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Sound Design Degrees

Table of Contents

Sound Design is an area of specialty in the audio engineering and production industry that focuses on the creation of realistic and captivating sounds for movies, TV, games, theatre and live sound.

This form of audio creation/capture is accomplished by way of foley, the art of recording and/or recreating everyday noises like footsteps, doors opening, traffic, wind blowing, your significant other snoring, and pretty much anything else you can possibly conjure up. In addition, Sound Designers create original sound effects from studio libraries, and field recordings; some examples are explosions, gunshots, laser cannons/guns (think Star Wars), shrieking alien noises (gaming/sci-fi movies) and the list goes on. After the required sounds are caught, they are then synchronized to film or games, giving them all those life-like qualities necessary for a visceral experience.

This field is one that blends art and tech into a single, fancy, bow-tied package.Those looking to enter this occupation should have a solid grasp of, or interest in learning coding/programming and a curiosity toward other technical elements of the job like learning mic placement, mixing and mastering techniques, as well as gaining in depth knowledge of recording programs like ProTools 12.

Degrees Awarded

  • Diploma
  • Certificate: CCL
  • Associates: AS, AAS
  • Bachelors: BA, BS, BFA
  • Masters: MA, MS, MFA

Classes and Prerequisites

The demands for each degree, certification and school varies, but most require similar recommended courses or prerequisites. Core classes will differ in name from school-to-school, however, they generally cover a similar spectrum of principles and practices. Below are a list of classes you will commonly be need to take:

  • Music Theory
  • Aural Training
  • DAW (digital audio workstation) classes
  • Studio engineering concepts
  • Wwise (Wave Works Interactive Sound Engine) programming
  • C#, Java, Smalltalk and other coding languages
  • Four year schools typically make students fulfill general coursework in humanities, science, foreign language, English and mathematics.

Salary Info

According to, the median income for a Sound Designer is $49,705 a year.

Possible Careers

  • Foley Artist
  • Sound Designer
  • Audio Engineer
  • Sound Technician
  • Recording Engineer
  • Audio Production Editor
  • Composer
  • Musician