a variety of settings including recording studios and sound systems during live performances and concerts.

These individuals are not only experienced in working with sophisticated electronic equipment, but also use their artistic skills when working on a variety of projects.

Individuals who want to become a Sound Engineer will need a combination of training, education and some personal characteristics in order to succeed in this profession.

Important qualities to have may include: computer skills, be able to work with technological equipment and communications skills to work with individuals managing projects.

Education Requirements to Become a Sound Engineer

Depending on the level of work they want to perform, individuals who want to become a Sound Engineer will need a minimum of a certificate or a post-secondary non-degree in order to work at an entry level position.

Individuals who want stronger job prospects, advancement opportunities and work in research must pursue a postsecondary degree such as a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

A non-degree program or certificate typically takes a year or less to complete.

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Individuals who pursue this track will gain hands on experience to learn how to use the equipment needed to perform daily job duties.

Employers are more likely to seek individuals with higher levels of education for more advanced positions.

Therefore, individuals who want to become a Sound Engineer are encouraged to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Individuals should focus their degree in audio engineering or a closely related field in engineering.

Individuals who want to further their career have the option of going to graduate school to complete a master’s or doctoral degree.

Individuals who want to focus on research and development are required to complete a doctoral degree in sound engineering.

Additional educational backgrounds to work in this field include: acoustics, electronics, acoustical engineering, physics, broadcast engineering or computer science.

Sound Engineer Job Description

Sound Engineers are experienced in using sophisticated technological and recording equipment in order to create a variety of sounds for the projects they are working on.

Sound Engineers can get hired to create sounds for some of the following artistic projects:

  • Films
  • Music recordings
  • Live performances
  • Television shows
  • Radio slots

Sound Engineers use a combination of artistic talents and technological equipment savviness in order to create sound mixes for the projects they are hired to complete.

These individuals may work full time for a television, performance venue or radio company or work as a freelance profession working on several projects throughout the year.

Sound Engineers working in the television and film industry also tend to work irregular hours to accommodate deadlines and long schedules typical in these industries.

These individuals specifically work to create recording for television commercials, television shows and sound effects and soundtracks for films and shows.

Sound Engineers working for a radio station or live venue will use their skills to enhance the music during a live show or creating sounds such as sound effects for radio shows.

Sound Engineer Salary and Career Path

In 2012, the median salary for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was approximately $41,200 per year.

Exact wages will depend on a variety of factors including level of experience, specialty and geographical locations.

Sound Engineers working in larger cities are more likely to earn higher wages.

Individuals specializing in sound engineering also earned a higher median salary of approximately $46,310 per year.

The job outlook for broadcast and sound engineering technicians is expected to grow at an average rate when compared to other professions.

Jobs in this field are expected to increase by 9 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is attributed to an increase in demand coming from media outlets and businesses looking to use the most updated technologies for movies and music.

Sound Engineers use a variety of technological equipment in order to create mixes and sound recordings for a variety of media.

Typical media forms that use a Sound Engineers sound mixes and recordings include: live performances, films, recorded music, television and radio.

These individuals have many options when deciding which type of industry they would like to create new sounds for as there are several different art forms they can aspire to working on.

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