Associates Degree in Audio Engineering: Program Information
Audio engineers are responsible for producing and recording sounds for a variety of industries including recording labels, advertising agencies, broadcasting companies, video game companies and live venues. Audio engineers can begin their education by enrolling in an associate degree in audio engineering or production. Studies may include acoustic software, auditory range, soundboards and sound quality.
Associate in Applied Science in Audio Engineering
An associate degree program focused in audio engineering involves training with live sound, music and recording. Students gain hands-on experience working with audio equipment such as mixers and microphones. Prospective audio engineers delve into basic programming and composition, as well as gain proper communication skills.
Audio engineering programs prepare students for working in different types of companies within the audio engineering industry, such as advertising firms, corporate broadcasting or video game productions. Applicants into an associate degree program must typically hold a high school diploma or GED and may be required to complete placement testing.
Audio engineering students experience hands-on training while learning various aspects of technologies such as sound equipment and acoustic software. They are educated on the fundamentals of audio signal, acoustics, music theory and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) sequencing. Music business and management are also touched on. Depending on the program, students may create a final portfolio of work prior to graduation. Common coursework includes:
- Acoustic planning
- Acoustic recording methods
- Algebra and mathematics
- Checking sounds and mixtures
- Civic communication
- English composition
- Music principles and comprehension
- Physical science
- Social interaction
- Songwriting and writing skills
Career Options & Outlook
Graduates are equipped with the expertise and technical recording and mixing skills to enter audio engineering careers within a variety of companies. Some popular career options include:
- Acoustic engineer or music producer
- Radio or broadcast engineer
- Sound designer or master engineer
- Studio manager
- Electronic musician
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that sound engineering technicians earn a median annual salary of $46,310, as of May 2012. Those working in motion picture and video industries earn the most, with a mean wage of $76,300 per year. However, employment is expected to see little to no change from 2010-2020, due largely to advancements in technology and software that enable audio engineering work to be completed at a much faster rate than in the past.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an associate degree program in audio engineering may choose to enter into entry-level positions in the field or further their education by enrolling in a bachelor's degree program. Bachelor's degree programs provide advanced knowledge in core concepts of music theory and principles, as well as marketing and distribution. Some colleges allow students to transfer their associate degree credits to a bachelor's degree program.
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