What Is A Sound Technician? ( Job, Salary, Degree, School )

This guide will answer what is a Sound Technician, what they do, the required skills, and how to become a sound technician.

What is a Sound Technician
What is a Sound Technician

What is a Sound Technician?

A sound technician is proficient in three fortes: specialized music gear, the knowledge of frequencies and relative intensities of vibrations, and musical ability. Sound technicians generate and modify sound for performances and recordings using technical expertise and experience.

Sound technicians operate in live situations and recording studios with technology and devices that modify audio and acoustics. It is a sound technician’s job to manipulate and play around with a piece of music to create a desirable audio effect. Sound technicians assemble, maintain, and work around with music maestros’ equipment to mix, amplify, produce/reproduce, and mix music.

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The position of a sound technician in the industry may alternatively be referred to as a sound engineering technician or a sound engineer. Another similar term is audio engineer, and they all appear to define the same sort of position with various accents.

A professional in this field can operate in a wide range of settings and with a wide range of job responsibilities. Some specialized industries, such as cinema and television, require a specific skill set instead of the music or video game sectors.

Sound technicians typically deal with recordings or live performances. They employ technology to sync, mix, record, and modify music, audio effects, and voices in order to produce a wholesome cadence that is easy on the audience’s ears.

Sound technicians around the world are highly valued individuals with hundreds of thousands of sound technician jobs in the recording, advertising, broadcasting, theater, and filming sectors.

Most sound technicians’ primary responsibility is to record or recreate sound using sound systems. They may, however, be in charge of setting up audio and mixing board equipment for athletic events or creative projects.

The responsibilities of sound technicians differ depending on the sector in which they work. A sound technician in the tv broadcast sector, for example, may work inside a screening room to check that mics are operating correctly.

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They may also tweak transmission equipment to ensure that sounds are audible and not too strong and that recorded audio is free of snapping, static, or crackling. Other sound technicians may operate outside on-site and must reduce ambient noises that might disrupt a television broadcast or a motion picture scene.


What Is The Role Of A Sound Technician?

The most primitive role of a sound technician is to reproduce or record audio using audio equipment. However, the functions of a sound technician are highly dependent on the industry that they’re operating in. 

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Other roles of a sound technician include:

  • Recording and assessing all audios on set.
  • Mixing, editing, tweaking, and enhancement of pre-recorded music files.
  • Assessing the rhythmic cadence of a song and determining where an edit is needed.
  • Positioning, adjusting, and operating complex music gear.
  • Communicating with performers and other staff on-set regarding the requirements of an edit.
  • Complying with rules and regulations, including health, safety, and hazard legislations in place.
  • Repairing and maintaining music equipment.
  • Applying technical music knowledge to come up with unique, out-of-the-box musical solutions.
  • Creating and editing sound effects that resonate with the vibe of a film, television show, or other production.
  • Coalescing pre-recorded sound effects, music, and dialogues with visual content.
  • Mixing, balancing, and synchronizing speech and other audio effects.
  • Reediting, synchronizing, and rerecording audio.

What Skill Do You Need To Be A Sound Technician?

While a degree is not required, it is vital to have a thorough grasp of sound mechanics, technical acumen (including an awareness of contemporary sound technology and equipment), outstanding auditory abilities, excellent interpersonal skills, and attention to detail.

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To be a sound technician, an individual should have extraordinary technical abilities as well as a high level of creativity. These resources will equip them to work in a range of industrial sectors, such as video game creation, music, television, and the film industry.


How Much Does A Sound Technician Make?

The payouts that sound technicians get are correlated with the industry a sound technician works in.

In the US, according to research, sound technicians made a median salary of $54,740 per annum in 2019 – the lowest being $35,270/annum and the highest being $79,130/annum.

If a sound technician works in a well-established and renowned radio channel or film studio, you can expect them to have a starting salary of at least £17,000 ($23,000) (the maximum being £19,000 ( $25,000.)) in the UK.

Moreover, if the said individual is well-experienced in the department, then they can earn as much as £30,000 ( $40,000).

You might also find sound technicians who work as freelancers and can negotiate rates with clients that they find fair for their services.

With freelance sound technicians, the mean daily rates in the UK are between £160 ($217) and £176 ( $239 ). However, this figure depends upon the number of hours worked – the more hours a person logs, the more they earn.

In contrast, first sound assistants usually earn in the range of £310 ( $422 ) and £434.50/day ($519) (depending on the number of hours worked) in the UK. Whereas, second sound assistants’ daily salaries lie between £230 ($313) and £352 ($479).


How Do I Become A Sound Technician?

Many ambitious Sound Technicians begin their careers by basically interning themselves to professional Sound Technicians, aiding them for free in return for their expertise and mentorship. An enthusiastic Sound Technician might also benefit from a degree in production or audio engineering from a trade school or college.

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Because hands-on experience is critical for learning, any school you’re interested in should include internship or employment possibilities. Also, be confident that the school you choose is well-regarded and that the teachers have current, real-life experience.

Here are four simple steps to help you reach your dream of being a sound technician.

1. Start Preparing Since High School

While in high school, you must focus on music-related activities if you’re set on becoming a sound technician. Participating in any music-related extracurriculars offered at your high school is one method to get started in the profession. Participating in audiovisual clubs or the school radio station can help you learn about music tech.

2. Get Associate’s Degree or Certification

If you’re willing to go one step further, we suggest you consider an Associate’s Degree, a certification in audio production, or any other music-related major.

Community, technical, and vocational institutions offer associate’s degree programs in audio production and related areas. Both 2-year and 4-year colleges offer certificate programs. Both levels of programs seek to acquaint you with audio technology, its applications in many sectors, and the process of generating audio compositions.

3. Do An Internship

An internship allows you to obtain job experience while also networking with industry leaders. Internships may be available at television and radio stations, as well as recording studios.

4. Get a Job

Now that you’ve set your tracks, it’s time to get a job in your area of expertise. The majority of your job options will come from the film and video production sector, music recording industry, broadcasting industry, and theatrical and live events industry.


What Is A Sound Technician’s Salary?

A sound technician’s salary clings to the industry they’re working in, and it also depends on their qualification and experience in the forte.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for a Sound Technician in the United States is $33,526.

While ZipRecruiter reports yearly wages as big as $56,500 and as little as $12,500, the bulk of Sound Technician earnings in the United States now range from $19,500 (25th percentile) to $46,500 (75th percentile), with highest earners (90th percentile) earning $56,500.

In the UK, a sound technician earns around £17,000 ($23,000) and £19,000 ( $25,000) a month if they’re working in an established music studio or film house.

The typical salary range for a Sound Technician ranges substantially (up to $27,000), implying that there may be several prospects for promotion and improved income depending on skill level, location, and years of experience.


What Degree Do You Need To Be A Sound Technician?

You don’t exactly need a degree to become a sound technician. However, you must possess a potent understanding of sound physics, be familiar with contemporary technology in musical gear, and possess a mind that is open to musical creativity. You must also have good attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills, and sharp aural senses.

According to onetonline, only 25% of sound technicians have some higher education, and around 22% have an associate’s degree. However, having an associate’s degree or a certification boosts your chances of becoming a successful sound technician with a good starting salary. Your associate’s degree or certification can be in audio technology, studio and field recording techniques, or audio physics.


Summary of Sound Technicians

A sound technician is someone who is in charge of the audio part of a production, whether it be live concerts, events, TV, and radio broadcasts. The role of a sound technician can also be called an “audio engineer.” A sound technician may also be called upon to work on television, film, or theatrical productions.

Sound technicians often work with music producers or film directors, and depending on their skill set, they may be more focused on one aspect of the production process.


We hope you found this information on Sound Technicians helpful.

If we missed anything, please share it in the comments.

Mark V. at Hip Hop Makers

Written By Mark V.

Hip Hop Makers is a music production website that launched in 2008 to teach music lovers how to make music, sell beats, and make money from music.

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