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Become An Audio Engineer

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Working As An Audio Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $37,490

    Average Salary

What Does An Audio Engineer Do

An Audio Engineer uses machinery and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, and sound effects. They work in various places, such as radio, television stations, or motion picture companies.

How To Become An Audio Engineer

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, it could either be a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate’s degree.  

Education

Audio and video equipment technicians, as well as sound engineering technicians, typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or certificate, whereas broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. However, in some cases workers in any of these occupations may need only a high school diploma to be eligible for entry-level positions.

Postsecondary nondegree programs for audio and video equipment technicians and sound engineering technicians may take several months to a year to complete. The programs include hands-on experience with the equipment used in many entry-level positions.

Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. In addition to courses in math and science, coursework for prospective broadcast technicians should emphasize practical skills such as video editing and production management.

Prospective broadcast and sound engineering technicians should complete high school courses in math, physics, and electronics. They must have excellent computer skills to be successful.

Training

Because technology is constantly improving, technicians often enroll in continuing education courses and they receive on-the-job training to become skilled in new equipment and hardware. On-the-job training includes topics such as setting up cables or automation systems, testing electrical equipment, learning the codes and standards of the industry, and following safety procedures.

Training for new hires can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the types of products and services the employer provides. Although some apprenticeship programs do exist, more frequently a new technician will accompany a more experienced technician to get the training and skills necessary for advancement.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required by most employers, earning voluntary certification will offer advantages in getting a job as a broadcast or sound engineering technician. Certification tells employers that the technician meets certain industry standards and has kept up to date with new technologies.

For example, the Society of Broadcast Engineers offers eight broadcast engineering certifications, two operator certifications, and two broadcast networking certifications. All of them require passing an exam. Similarly, InfoComm International offers an audiovisual Certified Technology Specialist credential.

Other Experience

Practical experience working in a high school or college audiovisual department also can help prepare someone to be an audio and video equipment technician.

Advancement

Although many broadcast and sound engineering technicians work first in small markets or at small stations in big markets, after they gain the necessary experience and skills they often transfer to larger, better paying radio or television stations. Few large stations hire someone without previous experience, and they value more specialized skills.

Experienced workers with strong technical skills can become supervisory technicians or chief engineers. To become chief engineer at large television stations, technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.

Computer skills. Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.

Manual dexterity. Some technicians set up audio and visual equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.

Problem-solving skills. Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.

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Audio Engineer jobs

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Audio Engineer Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    89.2%
  • Female

    8.8%
  • Unknown

    2.0%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    11.5%
  • Asian

    6.9%
  • Unknown

    1.3%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    59.2%
  • German

    7.7%
  • Portuguese

    7.0%
  • French

    4.2%
  • Russian

    3.5%
  • Arabic

    2.8%
  • Mandarin

    2.1%
  • Italian

    2.1%
  • Dutch

    1.4%
  • Korean

    1.4%
  • Carrier

    1.4%
  • Japanese

    1.4%
  • Cherokee

    0.7%
  • Cheyenne

    0.7%
  • Cornish

    0.7%
  • Hungarian

    0.7%
  • Ukrainian

    0.7%
  • Welsh

    0.7%
  • Dari

    0.7%
  • Scots

    0.7%
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Audio Engineer

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Audio Engineer Education

Audio Engineer

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Real Audio Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 28, 2012 $155,000
Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 20, 2012 $155,000
Senior Audio Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 30, 2011 $145,000
Senior Audio Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jun 19, 2016 $140,000
Staff Audio Engineer Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation San Francisco, CA Mar 24, 2014 $126,006 -
$148,000
Lead Audio Engineer-Infotainment Tesla Motors, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 01, 2015 $125,000 -
$155,000
Core Audio Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 04, 2014 $120,000 -
$140,000
Baseband Audio Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2011 $115,000
Audio Engineer A&M Audio Associates, Inc. Mount Vernon, NY Sep 15, 2009 $114,785
Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 27, 2013 $110,000 -
$160,000
Core Audio Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 01, 2009 $95,000
Audio Engineer Sound Devices LLC Madison, WI Jan 25, 2011 $88,000
Consultant-Audio-Visual Engineering Pride Technologies LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $75,000
Audio Engineer Gosemi Engineering, Inc. Austin, TX Dec 09, 2016 $69,706
Audio Engineer Crystal Dynamics, Inc. Redwood City, CA Dec 15, 2010 $65,000
Broadcast Audio Engineer Mediacore Solution, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 03, 2012 $63,086
Manager-Audio Engineering Audible Inc. Newark, NJ Mar 30, 2010 $62,000
Audio Engineer Monkeyland Audio, Inc. Glendale, CA Sep 16, 2016 $61,963
Audio Engineer Monkeyland Audio Inc. Glendale, CA Sep 24, 2015 $61,316
Audio Engineer The Univision Network Limited Partnership Miami, FL Oct 01, 2012 $50,000
Audio Engineer Maryland Sound International Holding Company LLC Baltimore, MD Aug 15, 2010 $48,794
Lecturer In Audio Engineering Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA Jun 16, 2016 $45,000
Lecturer In Audio Engineering Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA Sep 16, 2015 $45,000
Audio Engineer John Ou Productions New York, NY Aug 01, 2009 $44,000
Audio Engineer Gosemi Engineering Inc. Austin, TX Sep 14, 2016 $42,744
Audio Engineer Urban Planet Media & Entertainment Durham, NC Apr 01, 2013 $42,000

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Top Skills for An Audio Engineer

VideoEquipmentMicrophonePlacementSet-UpLiveSoundAudioEquipmentStudioEquipmentAnalogFOHSoundDesignLogicProSoundSystemSoundEffectsAudioSystemsAudioProductionAvidProToolsTechnicalSupportLivePerformancesSoundReinforcementMacYamaha

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Top Audio Engineer Skills

  1. Video Equipment
  2. Microphone Placement
  3. Set-Up
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Set up and operated audio and video equipment for events and conventions.
  • Balanced input levels of each performance while adjusting microphone placement to meet the needsof each individual musician.
  • Help manage new interns by familiarizing them with the set-up and break down of the rooms.
  • Assisted customers with alternative apparel/accessories purchases and performed microphone setup and live sound mixing for local and national musical acts
  • Operated audio equipment during evening sporting event broadcasts.

Top Audio Engineer Employers

Audio Engineer Videos

Day in the Life: Audio Engineer

What Is an Audio Engineer (Do's And Dont's)

The life and Career of a Professional Sound Engineer

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