Sound Technician

A sound technician typically specializes in radio and television, live music performances such as concerts, sound recordings or film. If this technical profession appeals to you, earning an online degree could be your first step to building a new career.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the best preparation for a lucrative job as a sound technician is through a technical school or college degree such as:

  • Associate degree in broadcast technology, electronics or computer networking
  • Bachelor’s degree in broadcast technology, electronics or computer networking

Although entry-level positions exist for associate degree holders, a bachelor’s degree allows for greater job opportunities and higher salaries. Depending on the level of education and the specialty area, a sound technician candidate may be required to complete an apprenticeship.

Sound Technician Job Description

Sound technicians have various responsibilities involved in setting up, operating and maintaining computer and electronic equipment. Some machines and computer set ups are more complex than others, requiring specialized training. The understanding of wiring and cable systems is essential for a sound technician.

Operating sound equipment and making adjustments during a performance requires that a sound technician monitor microphones, speakers, video screens and even recording equipment simultaneously. Sound technicians need to multi-task and troubleshoot on a regular basis.

Sound technicians might do any or all of the following tasks:

  • Set up electrical and computerized sound equipment.
  • Operate sound equipment before performances.
  • Monitor different types of equipment during performances.
  • Adjust sound equipment variables during performances and recording sessions.
  • Troubleshoot sound problems.
  • Perform necessary maintenance on sound equipment and wiring systems.

Sound technicians should expect to work a flexible schedule including weekends, nights and holidays. Depending on the area of specialty, some sound technicians work in excess of 40 hours per week and may be required to respond quickly to schedule changes.

Sound Technician Salary

Sound technicians job opportunities are expected to grow at 13%, an average rate compared to other professions, as noted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The greatest demand for sound technicians is anticipated to be in the private corporate sector as many companies create their own audio/visual departments rather than outsourcing.

The average salary for a sound technician, according to a May 2008 U.S. Department of Labor report, was over $47,000. Salaries for this profession range from $24,000 to $93,000 depending on education level, experience and area of specialty. The most competitive market for sound technicians lies in metropolitan areas, with smaller cities offering more job openings.

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