Audio Producer: Career and Salary Facts
Learn about the courses and degree programs that can help you prepare for a career as an audio producer. Read on for more information about earnings, employment outlook and job options. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is an Audio Producer?
Audio producers record, edit and synchronize sound. They often work in broadcasting, music, film and television. They typically use computer software to complete their work and are responsible for setting up, installing and operating equipment. They must report and handle repairs, if necessary. The following table highlights some areas of this career:
|Degree Required||Associate's or Bachelor's|
|Education Field of Study||Audio production|
|Key Responsibilities||Oversee the recording and mastering of concerts, speeches, and other audio performances; set up microphones and various other recording equipment; may operate sound booths during live events|
|Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7% (for all broadcast and sound engineering technicians)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$41,780 (for all broadcast and sound engineering technicians)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Types of Audio Producer Degree Programs Are Available?
You might pursue an associate's degree in audio production or audio production technologies. In an associate's program, you'll learn about song composition, microphone placement and effects processing. You'll usually need to complete an internship or capstone project in order to earn your degree.
You could also enroll in an audio production bachelor's degree program. You'll study music and sound theory, recording software programs like Pro Tools and sound design techniques. You'll also study the history of sound production, recording studio maintenance and audio waveform editing. Most bachelor's programs will expect you to complete an internship in a professional studio or create a final recording project in order to graduate. It usually takes four years to earn a bachelor's degree.
What Jobs Can I Apply For?
Audio producers may oversee the recording, mixing and mastering process for solo artists or musical groups; producers often work in professional recording studios. In most cases, you won't be hired as a producer after earning a bachelor's degree in audio production; you might find an entry-level position as a recording or audio engineer, also known as a sound recording technician. You'll usually need to gain work experience before being hired as a producer.
Recording or audio engineers set up microphones, mixers and other sound processing equipment; they may record individuals or musical groups. Some engineers are responsible for maintaining and repairing recording equipment. Aside from working in professional studios, audio engineers may also handle live sound duties in theaters, arenas and nightclubs.
What Can I Expect To Earn?
PayScale.com reports audio engineers earned a median annual salary of $43,826 in 2016. Wages for audio engineers often varied by years of experience; engineers with 0-5 years of experience earned about $39,000. Those with 5-10 years of experience made $43,000.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was $41,780 as of May 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that employment opportunities for broadcast and sound engineering technicians were expected to increase by seven percent from 2014-2024.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Related careers include electrical and electronics engineering technicians, and electrical and electronics installers and repairers. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians design devices like computers and communications pieces. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers rectify malfunctions and input devices. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians must have an associate's degree, while electrical and electronics installers and repairers only need a postsecondary nondegree award.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: