Is Audio Engineering a Good Career to Pursue?
Audio Engineering Career Opportunities
The ability to organize a session, operate the recording gear, work with others, and understand technical aspects of recording gives an audio engineer a lot of opportunities in several fields. There are obvious positions at music recording studios, but these abilities transfer to other industries.
Working in film and video, television and radio, advertising and video games, and with performing arts companies are just a few of the areas where audio engineering skills are valued. In music, live sound engineers are needed on the road too, which gives you the opportunity to leave the studio on a regular basis and travel.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), audio engineering jobs can be found around the country (although limited in the upper Midwest), meaning you don’t necessarily need to move to L.A., New York, or Miami to pursue a career. Although your location could influence another aspect when trying to decide if audio engineering is a good career to pursue: pay.
Audio Engineering Earning Potential
Obviously, you’ll make more as an audio engineer if you live in those bigger cities, but the cost of living will also be much higher. It’s just one of the things to think about when pursuing an audio engineering career. That being said, there is money to be made in the job.
At the lower end of the scale, radio and television audio engineers make a mean wage of around $56,000. Performing arts centers ($63,000) and recording studio engineers ($67,000) make a few thousand dollars more. Film and video are the highest paid at more than $80,000. Those with little to no experience will earn less while veterans will make more.
Overall, an hourly rate will run from around $14/hour up to nearly $60/hour for the top ten percent or so. Just be mindful that certain industries will pay more or have fewer available jobs. Consider someone with an electrical engineering degree: If they work for a high-powered land developer, they’ll probably make more than if they worked for a smaller operation.
Can you get filthy rich? Sure, why not? But it takes years, even decades, to reach the very top of almost any industry. In the meantime, you can make a relatively comfortable life as an audio engineer. Much of that depends on how well you sell yourself and your ability to bring in clients.
What Does an Audio Engineer Do?
Audio engineers are charged with the technical aspects of making an album, although there are times when a music producer can step in if need be. Audio or sound engineers need to be masters of the gear on their side of the glass as well as the equipment on the other side of the glass.
Choosing and placing microphones to get the required sound for the song, arranging the musical instruments or setting up vocals, and other aspects of getting the room ready for a session. They need to have an extensive understanding of the physics of sound and how it will interact with the rest of the room.
When they’re in the control booth, they need to have the technical expertise to ready the mixing board, digital audio workstation, monitors, and even test the cables to ensure high-quality audio. They basically ensure the transition of music from the studio to the digital or analog recording equipment (and their differences) produces the desired sound.
This doesn’t always mean the best sound, but it has to be the right sound. In both cases, the sound quality of the recording is up to the audio engineer. They may also work directly with the talent, although that’s when the music producer will step in. Just think of the audio engineer as the technical pro and the producer as the creative mind.
Think Audio Engineering Is a Good Career to Pursue? Why Not Learn from a Pro?
With so many factors in play and the introduction of new technology on a seemingly annual basis, the only way to get really good at audio engineering is with experience. Actually working with the gear on your own, working with artists, or even engineering your own music.
There is always something new to learn as an audio engineer, and Recording Connection believes doing is the best way of learning, especially in the music industry. It never made sense to us why you would spend years in a university or trade school classroom when you should be getting as much experience as you can as soon as you can.
While many careers require the rigors of formal education, a creative industry relies more on experience and other “it” factors. While audio engineering requires a certain technical skill set, there is still a certain level of creativity. And the only way to realize that balance is by jumping into the studio and figuring it out under the watchful eye of a mentor.
The Recording Connection Audio Engineering and Music Production Program places you inside a real-world, working studio and pairs you with a professional audio engineer. These aren’t people that are teaching as a fall-back position, they are engineers working in the industry today, making the music you’re listening to.
A Hands-On Education in Audio Engineering
You’ll help sound recording engineers organize an upcoming session, set the audio equipment for recording, and work the gear while interacting with artists. And you won’t have to spend four years getting a bachelor’s degree or even two years at a trade school or junior college. Our standard and advanced programs are just six months long.
But it’s a jam-packed six months. You’ll be required to spend at least 10 hours in the studio every week and be required to put in the work. Every potential student goes through an interview process before being accepted: If this is just a hobby, look elsewhere. For our mentors, being an audio engineer is their job.
Still wondering if audio engineering is a good career to pursue? Think about this: above all, it’s your life. Is it your dream job to work with artists and make them sound as clean and proficient as possible, or even work on your own materials? Then it shouldn’t matter where you do it or how much it pays.
They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. If audio engineering is something you’d like to pursue, something you’re willing to work for and fight for every inch, consider applying to Recording Connection. You’ll get the experience you need, career opportunities, and be ready to take on the world. It’s time to Amplify Your Life.