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Music Audio Production Associate Degree

Find out the courses you'll take in an associate's degree program in music audio production. Learn about employment opportunities and salaries in the field.

What Music Audio Production Associate's Degree Programs Are There?

You study music audio production for two years to earn an Associate of Science (A.S.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.). Program titles may include: recording and digital audio, audio production technology, music production, music recording technology or music industry technology. They all prepare you to work as a record producer, sound engineer, sound designer, mastering engineer or audio technician. This degree also qualifies you to enroll in a related bachelor's degree program.

The curriculum covers music, sound and acoustics. Usually, you spend much of your time in on-campus studios. Internships and fieldwork are common requirements. Due to the hands-on nature of this program, you probably aren't able to earn a music production associate's degree online.

Program Information Associate's degree programs in music production cover music, sound and acoustic, including time spent in studios, internships and fieldwork
Courses Courses cover topics like recording processes, sound design and music theory
Career Options An associate's degree prepares students for work in TV or radio stations, concert halls and recording studios
Median Salary (2021)$47,349 (Music Recording Engineers)*
Job Outlook (2019-2029)6% growth (Sound Engineering Technicians)**

Source: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

What Courses Can I Take?

The music and audio production courses you take in an associate's degree program teach you about using microphones, amplifiers, speakers and other recording hardware. You also learn about analog and digital recording processes, MIDI applications, electricity and sound designs. While you aren't usually required to have formal training in this area, some programs require you to take some music performance classes. Additionally, you learn about music theory, aural perception and live music.

Typically, you can find a school that operates a fully functional studio where you learn and practice with the latest equipment and software applications, like ProTools. Some programs also include courses that discuss the music business and industry that cover ethics, laws, merchandising and mass media.

What Are Jobs Like?

Earning an associate's degree in music audio production prepares you for a variety of jobs in the music, film and television industries. You could work in TV or radio stations, concert halls, recording studios or theaters, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Some music production jobs require you to work late nights or on deadlines, and you might encounter stiff competition for entry-level jobs in major metropolitan areas. According to PayScale.com, music recording engineers' income varies widely; as of April 2021, earnings ranged from $34,000 to $102,000 annually.