Sound Engineer Careers

An Audio or Sound Engineer, much as the name implies, is tasked with the management of the technical aspects of sound in terms of media, whether it be live streaming or pre-recorded broadcasting.

They are generally meant to set up audio equipment and work with producers, directors, and musicians to optimize the use of this technology and understand the problems that need solving and the perimeters of the project. The Engineer also alters and edits audio files as necessary and fixes issues as they come up.

A person seeking work as a Sound Engineer generally needs to have only a high school diploma, though a university degree and certification in a relevant subject may be preferred or even necessary. Previous work experience is often needed in positions similar to this one or even those assisting Sound Engineers. Creativity, understanding of microphones and other audio equipment, and communication skills are also important.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a sound engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $25.07 an hour? That's $52,151 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 11,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Sound Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many sound engineers 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a sound engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.1% of sound engineers included audio equipment, while 10.4% of resumes included special events, and 10.0% of resumes included venues. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the sound engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most sound engineers actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Sound Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a sound engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 53.0% of sound engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.3% of sound engineers have master's degrees. Even though most sound engineers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a sound engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a sound engineer, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on sound engineer resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a sound engineer. In fact, many sound engineer jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many sound engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as audio engineer or sales associate.

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Average Salary
$52,151
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
440
Job Openings

Sound Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Sound Engineer

Top Careers After Sound Engineer

Sound Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Sound Engineer

Sound Engineers in America make an average salary of $52,151 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $80,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $33,000 per year.
Average Salary
$52,151
Find Your Salary Estimate
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Best Paying Cities For Sound Engineers

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range44k - 96k$66k$65,719
New York, NY
Salary Range44k - 85k$62k$61,742
Doral, FL
Salary Range39k - 73k$54k$54,033
Austin, TX
Salary Range37k - 74k$53k$52,704
Grand Rapids, MI
Salary Range36k - 70k$51k$50,990
$36k
$96k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Touring Live Sound Engineer/Technician
Southern California Sound Image, Inc.
03/08/2021
$39,52003/08/2021
Sound Engineer
Skyplex Entertainment Corporation
07/17/2020
$56,34907/17/2020
Sound Engineer
Skyplex Entertainment Corporation
07/15/2020
$57,39307/15/2020
Sound Engineer
Skyplex Entertainment Corporation
07/15/2020
$56,34907/15/2020
Sound Engineer
Skyplex Entertainment Corporation
07/07/2020
$55,86907/07/2020
See More Recent Salaries

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Sound Engineer Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Sound Engineer. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Sound Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Sound Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Sound Engineer Resume Examples And Templates

Sound Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

83.8 %

female

11.0 %

unknown

5.2 %

Ethnicity

White

67.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

15.3 %

Black or African American

9.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.3 %

French

9.2 %

Portuguese

5.6 %
Show More Sound Engineer Demographics

Sound Engineer Education

Degrees

Bachelors

53.0 %

Associate

26.1 %

High School Diploma

9.4 %

Top Colleges for Sound Engineers

1. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

2. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

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

3. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

7. University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,391
Enrollment
8,568

8. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

9. University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$17,653
Enrollment
16,405

10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568
Show More Sound Engineer Education Requirements

Online Courses For Sound Engineer That You May Like

The Sound Kitchen - Great sound made easy
udemy
4.8
(564)

Sound Engineering course for musicians, volunteers, professionals. For both beginners and people with some knowledge...

Ultimate Live Sound School (1st Edition)
udemy
4.7
(1,013)

Top of the line training for the Live Sound from a veteran who has worked with Michael Jackson & Whitney Houston...

Xfer Serum Synthesizer - Sound Design + Music Production
udemy
4.2
(351)

Learn about Creating your own Sounds, Sound Design, Synthesis + Music Production in Serum Synthesizer by Xfer...

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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Sound Engineer

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, 17.1% of sound engineers listed audio equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and computer skills are important as well.

Best States For a Sound Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a sound engineer. The best states for people in this position are Idaho, Maine, Oregon, and Washington. Sound engineers make the most in Idaho with an average salary of $81,056. Whereas in Maine and Oregon, they would average $77,332 and $74,079, respectively. While sound engineers would only make an average of $71,926 in Washington, 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 Engineer Jobs:
164
Highest 10% Earn:
$143,000
Location Quotient:
1.58
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Washington

Total Sound Engineer Jobs:
312
Highest 10% Earn:
$139,000
Location Quotient:
1.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Utah

Total Sound Engineer Jobs:
86
Highest 10% Earn:
$122,000
Location Quotient:
1.08
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Sound Engineers

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Top Sound Engineer Employers

1. Sound
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$48,325
Sound Engineers Hired: 
21+
2. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$55,910
Sound Engineers Hired: 
6+
3. Clear Channel Communications
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$91,937
Sound Engineers Hired: 
6+
4. Silver-Line Plastics
3.0
Avg. Salary: 
$54,458
Sound Engineers Hired: 
5+
5. New Life
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$48,917
Sound Engineers Hired: 
5+
6. The Club
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$48,912
Sound Engineers Hired: 
5+

Sound Engineer Videos