A good ear for balance and quality in sound, as well as interest in audio recording technology are the basic requirements for working as a sound engineer. If you are interested in audio engineering, digital recording, audio technology, or sound design, a job in sound engineering might be perfect for you. Sound engineers, also called sound technicians or recording engineers, work in the film, television, radio, and music industries operating sound equipment, both recording and sometimes mixing sounds to produce the best balance of high and low tones and faithfulness to the original.
Preparing for a Career in Recording Arts and Sound Engineering
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommends that those who are interested in working in sound technology complete a vocational recording arts program, which typically takes about a year. Other programs are available, including recording arts associate's degrees and bachelor's degree programs in recording arts. Typical coursework in a recording arts or audio design program includes basic music theory, electronics, audio repair and maintenance, and multi-track recording to give aspiring sound designers a basic education in recording engineering.
Sound Engineering Salary and Career Outlook
According to the BLS, the mean annual wages for sound engineering technicians in 2008 was $53,110 and for audio and video technicians was $41,310. Audio and video technician employment is expected to grow about as fast as the average, while the employment of sound engineering technicians is expected to grow a little slower than the average. Most job competition is in big cities, so audio designers who are serious about getting a job should be willing to work in small towns or rural areas.