Sound engineering technicians can find work in many industries, including radio, television, live concerts and productions, plays, recording studios and films. These audio professionals often perform a wide range of specialised services, such as operating recording equipment and microphones, synchronising video to audio, mixing live and studio sound, adding and recording sound effects, and duplicating audio media. Many factors can contribute to the salary that a sound engineering technician can earn.
Technically, a formal education is not need to become a sound engineer, but many technicians these days complete a vocational program or earn a degree in a related subject. Knowledge of math, electronics the physics of sound are also often a prerequisite for sound engineer jobs or training. Experience in sound-production environments or as a musician or radio broadcaster can be beneficial as well. Proficiencies with computers and certain programs are standard in the modern world of recording and film making.
Location and Averages
Cost of living of a city or state may have an influence on the salary of a sound engineer technician, but the demand for media production is a greater determinant. Smaller towns have lower salaries, but in large cities where the entertainment industry is thriving, job competition is harsher and salaries higher. In Los Angeles, the average music recording engineer can average anywhere from £15,328 to £45,807 a year. In New York City, such a technician can earn an average of £24,375 to £65,000 annually, according to PayScale as of Jan 2011. The national average for sound engineer technicians in the United States is £24,771 a year, according to StateUniversity.com.
A live sound engineer directs and mixes the audio component of a live concert. The Berklee College of Music says that full time live sound professionals can average anywhere from £19,500 to £78,000 a year, depending on the position they are in, venue size, or the act they are working with.
Recording and Television Studios
Studio engineers charge anywhere from £13 to £130 an hour, depending on their facilities, equipment, and level of experience. In the film industry, the average rate for motion picture sound recording is £13 to £19 an hour, according to PayScale, as of January 2011.