Sound engineers work for film studios, television stations, computer game corporations and music studios all over the world. Sound engineers set up and run electrical equipment, and they also maintain it. The most common job duties of a sound engineer are as follows:
Setting up equipment for events or films
Manipulating sound through equipment for desired effect
Mixing sound in post-production
Keeping logs of recordings
Tracking which equipment was used
Reporting complex equipment issues
Installing audio equipment at a variety of locations
Converting audio to digital formats
Breaking down audio equipment after recording
Recording speech using a variety of software
Candidates who have a strong manual dexterity and excellent people skills may be especially well-suited for this position. Sound engineers also need to have stellar computer skills and problem-solving skills.
Sound Engineer Job Education Requirements
Most sound engineer positions require that candidates hold at least a certificate in audio engineering, but it's preferable to hold at least an associate's degree. Those who want to be able to be in the running for the most desirable positions should acquire an even higher education, such as a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in audio engineering or a similar field. On-the-job experience also counts for a lot as a sound engineer, so it's important to get experience in the field while in school. Some related positions worth considering in this field include sound mixer jobs and sound engineering technician jobs.
Sound Engineer Job Market
There is a very slow estimated job growth for sound engineers in the coming decade, but the demand should at least remain steady. The most job opportunities for sound engineers may soon lie in smaller stations or smaller markets. Those who are willing to relocate will have the best pick of positions in the field. Also, sound engineers will continue to be needed in the film, radio and television industries.
Sound Engineer Job Salary Information
Sound engineers earn an average annual salary of approximately $56,000. The highest 10 percent of earners among sound engineers command annual salaries over $98,000 per year. The lowest earning sound engineers, however, may earn under $21,000 per year. In order to move into a higher earning bracket, sound engineers should focus on honing their skills, perfecting their craft and making connections within their industry. Although education is important, on-the-job experience matters perhaps more when applying to sound engineer positions.