Sound engineers are responsible for setting up the instruments and tools used in the audio production process. They also balance and adjust the sound during and after the recording process. If you are detail-oriented and are passionate about music, this could be an excellent career choice. Read our guide to learn how to become a sound engineer.
A sound engineer, also called an audio engineer, works in the music production industry. They are responsible for manipulating instruments and recording tools to create music and sound effects. They also help with sound equipment during live events. To learn audio engineering, you can go to a community college or enroll in a degree program.
A sound engineer equalizes effects to produce high-quality sound for recorded and live performances. The sound engineer must also edit, mix, and balance the volume of the audio. They perform tests before recording or starting a live event. The role of the sound engineer is to enhance audio and meet the producer’s standards for the final product.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a sound engineer earns an average salary of $47,420. The BLS also reports that audio engineering is expected to grow in demand by up to 21 percent in the next decade, which is faster than the estimated job outlook for most occupations. This makes audio engineering a consistent and reliable career choice.
Audio engineers play a unique role as they get to experience the music industry and be creative while making a profit. In addition, this career can bring several job opportunities. Below, we will show you some of the top reasons to become a sound engineer.
Sound engineering is a technical profession that requires expertise in music, technology, and attention to detail. You will need to combine your creative skills and your technical skills to succeed in this job. The list below describes the job requirements in detail.
The audio engineering career path has many different specializations you can pursue depending on your level of experience and skills. You can become an audiovisual designer, a production engineer, or an audio technician. Each of those careers is tied to the same foundational subject but has different duties. We’ve provided more details in the list below.
Audiovisual designers or audiovisual engineers are responsible for combining video and audio by implementing aesthetic techniques. They work in television broadcasts, films, and live events. If you’re interested both in audio and visual arts, this is a great career choice.
A production engineer is a senior-level role that determines creative standards for the final creative product. They work with sound engineering technicians and artists to implement their strategies. They might also work in a supervisory role to ensure production for music tracks runs smoothly.
Audio technicians are similar to sound engineers. However, an audio technician focuses on installing and maintaining audio equipment and sound recording tools. In contrast, the audio engineer will supervise this work and provide instructions so the sound qualities will be high.
A sound engineer is involved in different tasks to develop a quality product. They prepare the audio equipment, equalize the sound, and perform post-production edits. Those duties are detailed below.
One of the main duties of a sound engineer is to prepare the recording studio’s electrical equipment or the event location. They make sure all the recording equipment and instruments are working before the artists arrive. There is usually a full sound crew for larger events and recording sessions.
Sound engineers also have the responsibility to perform tests on the electrical equipment to evaluate their performance and sound intensity. This helps them meet the producer’s quality standards. These tests include sound and microphone checks.
Finally, when a product is recorded, the sound engineer will start editing songs or sound effects using different software. This is why these experts must have skills in tech. If you’re interested in audio editing, you could also become a music producer.
Sound engineers must have a mix of technical and creative skills. They must have communication skills, manual dexterity, and competencies to handle acoustic and electrical equipment. They also need a trained ear for music and interpersonal skills for team communication.
One of the main sound engineering skills is sound and video editing. They must be proficient in sound editing on computers and understand how to work with different software for editing. This can be a long process, so sound engineers should also be patient and meticulous.
Sound engineers must have an understanding of music and music theory. They must be familiar with rhythm, tone, and other music principles. This helps them to create the best product possible. It takes a lot of technical music knowledge behind the scenes to make a song or other audio piece sound good.
A sound engineer must know how to handle electronic and acoustic equipment for the recording process. This is a practical skill you should have if you want to work in this profession. You must know how to prepare the instruments and perform tests on them to make sure they’re working properly.
It can take two to six years to become a sound engineer. The time it takes depends on the career path you choose. You can study through a postsecondary program like an associate or bachelor’s degree. In addition, you will have to develop some practical experience in the industry before you can achieve this role.
Unfortunately, there are no bootcamps that offer sound engineering programs. Coding bootcamps focus on computer science topics such as software engineering, web design, and web development.
No, there are not very many online programs for sound engineers. Sound engineering is a very technical profession that usually requires manual dexterity, so you’ll most likely find in-person programs like a Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering. However, there are private training providers that can help you develop foundational skills.
To become a sound engineer, you need to develop an understanding of music and learn technical skills such as audio and video editing, quality sound equipment preparation, and equalization. Below, you will find a step-by-step guide on how to become a sound engineer.
The first step to becoming a sound engineer is to earn a high school diploma. Even though there are companies that don’t require you to have a bachelor’s degree, a high school diploma is a must.
Some companies don’t require you to have a bachelor’s degree. You can develop the skills you need by taking music classes and joining sound editing courses. However, this is a very technical trade, so a college degree could help you develop advanced sound engineering skills. An associate degree is enough to start your career and land an entry-level job.
If you want to gain experience in the recording industry, you can complete an internship at any production company. This is a great way to learn from experienced professionals and to start showcasing your skills. Along with this, you can also work on personal projects and create a portfolio.
Once you have learned about sound engineering fundamentals and have developed some experience in the field, you can start the job hunt. Remember to do research about the company you apply for and prepare a clear and effective resume. Prepare for tough job interview questions and rehearse your answers so you can feel more confident.
There are many career options to pursue as a sound engineer. You can start by joining an online course or by earning an associate or bachelor’s degree. Since sound engineering is one of the best careers in technology and design, you should get as much education and experience as you can before entering the field.
As mentioned earlier, there are no coding bootcamps for this career. However, there is a school called the Artists Bootcamp that has a structure similar to coding bootcamps that offers an immersive sound engineering program. This program lasts 16 weeks and covers fundamental audio engineering topics like mixing, editing, and different music software.
You can also build your sound engineering career in a vocational school. Many schools, such as the University of Silicon Valley or Laurus College, offer audio production programs where you can learn essential sound engineering principles. This is an affordable and practical choice.
Attending community college is another low-cost way to learn audio engineering. Schools like Community College of Philadelphia and Lane Community college offer sound production and music technology programs. You will learn about synthesizer basics and signal routing in both analog and digital formats.
To become a sound engineer, you can also earn a Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering. This is a four-year degree program that will teach you about music technology, electrical and acoustic equipment, and music software and hardware. If you want to keep your options open, a bachelor’s degree is the way to go.
There is only one certification available at the moment in the sound engineering field. This certification is not a strict requirement to work in this profession. However, it adds value to your resume and validates your skills and knowledge as a sound engineer.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers an audio engineering certification that validates your expertise and experience in this career. To obtain the certification, you must pass an exam that measures your sound operation abilities and your competencies with basic electronics. This will give you a leg up in the field, especially when applying for jobs.
To prepare for a sound engineering job interview, you need to do some research about the company. Get to know the company’s values, background, and what they look for in the prospective candidate. This way, you will be prepared for their job interview questions. You should also make sure to showcase your technical and soft skills.
Yes, you should become a sound engineer in 2021. Sound engineering is a highly in-demand career, and there will be many more jobs created in the future. Becoming a sound engineer could result in excellent job opportunities, job stability, and a creative work environment. If you’re interested in music and tech, sound engineering might be the right career for you.