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Sound Engineering Technicians Career

Career Description

Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.

What Job Titles Sound Engineering Technicians Might Have

  • Audio Engineer
  • Mixer
  • Recording Engineer
  • Sound Engineer

What Sound Engineering Technicians Do

  • Confer with producers, performers, and others to determine and achieve the desired sound for a production, such as a musical recording or a film.
  • Prepare for recording sessions by performing activities such as selecting and setting up microphones.
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
  • Regulate volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.
  • Separate instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combine sounds later during the mixing or postproduction stage.
  • Mix and edit voices, music, and taped sound effects for live performances and for prerecorded events, using sound mixing boards.
  • Keep logs of recordings.
  • Report equipment problems and ensure that required repairs are made.
  • Set up, test, and adjust recording equipment for recording sessions and live performances.
  • Synchronize and equalize prerecorded dialogue, music, and sound effects with visual action of motion pictures or television productions, using control consoles.
  • Convert video and audio recordings into digital formats for editing or archiving.
  • Reproduce and duplicate sound recordings from original recording media, using sound editing and duplication equipment.
  • Tear down equipment after event completion.

What Sound Engineering Technicians Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Sound Engineering Technicians Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

What Sound Engineering Technicians Need to Learn

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Median Salary: $53,680

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.