Inside Audio Technician Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"I Can Make A Career Out Of My Love For Music...
I was surprised when I attended school to learn that there is a lot of complexity to the human ear. most students are shocked when they attend class and find out we do a lot of medical learning." (Audio Engineer; 2013)

Career: 5 years of experience, currently based in North Carolina, male
School: Studied Audio Tech. at Full Sail in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

"As An Audio Technician It Takes Quite A Bit Of Work To Keep Up With Today's Technology, But If The Work Is Put In It Can Be Very Rewarding...
The most surprising thing is how much work can be put in for small concerts and other shows to go off without a hitch. It is so much small work to combine for the big picture to set off a great show." (Audio Tech/ Camera Operator/ Freelancer; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in Nebraska, male
School: Studied Business at University Of Omaha At Nebraska in Nebraska; completed Bachelor degree in 2012

"Fine Line Between Work And Play...
As an audio-visual technician at an entertainment complex in Las Vegas, I am surprised how relaxed my work environment is at my place of employment. In this particular position in this career field, there is a fine line between work and play. I thoroughly enjoy my job very much, and look forward to going to work every day. I only wish for more pay per hour." (Audio Visual Technician; 2013)

Career: 4 years of experience, currently based in Nevada, male
School: Studied Film And Digital Media at University Of California, Santa Cruz. in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

"People Skills Required...
The thing that has surprised me the most about being an audio designer is the amount of "people skills" required to do the job well. Besides technical and audio knowledge, you really have to know how to deal with different personality types and different learning styles in order to succeed in this career." (Audio Designer; 2013)

Career: 11 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Entertainment Technology at CSU Fullerton in California; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

"Automation Is Taking Over...
I didn't realize that the radio profession was very difficult to maintain a job in. The more automation happens, the less actual man-hours are needed." (Radio Broadcaster; 2013)

Career: 3 years of experience, currently based in Michigan, male
School: Studied Mass Communications/ Broadcast Journalism at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota; completed Bachelor degree in 2002

"Wide Array Of Career Paths...
It is surprising to many to find an abundance of opportunities in a wide array of fields for an audio engineer, including television, radio, live events, corporate events, and post production." (Audio Technician; 2013)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Florida, male
School: Studied Theater at Florida State University in Florida; completed Bachelor degree in 2008

"The Struggles Of Dealing With Clients...
I'm genuinely surprised by the caliber of client that I find myself dealing with. Some of these people are nothing but rich old children" (Sound Mixer; 2013)

Career: 1 years of experience, currently based in California, male
School: Studied Film at El Camino in California; completed Associate degree in 2011

"In The Blink Of An Eye My Years Of Tech Training Were Gone...
The technology changes so rapidly, I was literally left behind. And at one point I was known for my product knowledge." (FOH Engineer; 2014)

Career: , currently based in Virginia, male
School: Studied Live Audio Engineering at Recording Workshop in Ohio; completed Certificate degree in 1990

"How To Make A Living As A DJ...
I think that a formal education is important but learning this business is more of a hands on thing. and it has changed greatly. I would tell students to go to their local stations and ask if they can hang out and learn. Also being air talent is only half of it. it is good if you have other skills such as sales. Only Big time markets pay big time cash." (Disc Jockey; 2013)

Career: 13 years of experience, currently based in Ohio, male
School: Studied Mass Communications Broadcasting at Penn State in Pennsylvania; completed Associate degree in 1980

"Long Hours And Perseverance Are Required...
Most aspiring audio engineers and technicians would be surprised to know just how long a recording session can last. Being alert in the studio for more than 12 hours at a time is a challenging and surprising thing." (Audio Technician; 2013)

Career: 10 years of experience, currently based in Maine, female
School: Studied Audio Engineering at Institute Of Audio Research in New York; completed Certificate degree in 2003

"Film And Video Skills Apply To Many Fields...
It's interesting how closely related film and video production ended up being to working in radio, especially all the overlap in audio production. When in college, I learned a great deal about sound design, and this knowledge helps me every day. Audio is a big part of film, and without that I would never have acquired a job in radio. Just like in film, recording techniques, studio editing, and talent direction are all very important." (Radio Broadcaster; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Oregon, male
School: Studied Film And Video Production at Pacific University in Oregon; completed Bachelor degree in 2006

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Freelance Audio Engineer: "The clients I get to work with are usually extremely quirky and unorthodox, and as such they're usually really interesting people. I also get to set my own hours and not have to answer to anybody, which is amazing. Being a freelancer means that I have to constantly struggle to make sure I have clients, and that means I may be out of work for days at a time occasionally. Work can be sporadic, which means money can be sporadic." (2011)

Career Background

Audio Technician

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Video

Career Tips

"In These Times, Make Everyday A Classroom...
Take all the time you can at first and watch and learn from your peers. Don't rest on your laurels." (FOH Engineer; 2014)

"A Good Reel Is Key In Audio Production...
If you'd like to work in radio, or any audio production-related field, a good production reel is quite important. With the advent of powerful home computers and editing software, you'll need to demonstrate what you can do to impress prospective employers. If you put together a strong example of your best work, that will help you more than any resume bullet point." (Radio Broadcaster; 2014)

"Using Your Ears To Convey Emotion Is Not A Task For The Lighthearted...
I would advise all new students to get very familiar with your equipment, as you will use it 90 percent of you time." (Audio Engineer; 2013)

"Disc Jockeys Don't Have It As Easy As It Looks. It Is Not All The Status Of Being On Air...
Being a Disc Jockey is a very hard field to break into. You have to have the talent both on and off air. the ability to do other things such as sales or accounting to get by at your station." (Disc Jockey; 2013)

"Research Your Equipment If Becoming A Technician Is Desired...
If you are interested in becoming an audio-visual technician or technical director, it would be best to learn as much about the equipment you might be using. Finding equipment manuals or looking online at job requirements for audio-visual technicians would be a great start." (Audio Visual Technician; 2013)

"Networking For Radio...
The key to working in media or local radio, is to get in touch with the right contacts. Sometimes networking is the only way to go." (Radio Broadcaster; 2013)

"To Become An Audio Technician You Should Study Technology And Focus On The Small Companies...
To get this position you should really focus on the technical side of the business. Look all over for small companies offering any kind of position and you can work your way up from there." (Audio Tech/ Camera Operator/ Freelancer; 2013)

"Keeping Skills Current Is Very Important...
Audio engineering is an extremely fluid field, with changes in relevant technology and skills frequently happening. Be invested in maintaining those skills for the life of your career." (Audio Technician; 2013)

"Keep A Good Outlook...
it's advantageous to have worked a truly back-breaking and unrewarding job before jumping into this field. Just to better maintain perspective." (Sound Mixer; 2013)

"Never Stop Learning...
If you want to be a successful audio designer, you should never miss out on an opportunity to learn more about the field. Check out websites and message boards related to audio. Talk to everyone from wedding DJs to professional concert sound guys to architectural designers. Never stop learning." (Audio Designer; 2013)

"Be A People Pleaser...
In order to be an audio technician or engineer, you must have a pleasant go-getter attitude. It also helps if you study a little bit of psychology because musicians tend to relax and enjoy the experience more when they feel comfortable. The positive attitude you bring to the job is what will get you better recommendations and more work." (Audio Technician; 2013)

"Staying Connected Is Mandatory...
Never stop networking with people. You will never find a good job in the audio industry if you don't know how to talk to people. You need to constantly stay in the loop of what the newest techniques are or what the hot new ticket is so you can stay at the top of the food chain. A degree always looks nice, but it's your skills that matter most to people in this industry. No one cares if you have a Master's Degree, but if you're really good at what you do you won't have any problems." (Freelance Audio Engineer; 2011)