What Is a Recording Producer?
Take a look at how to become a recording producer. Learn about education requirements, key responsibilities, employment outlook and median salary to find out if this career is a good fit you.
What Is a Recording Producer?
Recording producers use their knowledge of audio equipment to maintain and enhance the quality of the sounds they are recording. They work in sound studios for a variety of media, such as movies, television, radio or music. Using specialized microphones and other equipment, they record speech, sound effects or music and upload the recordings to a computer, where they can adjust and edit the quality. In addition to recording audio, recording producers must also be able to maintain, diagnose and fix issues with any equipment.
The following chart gives you a brief overview of what you should consider if becoming a recording producer interests you:
|Education Required||High school degree is generally required for entry level positions; four-year degrees, post-secondary certificates, and non-degree awards are available for more advanced positions|
|Key Responsibilities||Knowledge of current audio technology, strong communication and computer skills, strong creativity and problem solving skills|
|Job Growth (2018-28)||8% (for all broadcast and sound engineering technicians)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$49,004**|
Sources: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Get Your Recording Producer Degree
While there is no one specific educational path to becoming a recording producer, you may want to consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in audio engineering or audio production. In these programs, you'll learn the practical and theoretical concepts that govern audio production. You'll receive extensive instruction in the physics of acoustics while you learn to master the tools and equipment used to edit and record analog and digital music and sound. Most programs feature an internship, in which you'll work in the recording industry for course credit. These 4-year programs are traditionally offered in the Bachelor of Science degree program format.
What Job Duties Might I Have?
As a recording producer or recording technician, your exact responsibilities will depend on what segment of the media industry you find employment in. You'll be eligible to seek entry-level employment across a range of media outlets, including radio and TV stations, record labels, sound design studios and production houses.
Wherever you find employment, you'll most likely begin your career in the capacity of a recording or production technician. Your responsibilities will most likely include monitoring and maintaining the levels set on the mixing board and installing and operating the microphones used to capture the audio output. You might also set up audio production equipment, such as sequencers or samplers. You'll probably work as part of a production team, along with an executive producer, music or audio producer and other technicians.
What Could I Expect To Earn?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for sound engineering technicians was $52,390 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that employment opportunities for this occupation were expected to grow by as much as 8% between 2018-2028. Stiff competition for jobs can be expected, particularly in the larger metropolitan markets. PayScale.com reported in October of 2019 that the middle salary range for music recording engineers was $31,000-$102,000.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
If becoming a recording producer isn't your ideal career choice, there are some related career options that may interest you. As an electrical and electronics engineering technician, which would require an associate's degree, you will assist engineers in designing and building computer equipment, navigational equipment and even medical equipment. With a postsecondary diploma, an electronics and electrical installer and repairer career may work for you. In this field, you'll be responsible for repairing or installing various types of electrical equipment. If you're more interested in the editing aspect of recording producing but would prefer to work with visual recordings rather than sound recordings, you may want to pursue a career as a film and video editor. This career typically requires a four-year degree.