What do Sound Engineering Technicians Do?
Found in music, film, theater, and throughout many other sub-categories of the entertainment industry, sound engineering technicians fulfill a crucial role. They produce, enhance, record, mix, and sync music, effects, vocal tracks, and other auditory work for use in recordings, productions, events, and more.Job opening projections vary by state, but the national average for increases in this field is quite modest at just 1% between 2012 and 2022. In that 10-year window, approximately 320 new jobs are expected to become available nationwide for audio technicians.
Sound Engineering Technicians Skills and Abilities
The particular abilities which benefit workers in this profession, as expected, have much to do with sound and listening. Monitoring, selective attention, and hearing sensitivity are all attributes necessary to becoming a successful sound engineering tech. The abilities to also speak and communicate clearly are beneficial, as is good near vision for analyzing visual details registered via computer software.Other practical skills include speech recognition, written and oral expression, and critical thinking abilities, which are necessary to identify opportunities and develop solutions.
Sound Engineering Technicians Duties
Sound engineer techs often spend a fair amount of time conferring with stakeholders, such as performers and producers, in order to understand the detailed needs of a particular portion of audio. You will very likely spend much of your time working with industry software, transcribing detailed information about recordings, and applying creative thought in order to achieve your goals.Some of the specific duties which are routine to this profession include:
- Analyzing, mixing, and balancing various audio inputs
- Operating playback and recording equipment and software
- Converting to and from various analog and digital formats
- Generating, modifying, or reproducing specific sound types
- Operating consoles or control centers for audio and related media production
Sound Engineering Technicians Tools and Technology
A variety of specialized applications and components frequently come into play in this occupation, both hardware- and software-based. Computer technology includes programs such as Avid, SoundForge, Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar, and Final Cut Pro. Some of the physical tools you should expect to utilize in this field include:
- Audio filters and attenuators
- Mixers, samplers, compressors and other related processors
- Wired and wireless transmitters and receivers
- Microphones, amplifiers, and equalizers
Education and Training for Sound Engineering Technicians
The educational needs for sound engineers vary, although in many cases a high school diploma is sufficient. Those who have completed some college work or have attained a Bachelor’s degree comprise the majority of this industry segment, with greater emphasis placed on formal education for those in arts, design and media-related fields.Previous work experience is not generally a stated requirement for employment consideration, although most professionals benefit from some short-term training on the job.
Sound Engineering Technicians Salary
Just as the jobs within this occupation vary greatly, so do the expected salaries. The bottom 10% of earners in this field pull an average of $22,800 each year, compared against $106,900 per year for those in the top 10% of technicians. The 2014 median stands at $49,900, with a greater chance of securing higher pay in states known for entertainment production (including California, New York, and New Jersey).
Sound Engineering Technicians Jobs by Geography
Although more sound engineering jobs are concentrated in several coastal states with larger populations, some of the greatest growth is being forecasted inland. Utah, Colorado, and Arizona are among the three states with the top projected increases for the 10-year period between 2012 and 2022. Interestingly, New York, California and New Jersey each expect less than 7% growth over the same time period, highlighting a shift in how and where entertainment content is being produced.