Sound Designers are in charge of getting all sound effects needed for production, whether recorded or live. This person also needs to set up the sound playback equipment and ensure that the board operator has received sufficient training.

If you're thinking of starting a career in this field, you need to be very imaginative since a production's sound design is an artistic component. To design sound effects rather than simply re-record them, you need to first study the script and meet with the Director to discuss the best sound attributes for the show. After this, you can start putting together the cue list.

As someone aspiring to be a sound designer, you must be an outstanding problem-solver. Not just this, you should be able to think quickly and clearly when anything goes wrong. Irrespective of educational background, what is essential for sound designers is a broad understanding of audio editing, microphone selection and placement, electrical engineering, and acoustics. You'll earn up to $52,966 yearly as a sound designer.

What Does a Sound Designer Do

There are certain skills that many sound designers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, computer skills and manual dexterity.

Learn more about what a Sound Designer does

How To Become a Sound Designer

If you're interested in becoming a sound designer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 69.4% of sound designers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 9.0% of sound designers have master's degrees. Even though most sound designers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Average Salary for a Sound Designer

Sound Designers in America make an average salary of $71,949 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $120,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $42,000 per year.
Average Sound Designer Salary
$71,949 Yearly
$34.59 hourly
$42,000
10%
$71,000
Median
$120,000
90%

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Sound Designer
How To Become a Sound Designer Career Overview

States With The Most Sound Designer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active sound designer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where sound designers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Sound Designer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California2,482$90,134
2New York1,110$73,868
3Texas1,043$68,609
4Washington700$74,894
5Georgia672$72,628
6Illinois639$68,597
7Virginia635$92,073
8Massachusetts595$48,009
9Florida594$75,135
10Pennsylvania560$94,656
11North Carolina471$84,416
12Michigan430$78,123
13Ohio429$80,991
14Oregon375$92,283
15Minnesota352$69,022
16New Jersey330$85,149
17Colorado315$58,141
18Maryland315$49,983
19Wisconsin297$66,809
20Indiana257$69,950
21Missouri253$58,794
22Arizona249$88,211
23Utah194$68,867
24Tennessee194$63,196
25South Carolina168$72,662
26Connecticut153$50,213
27Iowa148$60,367
28Alabama147$74,452
29Kansas120$56,235
30Kentucky118$72,805
31Oklahoma109$69,459
32Louisiana85$76,056
33New Hampshire83$45,173
34Arkansas79$54,849
35Nebraska75$54,576
36Nevada75$51,388
37New Mexico73$65,442
38Rhode Island61$49,658
39Maine59$65,705
40Mississippi55$68,346
41Idaho54$65,717
42Delaware43$50,432
43West Virginia41$82,751
44Montana38$57,129
45South Dakota28$57,866
46North Dakota27$55,381
47Vermont25$39,101
48Alaska22$66,696
49Hawaii19$59,071
50Wyoming15$59,239

Sound Designer Education

Sound Designer Majors

26.3 %

Sound Designer Degrees

Bachelors

69.4 %

Associate

14.4 %

Masters

9.0 %

Top Colleges for Sound Designers

1. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

6. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

7. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,940
Enrollment
4,169

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

9. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503

10. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

Top Skills For a Sound Designer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 23.5% of sound designers listed audio assets on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and computer skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Sound Designer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Sound Designer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Sound Designer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
Sound Designer Resume
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Sound Designer Demographics

Sound Designer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
86%
Female
Female
14%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among sound designers, 14.0% of them are women, while 86.0% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among sound designers is White, which makes up 68.9% of all sound designers.

  • The most common foreign language among sound designers is Spanish at 45.1%.

Work Experience Programs For Sound Designers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Process Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Branding & Design Program

Company: Sydney Romantics

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Product Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 4 hours

Design Program

Company: BCG

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Digital Design & UX Program

Company: bp

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-5.5 hours

Online Courses For Sound Designer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  
Creating Sounds for Electronic Music
coursera

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course*, you will create sounds and use them in your own musical compositions. Whether you're an aspiring producer, composer, or hobbyist, this course will help you gain skills in music production and confidence using software synthesizers. Along with your classmates, you will create a massive database of designed sounds, or patches, to use in your compositions. As part of the course, you will work with a free version of FXpansion Strobe 2. What...

Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1 Musical Sound & Electronics
coursera

In this course students learn the basic concepts of acoustics and electronics and how they can applied to understand musical sound and make music with electronic instruments. Topics include: sound waves, musical sound, basic electronics, and applications of these basic principles in amplifiers and speaker design...

Ultimate Sound Design Complete: Mastering Sound Design
udemy
4.7
(1,095)

Master sound design for music production, game audio development, film scoring, composition, and more!...

Show More Sound Designer Courses
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Part Time
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Best States For a Sound Designer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sound designer. The best states for people in this position are Pennsylvania, Oregon, Virginia, and California. Sound designers make the most in Pennsylvania with an average salary of $94,656. Whereas in Oregon and Virginia, they would average $92,283 and $92,073, respectively. While sound designers would only make an average of $90,134 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total Sound Designer Jobs: 375
Highest 10% Earn:
$171,000
Location Quotient:
1.66

2. Virginia

Total Sound Designer Jobs: 635
Highest 10% Earn:
$165,000
Location Quotient:
1.23

3. Pennsylvania

Total Sound Designer Jobs: 560
Highest 10% Earn:
$168,000
Location Quotient:
0.88
Full List Of Best States For Sound Designers

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Top Sound Designer Employers

Most Common Employers For Sound Designer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Microsoft$134,785$64.806
2Berklee College of Music$118,383$56.914
3ViacomCBS$113,788$54.713
4Full Sail University$109,466$52.633
5PlayStation$96,112$46.214
6Accenture$89,068$42.8212
7Harmonix Music Systems$88,644$42.623
8Electronic Arts$83,826$40.306
9Activision Blizzard$81,586$39.223
10Savannah College of Art and Design$76,141$36.615

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