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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Sound Engineering

Majors Overview April 3, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in sound engineering and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Sound Engineering

Those who complete the four-year bachelor’s degree program in sound engineering gain a foundation in sound recording technologies, musical instruments, and musical theory. Students are often taught about theories of music and sound through classroom instruction before they learn ways of applying said theories in actual recording studios. Coursework is devised to equip students with a strong grasp of numerous kinds of acoustic instruments, whereby they may learn how to record each instrument. Coursework also covers the equipment and technology associated with sound engineering, including sound reinforcement equipment, computer music composition software, and multi-track recording devices.

Students enrolled in many baccalaureate degree programs in the field are also required to gain real world experiences in sound production studios or complete internships. Additionally, as is the case with bachelor’s degree programs, general education courses are included.

Education Requirements

Incoming students to a bachelor’s degree program in sound engineering are expected to have a strong grade point average and hold a high school diploma, in addition to completing general education courses in music theory, communication, computer science and mathematics.


Coursework covers both the technical processes and equipment used in recording and manipulating music as well as the theory of music. Core coursework may include subject areas such as:

•Sound production
•Sound reinforcement
•Acoustics and psychoacoustics
•Sound engineering for theater
•Media art seminar
•Elementary piano study
•American music history
•Technical ear training
•Sound recording
•Performing art technology
•Musical composition and arranging

Career Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program in sound engineering can seek various positions in the music industry such as:

•Music producer
•Recording engineer
•Mix engineer
•Assistant engineer
•Audio equipment technician
•Audio engineer
•Sound engineering technician
•Mastering engineer

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, job growth rates of nine percent have been predicted for broadcast and sound engineering technician positions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). However, low growth of 1% is expected to be witnessed in a competitive segment of the field by sound engineering technicians. In May 2012, sound engineering technicians brought in an average annual wage of $41,200.

Continuing Education Choices

Students enrolled in a Master of Science (M.S.) in Audio Engineering or Master of Science (M.S.) in Sound Engineering degree program gain a strong grasp of the music recording and production industry. Advanced studio production experience and advanced seminars on emerging technologies in the field are typically continued in a two-year program. Management positions in sound recording studios can be gained by graduates by leveraging continuing education in sound engineering.

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