Audio Engineer Duties & Salary

Gina L | July 23, 2009

Over the years, audio engineering and sound engineering have come to refer to two distinctly different career tracks in the audio industry. Audio engineers on the production side of the industry work in audio rooms, mixing, dubbing, and creating the sound effects and fine touches that create a memorable movie or CD. Audio engineers on the tech side, meanwhile, work on the production and care of the audio equipment that makes audio production and recording possible. However, the majority of the time the term “audio engineer” refers to the former not the latter, and that’s why audio engineering schools focus primarily on teaching students how to create the best audio tracks possible.

What does an audio engineer do?
Because of their diverse abilities and the vital part they play in the media, audio engineers are needed in nearly every industry. From TV and movies, to CD and radio, audio engineers make the transmission and translation of sound, atmosphere, and music possible. They’re a vital part of any production and tend to work in groups, especially on larger productions such as movies.

In order to handle all of the tasks required of them, as well as the sensitive, hi-tech equipment used to make it all possible, audio engineers must first receive the right education and training from an audio engineering school. There they’ll learn all about the equipment — patch bays, mixing consoles, dynamic processors, audio cable connectors, audio monitors, mics, and samplers — and how to mix and redub audio to perfection.

How much do audio engineers get paid and what kinds of audio engineering jobs can I get?
Naturally, you’re curious as to how much audio engineers get paid for all their hard work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that as of May 2006, the median annual earnings for sound engineering technicians was $43,010, with the top 10 percent in the field raking in more than $90,770 and the bottom 10 percent earning less than $21,050.

Though the audio engineering field is not the biggest — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 people are currently employed in it — the potential for growth is there. In fact, the government projects that employment within audio engineering and related occupations is expected to increase by 17 percent between 2006 and 2016. Sound engineering technicians in particular, will see a nine percent increase in employment during the same period.

Audio engineers are needed in practically every media industry — whether it’s to dub a television show, mix a movie soundtrack, or help create the latest hit CD — so you’ll find quite a few options when it comes to finding a job. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does warn that job competition for audio engineers in urban areas can be very fierce since salaries are higher and the applicants are highly qualified.

Do people always tell you that you have an eye for fashion? Do you tend to spot trends before they really start? Are you addicted to fashion reality TV, fashion mags, and  live fashion events? While you might answer yes to all of these questions, you can’t sketch or sew to save your life, so a career in fashion is out of reach. Or is it?
Learn what a career in fashion merchandising is all about, and decide if it’s just the entry intothe fashion world you’ve been looking for.

How do I become a fashion merchandiser?
Becoming a fashion merchandiser means you have expert knowledge about the business side of the fashion world. You’re not the designer, but you’re the one who can spot which designs will spark the next hottest trend. You might not know how to sketch or sew, but you know how to sell and promote your product.  You may not be the star of the fashion week runway, but you’ll be behind the scenes, watching, researching and making connections in the industry.

In short, to get started in the field of fashion merchandising, you’ll need to become immersed in the fashion world, and all of the business interactions and transactions that take place beyond the runway. All of that knowledge begins with training and education from a fashion merchandising school. During and immediately after you complete a program of study at a fashion merchandising college, you’ll need to earn your spot by interning and working in the field, and learning from the best of the best in the fashion world.

Only then will you be truly ready to become a fashion merchandiser, on the cutting edge of new trends and styles. More important, you’ll be well versed in how to get retailers and ultimately consumers to buy into those trends, and make fashion decisions that are profitable for your clients or employer.

What will I learn in fashion merchandising school?
Both technical schools and traditional colleges alike offer fashion merchandising programs; what you choose to enroll in is dependent upon how far you wish to go in the industry. Technical and trade schools may grant you an associate degree in fashion merchandising, while traditional colleges will prep you for more advanced positions in the industry by awarding you with a bachelor’s degree. You may also wish to increase your potential by earning a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) though this is not a requirement for gaining a position in the field.

Fashion merchandising students will take lots of general courses in fashion, like fashion history, fashion design, and textiles. In addition – and here’s what sets fashion merchandising apart – you’ll take real deal business courses like marketing, management, branding, and accounting. The mix of fashion and business will help prepare you to work with others over the life cycle of a fashion item, from designers, to distributors, to retail buyers, etc.

Most reputable fashion merchandising degree programs give students the chance to work hands on with simulated or real life fashion projects. Students may also get to attend fashion shows, tour fashion magazines, meet representatives from major clothing and accessory companies, and attend industry events. What’s more is that fashion merchandising students often learn from working fashion merchandisers who share their knowledge as professors.

Video Game Design Schools

Gina L | June 19, 2009

If you play video or computer games and are more interested in how the game was created than advancing to the next level, then perhaps a career in game art and development is for you. Start out on level one — video game design schools.

By enrolling in a game art and development program, you will immerse yourself in the world of computer programming and video game design. You might already be a whiz on your own laptop or desktop, but you will become fluent in different computer languages like Java and Pascal, and you will soon learn that C++ is not a poor grade, but a useful programming tool.

There are many colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in computer science, which is one way to achieve your goal of becoming a computer programmer in video game design and development. There are also more and more video game design schools that teach the specific skills needed to make it in the field. Many companies require new hires to have some college experience and at least a bachelor’s degree if one wishes to advance in the company.

At the very least, however, an employer wants a staff of people who are at the cutting-edge of technology, which means you need to stay on top of your game when it comes to learning new programs. There are many schools, including career institutes and community colleges, that will offer certificate courses and programs in computer programming and video game design, enabling you to stay at the forefront of your field.

Game On!
If you plan on entering the exciting career of game art and development, chances are you are already a veteran gamer. Maybe you’ve got your own ideas for the “next big thing” that will take over the gaming universe. In addition to learning how to get your idea onto the computer or television screen, you’ll also get to learn how to market your ideas at video game design schools. It’s important for a computer programmer to have enough business savvy so that he or she knows the potential worth of new ideas and the right way to get them to consumers. After all, video games are a multi-million dollar industry and you deserve your share of it for your hard work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer programmers make a median salary of about $65,000 per year. Keep in mind that the more you know, the more valuable you will become to a company, which is why it is very important to advance your education, whether it is through a degree program or continued study of computers, so that you remain fresh and knowledgeable in the field of computer programming.

Silicon Valley might be a Mecca for computer types, but just as many good ideas have been created on a gamer’s laptop inside his or her home. By enrolling in a class or program at video game design schools, you’ll be ready for the next level of your career in game art and development.

Audio Engineering Schools

Gina L | June 18, 2009

Behind every amazing performer is an equally (or even more) amazing audio engineer. Audio engineering deals with sound for a wide range of applications, including music production, film and video postproduction, live sound reinforcement, advertising, multimedia, and broadcasting. Audio engineering technicians are the gurus who record, synchronize, mix, and reproduce voices, music, and sound effects. And today’s audio engineers must also be experts in software and hardware integration from synchronization to analog to digital transfers.

After completing vocational training, many audio engineers choose to pursue professional certification from the Society of Broadcast Engineers. From there, a variety of career paths open up, including recording engineering, mixing engineering, audio post engineering, live sound engineering, foldback engineering, game audio engineering, and systems engineering, to name a few.

Much like everything else in this world, audio engineering is all a science. Audio engineering deals with the recording and reproduction of sound through mechanical and electronic ways. But it’s not as simple as you may think. Plenty of fields come into play when it comes to audio engineering. For instance, some disciplines taught in audio engineering schools are acoustics, psychoacoustics, and general music.

Students at audio engineering schools must be familiar with acoustical engineering, noise control, even acoustical design. This may sound too complicated for the average Joe, but audio engineering technicians know – and they have an audio engineering degree to back up their expertise.

As an audio engineering technician manipulates sound by way of mechanical means, he or she may also use their creativity on the job. These “sound engineers” or “sound guys” (as they’re sometimes called) are listed in the credits in commercial music recordings, even movies. You can certainly work your way up to similar notoriety after you’ve completed a program at audio engineering schools and gotten some experience under your belt.

As for what it takes to become an audio engineering technician, you must attend one of many audio engineering schools out there and get an audio engineering degree before you hit it big in the music industry. Keep in mind, an audio engineering technician is usually familiar with design and the operation of sound recording, sound reinforcement, and sound broadcasting equipment. He or she must also be mechanical as a portion of the job entails installing equipment in the recording studio and on set. Moreover, since mixing consoles, attaching microphones, working with digital audio workstations, etc. are a part of the semi-glamorous job, a technical background is advantageous.

And let’s not forget about creativity – audio engineering professionals must also be creative. He or she must realize an artist’s or record producer’s creative vision, so it’s beneficial to have the same artistic mentality behind the scenes.

Audio engineering schools are a great place to start if you want to break into this kind of sound career. You’ll gain sound knowledge from experts of the audio engineering industry, while having a unique experience. Explore audio engineering and tune in to the sounds of success.