Audio Technician Courses and Certification Programs

Get information about the curriculum of audio engineering certificate and degree programs for audio technicians, and find out what studio facilities to look for when selecting a program. Learn about requirements for attaining professional certification as an audio engineer. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

If you're interested in certification, the Society of Broadcasting Engineers (SBE) offers the Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) credential. Certification is not mandatory in this field, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it can sometimes lead to expanded career opportunities.

CAE candidates need five years of professional experience and must pass an exam in order to qualify for the credential. Postsecondary training is not required for CEA certification, but educational programs may count for up to four years of experience, according to the official SBE website.

Courses Electronic circuit fundamentals, video production, film scoring, music appreciation, audio engineering, multi-media production and live sound reinforcement
Programs Certificate in Audio Engineering, Certificate in Audio Production Technology, Certificate in Audio Technology, Certificate in Advanced Audio Technology, Associate of Arts in Audio Technology, Associate of Arts in Advanced Audio Technology, Associate of Applied Science in Audio Engineering
Certification Society of Broadcasting Engineers (SBE) provides the Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) credential; InfoComm International provides the more general Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential

What Courses Can I Take?

In an audio recording or audio engineering certificate program, you can expect to study topics like electronics, microphone set-up, CD production and multi-track recording techniques. Some certificate programs may include courses in music theory, music appreciation and video production. Completion of an internship at a professional recording facility may be required.

In addition to audio engineering courses like sound reinforcement and waveform editing, associate degree programs may include:

  • Business of music
  • Scoring for film and multi-media
  • System set-up and maintenance
  • MIDI arranging
  • Live sound

What Programs are Available?

Certificate programs can be completed in 1-2 semesters and may prepare you for an entry-level position in the field. These programs are typically more focused than associate programs - you usually won't need to complete any general education courses.

An associate degree program may include more opportunities for hands-on experience in a recording studio than a certificate program; an associate program often takes two years to complete. Earning an associate degree could prepare you for an entry-level audio engineering position. You could also decide to transfer into a bachelor's program in music technology or audio production.

Obtaining the CEA certification requires you to be familiar with basic electronics, operating practices, safety, theory, and problems associated with audio engineering. These are all topics that are covered in the required exam. The more general Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential requires you know about developing, operating, and servicing different audio-visual solutions. The exam required for certification tests you on providing the best possible audiovisual solutions within time and budget constraints.

How Should I Choose a Program?

You may consider a school with up-to-date, on-site recording equipment. If you're interested in working with specific hardware - like Macintosh computers - or recording software - like Pro Tools or Logic - you can enroll in programs with courses in these areas.

Internship opportunities could help you reinforce academic concepts in a professional setting, like microphone placement or sound mixing. If you're interested in musicianship or music performance, some programs offer piano, guitar performance and small ensemble courses.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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