Students who complete the associate degree program in audio production will earn either an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, and the program usually include instruction on the recording equipment used by industry professionals. These programs will teach students how to use digital technologies for editing and recording sound based on theoretical foundations of music, electronics, and sound engineering. Most of the curriculum is generally hands-on, with laboratory and practical elements requiring students to use editing and studios software. Depending on the programs, some might include internship opportunities. To gain admission into the associate degree program, students are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.
Students may gain background knowledge in sound and music theories that they can then apply in practical coursework. Generally, an audio production associate degree program course topics may include the following:
•Music merchandising and management
•Studio recording techniques
Salary Information and Employment Outlook
A slower-than-average job growth rate has been projected for sound engineers during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)). Employment growth of eight percent is expected for professionals in technical positions in the industry, including radio operators, and broadcast and sound engineers.
In May 2010, sound engineering technicians across the United States took home an average annual salary of $54,030. Salaries of sound engineering technicians differ in accordance with the type of employers. The highest average annual salary of $65,130 was earned by individuals working in the video and motion picture industries.
Information on Continuing Education
While employers do not insist that prospective employees hold a bachelor’s degree, most sound engineering professionals may choose to complete a bachelor program to improve their career prospects. A recording industry or music business degree augmented by a bachelor’s degree program in audio production technologies will suffice graduates who seek management production and entry-level occupations in the music and broadcast industries. Music business training, digital production techniques, advanced editing and mixing, and intensive studio work are typically included in these programs.