What Does A Sound Engineering Technician Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Sound Engineering Technicians

Sound Engineering Technicians assemble and operate equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce sound, including music, voices, or sound effects, for theater, video, film, television, podcasts, sporting events, and other productions.

Salary
$67210
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth
Low

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Sound Engineering Technicians assemble and operate equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce sound, including music, voices, or sound effects, for theater, video, film, television, podcasts, sporting events, and other productions.

  • Confer with producers, performers, and others to determine and achieve the desired sound for a production, such as a musical recording or a film.
  • Prepare for recording sessions by performing such activities as selecting and setting up microphones.
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
  • Regulate volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Sound Engineering Technicians tear down equipment after event completion. They regulate volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.

A typical day for a Sound Engineering Technician will also include:

  • Prepare for recording sessions by performing such activities as selecting and setting up microphones.
  • Report equipment problems and ensure that required repairs are made.
  • Separate instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combine sounds during the mixing or postproduction stage.
  • Set up, test, and adjust recording equipment for recording sessions and live performances.
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Sound Engineering Technicians also convert video and audio recordings into digital formats for editing or archiving. They may also create musical instrument digital interface programs for music projects, commercials, or film postproduction.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Sound Engineering Technicians report equipment problems and ensure that required repairs are made. They might also reproduce and duplicate sound recordings from original recording media, using sound editing and duplication equipment.

In addition, they keep logs of recordings.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them set up, test, and adjust recording equipment for recording sessions and live performances.

To some Sound Engineering Technicians, it is also their responsibility to separate instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combine sounds during the mixing or postproduction stage.

Featured Schools


What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Very High

Is this job meaningful

Low

76% said they were satisfied with their job and 42% said they found their job meaningful.


Freelance

I’ve worked as a sound engineer for several studios in Bangalore for over 5 years now. And also picked up live sound engineering gigs in Delhi and Bangalore over the year. Currently, I take up freelancing gigs and work on my own music. Live mixing for a band at the studio My typical day As … Read More


I’m Stelios Mac, I’m 21 years old and am a Live Sound Engineer based in Chania, Greece. I’ve been working as a sound engineer professionally for almost 4 years, but have been a hobbyist for almost another 6 before that. I have had the pleasure of running sound (FOH and/or monitors) for local one-off productions … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want independence and like to work on their own and make decisions.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week).

How much do they make

Average salary

$67210 per year

Average hourly wage

$32 per hour

Entry-level Sound Engineering Technicians with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $27,650 to $35,460 per year or $13 to $17 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $119,720 $58
Senior (Top 25%) $77,410 $37
Median $53,520 $26
Junior (Bottom 25%) $35,460 $17
No experience (Bottom 10%) $27,650 $13

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Sound Engineering Technicians based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services $92550 $44.49
Motion Picture and Video Industries $87310 $41.98
Scientific Research and Development Services $71740 $34.49
Employment Services $69790 $33.55
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers $69310 $33.32
Sound Recording Industries $67860 $32.63
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $67220 $32.32
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods $64390 $30.96
Performing Arts Companies $63980 $30.76
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events $63110 $30.34

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Sound Engineering Technicians work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Sound Engineering Technicians including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Sound Recording Industries 2900 $67860 $32.63
Motion Picture and Video Industries 2520 $87310 $41.98
Radio and Television Broadcasting 700 $56640 $27.23
Performing Arts Companies 610 $63980 $30.76
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 540 $38570 $18.54
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events 410 $63110 $30.34
Rental and Leasing Services 350 $57830 $27.80
Software Publishers 250 $ $*
Independent Artists, Writers, and Performers 250 $69310 $33.32
Other Information Services 200 $ $*

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
7%

40 hours
7%

More than 40 hours
85%

Working schedule

22%

74%

4%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
96%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
38%

Every day
58%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
38%

Every day
58%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
15%

Once a year
48%

Once a month
26%

Once a week
11%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
0%

Slightly competitive
4%

Moderately competitive
8%

Highly competitive
23%

Extremely competitive
65%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
15%

Every day
85%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
30%

Once a year or more
37%

Once a month or more
15%

Once a week or more
19%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
31%

Once a year or more
31%

Once a month or more
35%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
26%

Once a year or more
33%

Once a month or more
26%

Once a week or more
15%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
19%

High School Diploma or equivalent
19%

Post-Secondary Certificate
11%

Some College Courses
7%

Associate’s Degree or similar
22%

Bachelor’s Degree
22%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Music Technology

A program that focuses on the creative aspects of the blending of music and technology; and that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to the composition, recording, synthesis, and performance of music; audio-visual production; scoring for film and multimedia; and software and multimedia development. Includes instruction in music theory, music history, composition, acoustics, recording technology, computer composition, electronic music synthesis, technology-based performance, 3D sound and spatial audio, and music business and law.

Audio Engineering Technology

A program of study that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the mixing, recording, and production of music. Includes instruction in acoustics, audio mixing, audio production, audio recording, computer composition of music, music theory, digital devices, and sound technology.

Recording Arts Technology

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to the production of sound recordings as finished products or as components of film/video, broadcast, live, or mixed media productions. Includes instruction in sound equipment operation and maintenance; music, dialogue, and sound effects recording; soundtrack editing; dubbing and mixing; sound engineering; tape, disk, and CD production; digital recording and transmission; amplification and modulation; and working with producers, editors, directors, artists, and production managers.


Communications Technology

A program that generally prepares individuals to function as workers and managers within communications industries. Includes instruction in business economics; basic management; principles of interpersonal and mediated communications; radio, television, and digital media production; and related aspects of technology and communications systems.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
4%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
0%

3 to 6 months
4%

6 months to 1 year
15%

1 to 2 years
30%

2 to 4 years
30%

4 to 6 years
11%

6 to 8 years
4%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
4%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
4%

1 month
19%

1 to 3 months
27%

3 to 6 months
19%

6 months to 1 year
12%

1 to 2 years
8%

2 to 4 years
12%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
95%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
38%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
71%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
48%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
52%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
76%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
69%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
67%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
81%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
43%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
86%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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