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.

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.

Learn more about what a Sound Engineer does

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.

Sound Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Sound Engineer

Sound Engineers in America make an average salary of $52,197 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $95,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Sound Engineer Salary
$52,197 Yearly
$25.09 hourly
$28,000
10 %
$52,000
Median
$95,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Sound Engineer Education

Sound Engineer Majors

25.0 %

Sound Engineer 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

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.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Sound Engineer Resume templates

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

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Sound Engineer Demographics

Sound Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
90%
Female
Female
10%

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

  • Among sound engineers, 9.7% of them are women, while 90.3% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among sound engineers is White, which makes up 68.1% of all sound engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among sound engineers is Spanish at 50.3%.

Online Courses For Sound Engineer That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
The Sound Kitchen - Great sound made easy
udemy
4.6
(612)

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

Ultimate Live Sound School (1st Edition)
udemy
4.8
(1,076)

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

Ultimate Sound Design Complete: Mastering Sound Design
udemy
4.7
(785)

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

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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 Oregon, Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Sound engineers make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $82,508. Whereas in Alaska and Pennsylvania, they would average $77,402 and $72,202, respectively. While sound engineers would only make an average of $67,408 in Virginia, 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:
$155,000
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. Virginia

Total Sound Engineer Jobs:
522
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
2.21 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. Washington

Total Sound Engineer Jobs:
312
Highest 10% Earn:
$128,000
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
Full List Of Best States For Sound Engineers

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Top Sound Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Sound Engineer

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Stephens$120,007$57.703
2Independent Contractor$80,865$38.884
3BB King's Orlando$75,216$36.165
4SADLER & Company$71,603$34.423
5Omega Institute$69,129$33.245
6Berklee College of Music$66,110$31.783
7Infrared$57,949$27.864
8Piano$52,974$25.475
9Montana$48,565$23.354
10Capital University$47,664$22.923

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