The audio engineering industry is an essential part of the modern media sphere. Whether you love music, movies or live events, a degree in audio engineering will teach you how to create professional-quality sounds for nearly any application.
The average salary of an audio engineer is around $50,000 a year. The actual salary depends on both the position and the engineer’s expertise. A recording engineer typically works in a studio with musicians and voice actors. Recording engineers are responsible for setting up microphones, crafting the room’s acoustics and creating a perfect track. Recording engineers can expect a salary of between $30,000 to 80,000 depending on the success of their studio. Live audio engineers manage sound systems at concerts and other events. Live audio engineering jobs usually require experience. In return, the salary starts at around $45,000. Sound technicians work at media or broadcasting agencies. Their work is often a mix of recording and live engineering. The salary depends on the size of the media company and can range from $40,000 to $125,000. Mixing and mastering engineers take recorded tracks and turn them into audio masterpieces. Depending on the quality of their work, mixing engineers can make as little as $22,000 or as much as $125,000 a year.
Students study many advanced subjects while obtaining an audio degree. Audio production classes cover recording fundamentals and the use of specialized audio equipment while computer music classes help you become comfortable with a digital audio workstation and teach post-production techniques. Audio engineering students frequently study music theory over the course of their degree. Some programs will require you to become proficient with at least one musical instrument or with your voice. Finally, students also take specialty classes in their field of interest. Expect to find classes that cover recording and post-production for film and video, live engineering for concerts and mastering techniques for professional music production.
Students pursuing an audio degree should start thinking about employment opportunities well before graduation. Many of the best-paying audio engineering jobs require years of experience that can’t be acquired without employment. A good way to get audio engineering experience is to start your career with an internship. This gives you the opportunity to use audio equipment in real situations and make connections that will lead to jobs later on. Another way to find work is by seeking out an audio engineering mentor who can pass on industry knowledge and give you an industry reference. An audio degree is the first step towards an exciting career in a fast-paced industry. Every audio engineering job is different, but all successful engineers share a balance of creativity, passion and technical expertise. Deciding how to market your skills early can be the key in finding a great job.