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Is Audio Engineering a Good Career?

Audio Engineers are so much more than music producers. They are artists, scientists, and developers- the backbone of any production today. From music to movies, from games to sports broadcasts, audio engineers work on every project that requires sound. And you can too! While it is a difficult career with its impressive number of challenges and demands for perfection. The pay can be worth it for those who take everything in stride. Thus, if you are looking forward to find work in music industry, read on..! 

Will Audio Engineering Be a Good Career?

In this article, we will start by giving a brief overview of what Audio Engineers do and the different areas they work in. We will also provide links so you can get further information on careers in audio engineering to make your decision easier. 

What Audio Engineers Do?

Audio engineers are the ‘front-line’ people in a recording. Or let’s say in any production, for that matter. They are responsible for everything from making sure equipment is functioning, to making sure musicians and singers sound their best. Also, to these tasks, audio engineers must be able to troubleshoot any problems or issues that might arise during the recording process. After completing your studies in this field, you don’t have to find work in music industry, rather you will be able to get a hold of it!! 
Some of the things you might need to troubleshoot include mic placement, instrument feedback during overdubbing or even correcting the volume levels across a stereo mix. Audio engineers should operate a wide range of equipment. This includes tape machines, mixing boards, and digital recorders.
If you enjoy working with music, either as a listener or a performer, then being an audio engineer might be an excellent career choice. As you learn more about different jobs in audio engineering, you can decide if this is the right career path for you. 

Types of Audio Engineer Jobs 

If there are so many different types of audio engineer jobs out there, how does one decide where to begin? To help you make this decision easier, here are some of the most common (and interesting) positions: 
Live sound – Are you looking forward to find work in music industry? If so, this type of engineer works in concert venues and live performances. They will be responsible for mixing sound to the level they believe will sound best in the venue. Also, live sound engineers are responsible for making sure equipment is in order. And also working during live performances. Live sound is a growing field that can keep up with changes in technology. As well as an exciting environment where you can meet lots of people.
Recording engineer – Another common position, recording engineers work with musicians and bands to produce recordings of their music. Recording engineers work with the musicians during sessions to ensure they have everything they need to make a great recording. 
Broadcast – If you are looking forward to find work in music industry. Broadcast engineers work in television and radio, recording the soundtracks for shows and live broadcasts. These engineers must be able to record audio both in a studio setting as well as outside (live broadcasts).
Post-production – Post-production engineers work with audio post-production, ensuring that when a project is complete it sounds its best. A post engineer works with editors during the editing process to make sure sound effects and music match up on the screen. Working in a post can be challenging, but also very rewarding- especially if you are an artistic person interested in working with editors and writers. 
Audio editing – Audio editing is a very important career where you will be working with music, sound effects, and voiceovers. You will be responsible for ensuring everything goes back and forth between the various audio tracks. Besides these different types of engineer jobs, many positions fall under ‘audio technicians’. 

Where do you want to work?

If you are looking forward to find work in music industry, where you will be working is one of the most important factors in deciding whether you want to pursue an audio engineering career. The work you will do will be in direct relation to where your education and training are. So make sure these two areas are top priorities. Also, make sure you have a passion for what you are doing since there is no ‘wrong’ career choice if that is something you want. 
Another thing to consider is where your passion lies when creating music, whether it’s producing music or performing. If you wish to become a professional in the field of audio engineering and it doesn’t match up with your other passions, then it might not be right for you. The good news is that there are so many great opportunities out there. While most career choices have to fit in with your long-term goals and post-secondary education, audio engineering is a great choice for you. It has the potential to take you far if you keep your mind on the goal at all times. 

FAQs on audio engineering

  1. What is the career outlook for an audio engineer?

The career outlook for audio engineers is bright. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2013, there were around 40,900 audio engineers employed in the United States. This number will vary depending on where you live and which industry you would like to pursue. There are also different types of careers available in audio engineering. One should consider this when deciding which ones are right for you. 
  1. How much money do audio engineers make?

The average salary for an audio engineer was around $64,000 in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This salary can vary depending on your employer and what industry you are in (i.e. music production or TV broadcasting). The area you live in will also affect your salary; if you live in a major city like Los Angeles or New York, then you can expect to make more than someone living in a smaller city who is working at the same company and doing the same job. 
  1. What skills do you need in audio engineering?

Audio engineers must know how to work with music from start to finish, from mixing and mastering tracks, to editing and moving them around. Audio engineers will need to maintain and repair equipment, as well as set up for live broadcasts. Skills in music theory are also important for audio engineers- especially those who work with new artists or in a studio setting. This skill is important because it shows that you understand the background of the music you are working on (i.e. chord progressions, key changes, etc). 
  1. What kind of training does one need for an audio engineer?

Training for audio engineers is vital and will come from an audio engineering school or vocational program. There are many different levels of training you can pursue in audio engineering. This includes certificate and diploma programs, as well as associate degree programs. Usually, one needs a four-year degree to land a good job in the field of broadcast or recording engineering. 

  1. What does one need to become an audio engineer?

To become an audio engineer you will need a passion for music and sound. You will need to work with others, even if you want a more solitary career. There are many different types of audio engineers out there- so you must be sure which one will best suit your personality and career path. 
  1. Is it possible to become a freelance audio engineer?

Freelance audio engineers are often not covered by employers or labor unions. So you have to make sure you can do this on your own before pursuing this career path. This way, you will be able to set your hours and choose your clients. There is also no guarantee that freelance projects will take off. 
  1. What skills do audio engineers need to know?

Audio engineers will need to have a good understanding of music theory. This way they can both work with producers and musicians as well as make the best use of their equipment. Audio engineers will also need to be able to fix any problems that could arise, so attention to detail is very important. 

Conclusion –

These are all the answers to the most common questions asked about audio engineering. This guide has helped you make up your mind on whether audio engineering suits your personality and career goals. You have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing a post-secondary program to further your education and pursue your dream career. There are many different programs out there that can help you achieve your goals, whether it is music, film or TV production, or even another field like law or medicine. If you are looking forward to find work in music industry, this is all you need to know!

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