Audio engineering involves the use of recording equipment in order to assist in creating and broadcasting of entertainment sources like videos and radio shows. What can you do with an audio engineering degree? Well, with a degree in audio engineering, you can work behind the scenes of television shows, radio broadcasts, and even the film industry. This article explores audio engineering and specific degree programs available for people interested in pursuing careers in audio engineering.
Studying Audio Engineering
Students who study audio engineering are required to explore many different subjects in college that help prepare them for some of the many career options in the working world of entertainment. Those who graduate with degrees in audio engineering can expect to find jobs in any of the areas listed here.
Television broadcasts (news, shows, etc.)
Once you earn your audio engineering degree, some of the most exciting tasks may include things like creating sound effects, voice alterations, and more. It’s all about the sound.
Audio Engineering Degree Programs
If audio engineering sounds like the subject for you, you should start researching audio engineering degree programs at various colleges and universities during your late junior and early senior years of high school. It would be wise to send out applications early during your last year in high school. For further advice on ways to prepare for studying audio engineering, see your guidance counselor.
The Musicians Institute’s College of Contemporary Music offers various associates degree programs based on different sorts of instruments, and students have the option to create a combined degree in which they can also specialize in audio engineering. Combining a music industry program and performance program provides students with skills necessary to excel within a specific field of performance arts on and off the stage. The school also offers a Certificate of Audio Engineering, which is a semester-long program in which they gain knowledge and insight on entering professional recording studios.
Lawrence Technological University provides undergraduate students with the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Audio Engineering Technology. In this program, students explore the ways in which different types of audio engineers are able to bring together arts and entertainment in order to please crowds around the world. People who graduate from Lawrence Technological University are capable of beginning careers in the film, broadcasting, and sports industries among others. Students also put their knowledge to work in laboratory settings at the university in order to demonstrate what they have learned and gain a better understanding of how the various media industries function with the use of audio engineering.
Cogswell Polytechnical College offers students two separate concentrations with a Bachelor of Science in Digital Audio Technology: Audio and Music Production, and Audio Software Development and Engineering. The latter concentration, students learn the basics of scripting and Java programming and expand their knowledge in calculus, algebra, physics, and other subjects necessary for understanding the audio and computer aspects of audio engineering. Students are taught ways to apply their knowledge to everyday situations when dealing with audio software development and engineering, and the program helps them build their knowledge of digital programming and design as well as audio engineering and other related topics.
Many universities and colleges around the world also offer online degrees in audio engineering, so if your daily schedule is rather hectic but you are still interested in earning a degree in audio engineering, you should consider exploring online degree options.
Careers in Audio Engineering
While you are earning your degree in audio engineering, it is important that you begin considering the various career paths available to people with audio engineering degrees. Once you decide on a career path, choosing what courses to take for the rest of your academic career becomes much easier. You are able to consult with your academic adviser about necessary courses to help you succeed in the area of your choice, making scheduling much easier and less of a hassle. This section provides examples of careers you can pursue with a degree in audio engineering.
Entry Level Careers in Audio Engineering
Once you obtain an associates degree or a bachelors degree in audio engineering, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described in this section.
Recording engineers work in recording studios, often working equipment necessary for recording sound and/or video performed in-studio. Recording studios may specialize in recording professional musicians, voices and/or jingles for television commercials, or even voices and/or music for video games. It is not uncommon for recording engineers to have an associates degree or bachelors degree in audio engineering or a related field. They possess excellent communication skills and are quick to learn new tasks. As a recording engineer, once you’ve gained a few years of experience, you may even qualify for a studio management position.
Recording engineers just entering the field can earn around $20,000 a year. With more experience, they are capable of earning over $40,000 annually.
Broadcast technicians assist in the basic setup and functioning of electronic equipment that is used for transmitting and regulating radio and television waves in order to broadcast shows. They also focus on monitoring the sound quality and volume transmitted through those waves. Broadcast technicians typically have an associates or bachelors degree in anything from broadcast technology to audio engineering. They have excellent background knowledge in mathematics and science and are skilled problem solvers and communicators.
Broadcast technicians may earn around $35,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.
A monitor engineer typically takes care of the setup, control, and maintenance of stage speakers, or monitors, for a musician or band performing live. He or she stands by the monitor mixing console, assisting in the control of the band’s in-ears monitor equipment, as well. There is no specific formal education necessary to become a monitor engineer, although an associates degree or bachelors degree in audio engineering is particularly impressive. Experience with electronic sound equipment is incredibly beneficial, and excellent hearing and a particular affinity for music are imperative characteristics for those interested in becoming monitor engineers.
Monitor engineers can earn around $45,000 or more annually, based on education and experience levels.
Advanced Careers in Audio Engineering
After earning your masters degree in audio engineering, it is likely that you will qualify for one or both of the positions listed here. Some positions may require only a bachelors degree in audio engineering, but those positions often require years of experience in a field related to that particular industry.
A digital remastering engineer spends his or her time converting older types of recordings into newer, more up-to-date forms of digital media. Remastering engineers work with everything from vinyl records to cassette tapes in order to prepare them for sales as CDs or MP3s. They possess incredible electronic and audio engineering skills, often possessing degrees in those particular subjects with experience in the recording industry. They also have excellent hearing skills and are able to distinguish varying sound qualities in order to provide the best possible sound through digital media formats.
Remastering engineers can earn around $50,000 or more annually, depending on their knowledge and experience in the field of recording.
A studio manager oversees the production of recordings and is often at least partial owner of the studio. Studio managers are also in charge of organizing recording sessions and maintaining budgets for the studios, so strong backgrounds in verbal and written communication and finance are particularly beneficial for people looking to become studio managers. Studio managers typically have over five years experience as recording engineers or have held other positions in the field and possess excellent leadership abilities. Formal higher education is not always necessary, but it makes for an impressive resume.
Studio managers are capable of earning over $85,000 a year, depending on education and experience levels.
Companies that Hire People with Audio Engineering Degrees
Employers listing positions in the job market will always be searching for people with audio engineering degrees. With a degree in audio engineering, your career opportunities are plentiful. Audio engineering is used to help provide entertainment, and the world of entertainment is always expanding. Below is a brief list of companies that hire people with audio engineering degrees.
Crestron Electronics – headquarters in Rockleigh, NJ; hires positions for applications engineers, engineering technicians, etc.
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation – headquarters in Scottsdale, AZ; hires positions for software project engineers, electronics sourcing leads, and various other engineers
Discovery Communications, Inc. – headquarters in Silver Spring, MD; hires positions for digital media engineers, front end engineers, IT technical support analysts, broadcast services engineers, etc.
WWE – headquarters in Stanford, CT; hires positions for digital asset technicians, digital content technicians, network analysts, broadcast engineering project managers, etc.
With film and radio industries constantly growing, audio engineers will always be in demand. The information provided in this article is meant as only a starting point in your journey to exploring audio engineering. Start searching for the degree program that suits your career goals today to make a difference in the lives of audiences around the world tomorrow.