Careers in Audio Technology
Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in audio technology. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and education information. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Career In Audio Technology?
A career in audio technology can involve installing, setting up and operating audio equipment. Some professionals in this field include audio visual equipment technicians, sound engineering technicians and broadcast technicians. Audio visual equipment technicians install and set up audio visual equipment. They may install equipment in a school, hotel or conference center. They may also set up equipment for concerts and special events. Broadcast technicians also set up equipment, and they also operate this equipment for the purpose of broadcasting radio or television programs. Sound engineering technicians record, mix and reproduce audio content. They may produce special audio effects for movies or may mix tracks for a music album.
|Sound Engineering Technician||Broadcast Technician||A/V Equipment Technician|
|Degree Required||Audio technology certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree||Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree||Postsecondary certificate or associate's degree|
|Education Field of Study||Recording arts technology or related field||Broadcasting technology or related field||Electronics, audio-visual technology or related field|
|Key Responsibilities||Operate sound recording and duplicating equipment; blend sound levels and effects; set up and monitor sound recording boards and other audio equipment||Install, maintain and operate broadcasting equipment; regulate sound levels and quality during broadcasts||Repair, update and operate audio-visual systems and equipment|
|Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||8%||-6%||12%|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$63,340||$44,050||$46,630|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Are Some Careers in Audio Technology?
Some audio technology careers include audio technician, sound engineering technician or operations technician. Depending on your specific training, you might work as an audio visual manager or audio visual specialist. Other career options are assistant recording engineer, sound assistant, producer and broadcast technician.
What Education is Required?
There are a number of 2-year associate's and 4-year bachelor's degree programs in community colleges and universities that will train you in audio engineering, sound engineering or recording arts technology. While you may not necessarily need a formal degree to enter the field of audio technology, you can complete a specialized training program through an accredited institution such as a vocational or technical school, which may take up to a year to complete. Some of these programs offer certificates, which can sometimes be applied towards an associate's degree.
In addition to training, you should have a mechanical aptitude if you would like to pursue an audio technology career. A certificate-level audio technology training program might consist of courses in acoustics, live sound, music theory, music business, recording laboratory, music technology and digital audio. An associate's degree program in audio engineering might offer classes such as audio recording, digital and analog audio technology and multimedia applications.
Acquiring a bachelor's degree can help increase your job prospects. A recording arts bachelor's degree curriculum may include audio maintenance and repair, audio techniques, electronics, business and computer science classes. If you opt for a bachelor's degree in sound engineering, you'll take classes such as electrical engineering, sound reinforcement and studio production.
What Duties Could I Have?
You might work on films, concerts and plays, or at sporting events. Your job duties might include operating the electronic components used in sound recording, and making any necessary adjustments. Other duties could include digitizing and duplicating audio data, making repairs to audio equipment and setting up sound boards. Connecting cables and electrical wiring could be other aspects of your job.
What Salary Could I Earn?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), audio and video equipment technicians who were employed in the video and motion picture industries earned an average annual salary of $51,620 in 2015. Television and radio broadcasting professionals averaged $42,030. Those who worked in universities and colleges averaged about $44,230 per year.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Electrical and electronics repairers and installers and electrical and electronics engineering technicians perform tasks related to the work of audio technology professionals. Electrical and electronics repairs and installers must repair and install electrical equipment. This is similar to the work of audio technology professionals because, like audio visual equipment technicians, they need to know how to install electronic equipment and perform necessary repairs. Electrical and electronics installers and repairers do not need formal postsecondary education, but electrical and electronics engineering technicians need an associate's degree. Electrical and electronics engineering technicians design and develop electronic equipment, so they may work on creating or improving audio equipment used by sound engineering technicians, broadcast technicians and audio visual equipment technicians.
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