Studio sound engineer

Alternative titles for this job include Audio engineer, recording engineer

Sound engineers work in studios and make recordings of music, speech and sound effects.

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

How to become a studio sound engineer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training providers

University

You could do a foundation degree or degree in:

  • sound engineering and production
  • audio engineering
  • music production

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You could take a college course like:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Sound Production
  • Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

Apprenticeship

You could complete a creative venue technician or technical theatre advanced apprenticeship, which have options in sound.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start as a runner or an assistant in a recording studio and work your way up by learning basic tasks and making contacts.

Volunteering and experience

You can work on community music events, DJ projects, hospital or community radio, or mix and record music in a home studio and post your work online.

Other routes

You could do short courses offered by private training providers to build up your skills and knowledge.

More information

Career tips

This is a job where getting experience and making contacts is important to help you to find work.

You'll need a good knowledge of music and recording technology. You may also find it useful to understand physics and electronics.

Further information

You can find out more about working in sound engineering from Joint Audio Media Education Support and Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • persistence and determination
  • customer service skills
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might involve:

  • planning recording sessions with producers and artists
  • setting up microphones and equipment in the studio
  • making sure the volume and recording levels are set correctly
  • operating recording equipment and adding effects
  • recording each instrument or vocal onto a separate track
  • mixing tracks to produce a final 'master' track
  • logging recordings and other details of the session in the studio archive

Working environment

You could work at a recording studio.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could specialise in a particular technical skill, become a music producer, studio manager, or start your own recording studio.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Creative Venue Technician Apprentice

  • Wage : £11,190.00 Annually
  • Location: Ottery St. Mary EX11 1RA

Creative Venue Technician Apprenticeship

  • Wage : £174.00 - £328.40 Weekly
  • Location: Salford M50 3AZ

Courses In England

BTEC Sound Engineering

  • Provider: Taverham High School
  • Start date: 02 September 2020
  • Location: Norwich

BTEC National Extended Certificate in Sound Engineering

  • Provider: The Deanery Church of England High School and Sixth Form College
  • Start date: 01 September 2020
  • Location: WIGAN

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