Sound engineer job description

A sound engineer is a technical media professional who operates recording and amplification machines and equipment. He is used in a variety of settings including recording studios, theatres, concert venues and convention centres.

Job Responsibilities

A sound engineer liaises with producers and performers to establish production goals and desired results. She mixes and edits tracks using sound mixing boards. She records sounds using recording equipment. She adjusts sound quality and volume using her soundboard. She may duplicate recordings into different formats. She tests equipment to ensure that it all works properly. She keeps records of her recordings. She troubleshoots and makes basic repairs on her equipment.

Job Opportunities

Sound engineers are employed by production companies, theatres, concert venues and nightclubs. Additionally, schools, universities and casinos all employ sound engineers. A candidate seeking this type of employment can apply directly to the company or venue for which he would like to work. These roles may also be advertised in the classified section of her local newspapers. Additionally, these roles may be listed on online job search boards such as, and Professional organisations such as the Audio Engineering Society provide resources and networking opportunities for candidates seeking to enter the industry. Many schools that offer training in sound engineering also provide job placement assistance to graduates.

Qualitative Requirements

To be successful as a sound engineer, a candidate must be a good listener, paying full attention to what her client is trying to achieve. She must also have excellent hearing. She must be able to precisely adjust the controls of her equipment for desired effect. She should also possess exceptional auditory attention, able to focus on one source of sound, ignoring all others.

Educational Requirements

A candidates seeking a role as a sound engineer must possess a high school diploma or equivalent. Though a four-year degree is not required, the successful candidate must possess substantial knowledge of sound engineering techniques and technology. He must also understand various occupational-related electronics and computer knowledge. This information can be learnt in a formal setting, with the candidate receive a bachelor’s degree in sound design or a related field of study. This information can also be learnt at a junior college or proprietary school, where the successful graduate will be awarded either an associates degree or diploma.

Average Compensation

According to, in 2009 the average audio visual technician working in the United States of America earns an annual base salary of £27,832. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates the employment of sound engineering technicians to increase by 17 per cent within the decade of 2006 through 2016.

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About the Author

KJ Henderson has more than a decade of HR and talent acquisition experience. He has held roles at a Fortune 100 investment bank, a media conglomerate and at one of NYC's largest executive staffing firms. He currently heads recruitment sourcing at a major movie studio. He read literature at Oxford.

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