Audio Producing Degree Programs
In an audio production degree program, you'll learn how to record sounds, vocals and instruments in a studio or live music setting. Learn about available program options, potential coursework and the career outlook for graduates.
What Programs Are Available In Audio Production?
Associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees in audio production, audio engineering or recording arts are available. Because some training takes place in a recording studio, most degree programs in audio production are campus-based. You may need to complete an in-person audition as part of the admissions process for a bachelor's or master's program; most associate's programs won't require an audition.
If you don't play an instrument, you can contact a school's admissions department to find out whether an audition is necessary. In some cases, audio recording skills may be used as a substitute for instrumental performance. Many audio production programs offered through community colleges don't expect applicants to complete an audition.
|Degree Levels||Associate's, bachelor, and master's degrees|
|Important Prerequisites||Some bachelor's and master's programs require auditions|
|Common Courses||Mixing techniques, music theory, aural skills, audio editing, audio synchronization|
|Potential Work Environments||Concert halls, recording studies, film post-production facilities|
What Will I Study?
In an associate's degree program, you'll take courses in music theory, sound design, audio editing and digital audio production. You might study the history of the recording industry as well as music business law. You'll learn how to set up and manage a recording session in a professional studio.
A bachelor's program in audio engineering may explore some of the same topics as an associate's program, like music theory and digital audio production. You might study microphone placement, how to use effects processors or how to record a live band. Additional courses could include electronic music production, aural skills, sound creation and mixing techniques.
Some bachelor's programs will expect you to play and perform with a small-group ensemble to fulfill degree requirements. Completion of a final recording project is usually required as well.
Audio production master's programs may offer more technical courses than bachelor's or associate's programs; examples include psychoacoustics, audio synchronization and MIDI synthesis. You might be expected to record several live events, including school jazz concerts or choir recitals. Some programs culminate in a graduate internship at a professional studio.
What Is the Career Outlook?
Earning a degree in audio production, audio engineering or recording arts can lead to work as a sound engineering or audio equipment technician. According to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), sound engineering technicians mix and record music and other types of audio in recording studios, film post-production facilities and concert halls (www.bls.gov). Audio equipment technicians set up mixing boards, speakers and other sound equipment for presentations and live music shows. Unlike sound engineering technicians, audio engineering technicians are not part of the mixing or recording process.
Employment for sound engineering technicians was expected to increase by six percent from 2016-2026, as reported by the BLS. The number of employed audio equipment technicians was projected to grow by 13% during the same timeframe. The BLS notes that sound engineering technicians earned a mean annual wage of $63,500 in 2018. During the same year, audio equipment technicians made a mean annual wage of $48,940.