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Bachelor of Audio Production: Degree Overview

A bachelor's degree in audio production prepares graduates for entry-level employment in a wide range of sound recording and audio production careers. Programs include studio experience for hands-on production work with industry equipment.

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Bachelor's Degree in Audio Production

A 4-year degree in audio production combines knowledge of communication theories with technology-based production skills. Depending on the school, students may earn a B.A. or B.S. in majors like audio production or recording industry. Some programs may include specializations in the music business or communication. Students learn to use professional sound recording equipment for live and studio recording, mixing and editing. They may also learn about music from an engineering or technical perspective, which is helpful for careers in film, broadcasting or entertainment.

Education Prerequisites

Students pursuing an audio production-related degree should be high school graduates. There may be a GPA minimum requirement and department approval. For some programs, admission is limited to a certain number of students every fall and spring.

Course Topics

An audio production curriculum usually provides some flexibility based on whether students are interested in production, technology or another aspect of sound engineering or the recording industry. In addition to general education requirements, coursework often includes:

  • Audio technology
  • Studio recording
  • Recording industry business
  • Studio management
  • Musicianship
  • Mixing and mastering
  • Acoustics and audio

Popular Career Options

Careers in audio production and sound recording in music, broadcasting and other fields require knowledge of a broad range of computer-based equipment and software. Graduates of audio production degree programs may work in the entertainment industry producing or engineering television and radio programming, film soundtracks, music or other media. Broadcast media outlets, recording studios or live entertainment venues may employ others. Possible job titles in audio production include:

  • Broadcast engineer
  • Audio technician
  • Recording engineer
  • Audio editor
  • Sound effects editor

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Sound engineering technicians earned an annual median salary of $46,310 in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These technicians could expect only 1% expansion in jobs from 2012-2022, per the BLS. Those with previous experience or applicants willing to work in the smaller markets should have the best prospects.

Continuing Education Information

Students wishing to pursue advanced degrees in audio production can enroll in Master of Fine Arts or Master of Science programs in recording arts, audio production or technology. Some schools offer combined bachelor's and master's degree programs in the audio field. Master's degree programs in audio production provide advanced education in multi-track recording technology, studio equipment, digital media and the music industry. Graduates may consider management careers in media or entertainment, teaching positions or other niche professions requiring advanced education.

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