What Is a Good Salary for A Sound Engineer?

The average annual salary for a Sound Engineer in the United States is $74,300. The starting salary is 36,400 USD and goes up to 116,000 USD at the top end of the scale (highest).

This is what the average individual earns in a year, including the cost of living, transportation, and other extras. Experience, skills, gender, and geography significantly affect Sound Engineer’s salaries.

salary sound engineer

Based on Years of Experience

The most crucial factor in determining a salary is the worker’s experience level. An employee’s compensation increases in a straight line as their experience increases.

  • Sound Engineers who have less than two years of experience may expect to earn $43,200 per year.
  • A person with between two and five years of experience might expect to earn $55,500 per year.
  • Thirty-eight percent more money is expected to be earned by individuals with five to 10 years of experience than those with two to five years of experience.
  • Those with ten to fifteen years of expertise in the area of sound engineering make an average yearly salary of $94,900, which is 24% more than those with just five to ten years.
  • A person with fifteen to twenty years of experience is expected to make seven percent more money than a person with 10 to fifteen years of experience.
  • Staff with twenty years or more of professional experience earn $108,000 annually, which is 7% more than staff with fifteen to twenty years of professional experience.

 How does the level of education affect pay?

How much more money can you expect to make if you have a college degree?

Wages for Sound Engineers were split down by education level in order to make comparisons between the two.

  • After graduating from high school, a Sound Engineer may expect to earn $53,900 per year.
  • A person with a Certificate or Diploma makes 15% more money than a person with a High School diploma.
  • Those with a Bachelor’s degree earn 35% more than those with a Certificate or Diploma, on average $83,400 a year.
  • Twenty-six percent more money is earned by professionals with a Master’s degree than those with a Bachelor’s degree at an average income of $105,000.

What are the different specializations of Sound Engineering?

Audio Technician

An audio technician can expect to make an annual salary of $59,227.

Audio technicians work in a wide range of media and broadcasting sectors, capturing audio signals.

Including audio gear, speakers, and sound mixers, they handle everything from cables and microphones to the monitor.

In addition, audio professionals repair faulty equipment so that the recording may go as planned with the least amount of downtime feasible.

All kinds of houses of worship, as well as performance halls, studios, and radio stations, need them.

To assist in the creative process of mixing audio, an audio technician works under a sound engineer.

Audio Engineer

An audio engineer can expect to make an annual salary of $51,019 on average.

An audio engineer is a trained professional specializing in sound recording, mixing, and reproduction. When working with clients like record producers, musicians, and artists, a sound designer captures the sound and manages the equalization, compression, and gates during mixing.

They must be able to operate and maintain recording equipment with a high degree of proficiency.

Sound Designer

The average annual wage for a Sound Designer is $62,535.

It is the job of a sound designer in the audio business to locate and procure all of the sound effects required for a show’s recorded or live components, depending on the format.

In order to plan the show’s sound design and cue list, producers and sound designers must collaborate.

They’re needed to set up any sound reinforcement equipment, which is a must for production. Sound designers rely on popular sound editing software like Audacity and QLab.

What does a sound engineer actually do?

Sound engineers are critical to the success of the music industry.

Engineers specializing in sound equalization and electrical effects are commonly referred to as audio engineers or sound engineers.

Those who fall into this category aren’t limited to careers in the music industry. Some end up developing and controlling sound at conferences, theatres, and other venues where sound projection is required for an audience to listen to the speakers.

To provide the best possible sound quality, sound engineers utilize their hearing and knowledge of acoustics to control microphones, sound levels, and outputs. In addition to music, sound engineers may be found in film, radio, television, computer games, theatre, and sports.

Sound Engineer Options

Front-of-house sound mixing is only one of many parts of the profession of sound engineering.

Recording, editing, mixing, and mastering are just some of the four basic stages of a commercial recording.

Many different types of sound engineers have risen to meet the demands of these varying roles and specialities.

A full crew of sound engineers is usually reserved for larger, better-funded venues or tours, so keep in mind that smaller performances and events may only have one sound person in charge of all of these responsibilities.

Aside from “sound engineer,” a person in this position may also be known as:

Monitor sound engineers: A monitor engineer is in charge of creating the sound that musicians hear via their stage monitors. If you can, turn down my guitar just a little bit,” the monitor sound engineer overhears a band member’s request.

Systems engineers: They are in charge of setting up amplifiers, complicated PA systems, and speakers for musicians and other sound professionals.

Studio sound engineers: Capture the performances of musicians, actors, and other performers.

Research and development audio engineers: It is their job to design new technologies, equipment, and methods that will enhance audio engineering.

Wireless microphone engineers: When it comes to live concerts, athletic events, and corporate gatherings, wireless microphone engineers are in high demand.

Game audio designer engineers: Because audio is such an important component of video and computer game production, audio designers and engineers handle it.

How to Become an Audio Engineer

Sound engineers come in many shapes and sizes regarding their educational and professional backgrounds.

It’s possible to work in sound engineering if you’ve finished postsecondary training in broadcasting, music and audio, radio and television, or other related fields.

Many universities and colleges offer programs in audio engineering and sound recording.

However, audio engineers are usually self-taught and earn their competence via extensive on-the-job training.

In order to become a licensed sound engineer, you must pass an examination by the Society of Broadcast Engineers (CEA).

Only those with a minimum of five years of experience as an audio engineer may apply.

Having the qualification might help individuals stand out as employment candidates in other circumstances.

You may skip the first two years of college if you already hold a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in a similar field of study.

Are sound engineers paid royalties?

As a mixing engineer, you’re entitled to a share of the “Sound Recording” / “Master” royalties earned by digital recordings. As a result, in order to get royalties for your work, you must sign up as an affiliate or “Creative Participant.”

What is the main difference between an audio engineer and a sound engineer?

Even though audio engineers and sound engineers are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a significant distinction. Audio engineers are more typically used to describe studio work, while “sound engineers” are more usually used to describe work done at a live event or at a studio. Audio engineers can go by the title of “recording engineers.”

FAQ

How Satisfying Is a Career as A Sound Engineer?

As a result of the many specializations offered, sound engineering is a satisfying career choice. You may specialize in one of several subfields to reduce your possibilities for formal training. Sound engineering is a rewarding profession to pursue at this moment.

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Be a Sound Engineer?

The time it takes to complete the training varies for each career path. If you want to become a sound engineer, it might take you anywhere from two to six years. A postsecondary degree program includes an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Are Sound Engineers Paid Royalties?

As a mixing engineer, you’re entitled to a share of the “Sound Recording” / “Master” royalties earned by digital recordings. As a result, in order to get royalties for your work, you must sign up as an affiliate or “Creative Participant.”

What Is the Main Difference Between an Audio Engineer and a Sound Engineer?

Even though audio engineers and sound engineers are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a significant distinction. Audio engineers are more typically used to describe studio work, while “sound engineers” are more usually used to describe work done at a live event or at a studio. Audio engineers can go by the title of “recording engineers.”