Careers in Digital Audio Production

Learn about career options in digital audio production. Find out about the education required for some common job titles, and get information about the average salaries for those positions. Explore important career skills for the audio production field. Schools offering Music Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Some of the Careers in Digital Audio Production?

An education in digital audio production will prepare you for a number of careers, including those of sound engineers, broadcast technicians and audio/video technicians. These professionals are an important part of an entire team working on a multimedia project. Sound engineers record musical performances or handle live sound using sophisticated audio equipment. Broadcast technicians operate the equipment used in television and radio broadcasting systems. They may also edit content using audio or video software. Audio/video technicians maintain and operate video, audio and even lighting equipment for numerous events, including conferences and concerts. Basic information is available in the table below for careers in this field:

Sound Engineers Broadcast Technicians Audio/Video Technicians
Degree Required Certificate or associate's degree Associate's Certificate or associate's degree
Education Field of Study Sound recording technology, sound engineering Broadcasting technology or related field Audio/video technology or related field
Key Responsibilities Run and maintain sound/audio equipment
Edit video and film, operate broadcasting equipment Direct technicians and oversee A/V equipment
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% -6% 12%
Median Salary (2015)* $53,330 $37,490 $41,440

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Will I Need?

A career in digital audio production will require that you receive training; for starters, you could pursue a specialized digital audio production program at a vocational school, which could take about a year to complete. You could also pursue 2- or 4-year degrees at community colleges or universities. Although each degree option is a viable way to receive training and enter the digital audio production arena, a bachelor's degree will provide the best job opportunities.

Your major will likely be in an area such as digital audio production, music technology, electronics or information technology. Your educational training may consist of courses such as audio recording, music theory, multimedia, radio broadcasting, laboratory science, speech and sound design. If you're currently a high school student, you can prepare for this technical career by taking courses in physics and mathematics. You'll also need to be naturally inclined to work hands-on with mixing boards, microphones, headphones and other technical equipment.

What Skills Will I Learn?

Once you have completed your education, you'll have acquired the ability to use the professional tools and equipment of the digital audio industry, including hardware and software programs. You'll learn how to write and edit audio programs, as well as learning how to engineer recording sessions using multi-track recording equipment and master the completed projects to distributable quality.

What Salary Could I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual salary for all sound engineering technicians working in the sound recording industry was $52,870 in May 2015. Audio professionals in the motion picture industry earned $82,670, while those in radio broadcasting, made an average of $54,150 annually.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related digital audio production professions could include audio or video editing or camera operation. These jobs require bachelor's degrees. Audio and video editors work closely with directors and computer equipment to edit digital film and sound. Digital camera operators could work in television, feature films or for independent internet shows and may even be expected to do some editing as well. Other related careers might involve electrical installation or repair. These jobs require a high school diploma or its equal and some kind of specialized training in computers or electrical systems. In some cases, you might need certification as well.

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:

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