Working as a sound engineering technician involves using technical skills and artistic creativity to produce and record high-quality audio for a variety of media, including movies, music, radio, and television. Sound engineering technicians may work in recording studios, live performance venues, or on location, depending on the type of project they are working on. The work of sound engineering technicians can be closely related to the Artistic theme code in the Strong Interest Inventory Assessment, as they use their creativity and technical skills to produce high-quality sound recordings.
The day-to-day responsibilities of a sound engineering technician may include setting up and testing sound equipment, adjusting levels and equalization to ensure clear and balanced recordings, and editing and mixing recorded sound. They may also work with musicians, producers, and directors to capture the desired sound for a particular project.
Sound engineering technicians must have a good ear for sound and a strong understanding of how sound behaves in different environments, as well as the ability to use technology to produce the desired results. They must also be able to work well under pressure and to meet tight deadlines, as they often work on tight schedules in fast-paced environments.
Some sound engineering technicians may specialize in recording music, working in recording studios to capture high-quality audio for albums and live performances. Others may specialize in sound design for film and television, creating sound effects and scores to enhance the visual experience.
Some sound engineering technicians may also specialize in live sound reinforcement, working in live performance venues to provide sound reinforcement for concerts, theater productions, and other events.
During the recording process, sound engineers may use mixing consoles, equalizers, and digital audio workstations (DAWs) to adjust levels and equalization and to mix recorded sound. They may also use digital signal processing (DSP) software to add effects, such as reverb and delay, to the sound recording.
In the editing phase, sound engineering technicians may use software such as Pro Tools or Logic Pro to edit and manipulate recorded sound. They may also use waveform editors to make precise cuts and adjustments to the sound, as well as to correct any audio errors.
For live sound reinforcement, sound engineering technicians may use digital mixing consoles and sound reinforcement systems, such as speaker arrays and amplifiers, to provide high-quality sound for live audiences. They may also use digital delay systems and feedback elimination software to prevent sound reinforcement problems, such as feedback.
Sound engineering technicians often have a post-secondary education in sound engineering, audio technology, or a related field. Some may have an associate’s degree, while others may have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as music technology or audio production. Additionally, many sound engineering technicians also acquire practical experience through internships or entry-level positions in recording studios or live performance venues. This hands-on experience can be an important part of a sound engineering technician’s training, as it allows them to develop their technical skills and to gain a deeper understanding of the recording process.
The compensation for sound engineering technicians can differ based on factors such as where they work, how long they’ve been in the field, and what kind of employer they work for. On average, the median yearly earnings for this profession were reported to be approximately $52,820 in the year 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some sound engineering technicians in the top earning bracket earned over $83,000 per annum while others in the lower bracket made less than $31,000.
Below are some employment trends for Sound Engineering Technicians:
- Median Salary: $29.09 hourly, $60,500 annually
- Employment: 15,200 employees
- Projected growth (2021-2031): Faster than average (8% to 10%)
- Projected job openings (2021-2031): 1,600
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org