If you love being “behind the glass” in a production studio, you may want to consider a career in audio production. The field has exploded in recent years due to the high demand for both video and audio on the internet and the ever-growing expectations for movies, music, and other forms of entertainment to have top-quality sound effects.
What Type of Degree Can I Get in Audio Production?
Some schools offer a specific degree in audio production. These courses could include study in everything from the history of music and recording to copyright law to digital audio technology. Other schools offer shorter degree programs such as an Associate’s degree.
You may want to combine your audio production degree with a complementary area of study. For example, you might wish to study some of the aspects of video production and how they combine with audio work to create media.
How Much Does an Audio Production Specialist Make?
The annual median salary for audio production specialists varies according to their education and type of job duties. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a sound engineering technician is $47,080; for audio and video equipment technicians, $40,540; and for broadcast technicians, $35,120. Of course, much depends on where you work and how much experience you have in your field. Experienced audio technicians are often able to assemble a portfolio of previous work that can get them top jobs in the industry, while those entering the field may have to take lower-paying jobs until they gain the experience to command a better salary.
Where Do Audio Production Specialists Work?
Audio production specialists work in a variety of locations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 percent work in radio and television broadcasting. Another 10 percent work in the motion picture and video industries, 10 percent work in the performing arts or sports fields, and 9 percent work in education.
Audio production specialists may work in television or recording studios, school technology departments, motion picture dubbing studios, computer graphic and animation labs, or theaters or sports arenas.
What is the Job Outlook for Audio Production Specialists?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2010 and 2020, broadcast and sound engineering technician jobs will increase by 10 percent, audio and visual equipment technician jobs will increase by about 13, and jobs for broadcast technicians are expected to increase by about nine percent. Employment for sound engineering technicians will increase by one percent.
One thing that will slow job growth in some areas of audio production is the transition to new types of media. Those who have been used to working with manual synthesizers, for example, will have to learn to incorporate new digital technology into their practice as more and more music mixing moves to the digital realm.
Those who are interested in a career in audio production will find the best job opportunities in expanding companies or institutions that want to update the way they handle audio media. For example, schools have a high level of demand for good audio technicians as they attempt to implement more modern methods in their teaching, including the use of visual and audio aids. Working with audio aspects of multimedia on the internet for advertising and other purposes will also be a growing field.
Audio production can provide a great venue for a motivated student to begin a productive career if that person is willing to be flexible and is able to work in more than one area of audio production.