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Audio Recording Degree and Certification Programs

You can learn how to record music, voice and other types of sound in an audio recording degree program. These programs are available at the 2-year, 4-year and graduate levels. Certification in the audio recording field usually involves becoming certified in the use of specific digital recording software programs. Explore how you can gain certification and whether you can study audio recording online.

What Audio Recording Programs Can I Find?

You can find audio recording degree programs at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels in art, fine art and science departments. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, entry-level sound engineering technicians need to complete a training program; however, degrees aren't always necessary to secure employment (www.bls.gov).

If you decide to continue on to a master's degree program, your courses might cover cultural, theoretical and historical aspects of recording technologies. Upon graduation, you'll be prepared to teach audio recording classes at the postsecondary level.

Degree TypesAssociate's, bachelor's, master's degrees
CertificationIt may be helpful to seek certification for various relevant software, like ProTools, when looking for employment
Course TopicsMusic theory, critical listening skills, marketing, copyright laws, software proficiency
Online AvailabilityBecause of the nature of the program, it is generally hard to find programs entirely online. However similar programs in the music field are available online.
Median Salary (2018)* $43,660 (for broadcast and sound engineering technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 8% (for broadcast and sound engineering technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Become Certified?

Whether you work in music, TV, film or concert production, you'll likely use ProTools to bring recordings together. Certification in this software shows that you understand how to use ProTools to make basic recordings of music and other digital audio tracks. Training programs are available from partner schools and the vendor to prepare you for the certification exam.

What Will I Learn?

In most audio recording degree and certificate programs, you'll work in fully-equipped on-campus recording studios. You'll learn about various types of recording software and use recording equipment, including microphones, mixing consoles and processors. Some associate's and bachelor's degree programs include courses in music theory and critical listening skills that help you understand what you're recording. Some programs include music business courses. You'll learn about marketing, copyright laws and other industry concepts. Many programs require you to complete an internship, while others require independent projects.

Can I Learn Online?

Audio recording programs usually include hands-on experiences, requiring you to work in a state-of-the-art recording studio. However, you can find online degree programs focusing on the music business and digital sound production. In a distance learning program, you may learn how to record music on your computer, edit it for a particular type of broadcast and publish it, all from your home studio. You also may find some online tutorials and videos that give you a basic understanding of digital audio concepts and equipment.