People with careers in audio engineering often work in the radio, TV, film or recording industries. However, projects often spread across all these multimedia and spill into others. Audio engineers are responsible for operating equipment used to create, manipulate, record, and mix sounds and sound effects. While audio engineering can include music engineering, it also covers a broad spectrum of audio sciences.
If you are looking for technical career within the arts and entertainment industry, audio engineering may be right for you. An audio engineer is both creative and technical, using his abilities to operate technical equipment and creatively manipulate sounds. Most audio engineers are employed in entertainment-related industries where the job outlook appears good over the next few years.
1. Vocational schools offer certificate programs in audio engineering, and further education in the field can be gained at colleges or universities. College coursework in audio engineering is an asset when job hunting, but beyond this, according to Learn4Good.com, most employers prefer that job candidates have previous work experience, such as an internship at a radio station or recording studio.
2. Having strong contacts in the industry is a key to success in audio engineering. Beyond this, audio engineers need to have a strong technical sense and a keen ear for sounds. They also need to be able to detect and correct static, feedback and other unwanted disturbances. Knowledge of music is a plus in some positions, too.
3. Audio engineers do not require a license, but the Society of Broadcast Engineers does recommend engineers take and pass a certification program. According to Learn4Good.com, this certificate---which is granted after applicants successfully pass an exam---is a sign of professionalism and expertise in the field. However, it is not a necessity when it comes to having a successful and lucrative career in the industry.
4. Within the field of audio engineering, there are many distinct career paths available. All require an extensive knowledge of sound and sound technology. Production engineers are responsible for setting up and monitoring all the sound equipment in the studio. Often working in radio stations, they control sound effects libraries and mixing boards, adjusting volume, pitch, reverb and other audio dynamics.
5. Radio operators are responsible for the transmission and reception of audio information. Using power tools and hand tools, operators repair sound equipment and make sure all commutation systems run smoothly. Radio operators are often employed in the military, playing a crucial role in guaranteeing a constant communication link between military personnel.
6. According to SimplyHired.com, the average annual salary of an audio technician in 2009 was $40,000, while the average salary for an audio engineer was $73,000.
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