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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)

£17,000 Starter

to

£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays as customers demand

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

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
  • electrical and electronics engineering

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

College

You could take a college course like:

  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sound Engineering
  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology
  • Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology
  • T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could do an assistant recording technician higher apprenticeship or a broadcast and media systems engineer degree apprenticeship.

You may also be able to transfer the skills and knowledge from a creative venue technician intermediate apprenticeship to this role.

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
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start as a runner or an assistant in a recording studio and work your way up.

Volunteering

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 (JAMES).

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day duties you could:

  • plan recording sessions with producers and artists
  • set up microphones and equipment in the studio
  • make sure the volume and recording levels are set correctly
  • operate recording equipment and add effects
  • record each instrument or vocal onto a separate track
  • mix tracks to produce a final 'master' track
  • log recordings and other details of the session in the studio archive

Working environment

You could work at a recording studio.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, many studio sound engineers go freelance. You could specialise in a particular technical skill, become a music producer, studio manager, or even start your own recording studio.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Creative Venue Technician Apprentice

  • Wage: £144.30 Weekly
  • Location: Sherborne

Creative Venue Technician Apprentice

  • Wage: £16,679.52 Annually
  • Location: Leicester

Courses In England

BTCC Intro to Live Sound Engineering

  • Provider: BRIDGWATER AND TAUNTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 11 January 2022
  • Location: Bridgwater

Music Technology

  • Provider: TAVERHAM HIGH SCHOOL
  • Start date: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Norwich

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