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Popular Jobs You Can Get With an Audio Education Degree

With an audio education degree from a top sound engineering school, you can work in the music industry even if you weren’t born with the natural musical talent to do so. An educational background and experience can land you a job in this creative field.

Most people who want to work behind the scenes in music earn an associate’s degree in applied science for audio engineers. This degree covers the basics. You can also get a bachelor’s degree. If you go for this level of education, you’ll learn in-depth information about music and the technical side of the industry.

Some people are inspired to learn all that they can about the music world. If you want to take your institutional education as far as possible, then go for your master’s degree in audio engineering.

Popular Jobs for Those with an Audio Education Degree

With a degree, you’ll have the qualifications that you need to seek employment in the music industry. With a music degree, you can work as a:

Types of Audio Engineering Jobs: Quick Look

Job Name Average Salary
Recording engineer $40,550
Sound engineer $40,300
Foley artist $55,880
Sound designer $49,000
Mixing engineer N/A
*Salary data taken from Glassdoor

Recording Engineer

If you become a recording engineer, you’ll have the chance to shape an album’s sound. In this line of work, you’ll record, mix and edit sound by using different microphones, sound manipulation techniques and setting levels. To be successful, you’ll need experience working with different kinds of recording technology that range from analog tape to digital multitrack recording programs such as ProTools or Ableton.

In some studios, recording engineers are also producers. When they take over this additional task, they oversee the artistic and technical aspects of recording sessions. As an aspiring recording engineer, be prepared to begin your career as a runner. Most would-be engineers are then able to move onto working as an assistant before getting the chance to show a studio what they can do as an engineer. On average, recording engineers earn $40,000 annually.

It is a career that can take you places. This is the case with Dave Davies. He is an audio engineer who became the lead guitarist and a vocalist for the rock band The Kinks. Rolling Stone magazine included him on its list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” Davies is also a record producer and an acclaimed songwriter.

Sound Engineer

Sound engineers assemble and operate the audio equipment for the music and television industries. If you become a sound engineer, then it will be up to you to make sure that the sound and quality of an audio production is clear and understandable during a live performance or a recording. When it comes to audio equipment, the technical elements of it is complex. Because of this, it may require repairs from time to time.

Once you become an experienced sound engineer, you’ll have the chance to work in post-production. You could wind up syncing dialogue or converting recordings. If you thrive in high stress environments, then this is a good career option for you. Stress comes from deadlines involving live events and the need to overcome mental challenges like getting over a fear of heights when you need to climb high towers and poles to perform maintenance.

To become a successful sound engineer, you’ll need to be a problem solver. It’s also helpful to have good communication skills. You’ll require dexterity to manage the sound equipment and enough strength to move it. Sound engineers must have an in-depth knowledge of recording software and sound equipment. Many times, a person will be promoted from an audio technician to a sound engineer.

While not always required, you should consider becoming certified by The Society of Broadcast Engineers. Consistent employment may be more available with certification. According to Glassdoor, sound engineers earn around $ 40,000 a year on average.

Fame has also visited this career field. Bill Porter was a renowned sound engineer whose career began in the 1950s. He worked to create the Nashville sound and recorded music for stars like Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison.

Foley Artist

While this career field is often tough to break into, those who do are able to combine their technical prowess with their creativity. Foley artists are responsible for generating the sound effects that production microphones are unable to record during filming. In a television or film production, sound effects vary from everyday noises to sounds that bring excitement to a scene.

Foley artists use sound to build tension, heighten emotion and establish a particular atmosphere. A Foley artist is responsible for producing sounds that are a necessary part of a film. However, few viewers notice the effects specifically. Instead, the sound becomes a seamless part of the finished product.

If you’re set on becoming a Foley artist, plan to start your career as an intern or sound production company assistant. You’ll need to learn the ropes before a studio will trust you with a job of this magnitude. Time in the industry will allow you to work your way into higher positions, ones with more responsibility. Hone your networking skills as you may need a little inside clout to become a bonafide Foley artist.

Creativity and coordination are a few real-world skills that you must master to work as a Foley artist. It will be up to you to design the proper sound effects and dub them seamlessly with the action occurring in a particular scene. While a college diploma isn’t always necessary in this line of work, most Foley artists have a degree in broadcast technology, computer networking or electronics. Some Foley professionals even have a music or art background.

Today, it’s especially vital to be comfortable using computers if you want to work in audio because most sound editing is done using them. This career requires those who work in it to stay current on the latest technological advancements.

Sound Designer

To become a successful sound designer, you’ll need an audio educational degree and musical talent. Those who work in this field design different sounds. Some sound designers even compose music for video games. As a sound designer, you may be assigned the task of coming up with new creature noises or creating the sounds that you think the participants in a boss fight would emit.

This is not generally a field that requires you to work solo, so you will need to be comfortable collaborating with others. For instance, you may wind up working with industry experts like:

  • Programmers
  • Game designers
  • Animators

If you’re interested in employment in the video game industry specifically, be prepared to start out in a lower level position. You may need to become an intern or a junior sound designer before you’ll have the chance to show a company what you can do as an official sound designer.

Sound designers also work on films. For instance, Tom Myers, a well-known sound engineer, worked on the films “WALL-E,” “Up” and “Toy Story 3.” He has even received three Academy Award nominations for doing his job.

An extensive educational background is required in this field. In addition to basic compositional and orchestration training, you’ll need a solid education in music mixing and audio engineering. Be sure to foster your personal musical talents as you may be called on to participate in live recording sessions or handle electronic music production. In sound design, diversity reigns. The average income of a sound designer is $49,000 a year.

Mixing Engineer

With an audio education degree, you can seek a career as a mixing engineer. In this line of work, you’ll use sound editing and recording equipment to mix and record audio. Strong communication skills are helpful in this field. You should also feel comfortable working with electronic equipment and computers.

To break into the field, plan to start out as an intern or an assistant. As a mixing engineer, you’ll have the opportunity to work in television, film, theater or even radio. Your responsibilities will consist of recording original content, editing it and selecting different sound levels to produce the completed product.

Sound mixing engineers are responsible for adjusting volume, adding sound effects and handling frequency variations. It may also be up to you to reproduce material and synchronize sound to make sure that the audio timing is right.

When it comes to job candidate requirements, most employers in the field are open to an applicant’s educational background and past experience, but you will be more employable with a degree or certification from a vocational program. If you’ve been in the field for a while, consider getting certified through The Society of Broadcast Engineers. This could qualify you for a promotion from your current studio.

Challenging and Engaging

With an audio education degree, your career options are diverse and abundant. From working on films and television shows to ensuring that a musician sounds his or her best, employment in the world of sound is challenging and mentally engaging. Before settling on a career path in sound, research the options to select the one that best fits your personality and natural talents.