Audio Engineer Salary (United States)

Audio Engineers in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $43,217 annually. Pay begins at $23,206 on the low end and climbs to $85,975 per year near the top. Residency is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits—42 percent lack coverage. On the flip side, more than half have medical insurance and 41 percent receive dental plans. The majority of Audio Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Audio Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$25,463 - $81,925
(Median)
25K
34K
45K
59K
82K
MEDIAN: $44,785
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Audio Engineer Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.09 - $40.45
(Median)
10
13
19
28
40
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$25,463 - $81,925  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,955  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,206 - $85,975  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 306
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$10.09 - $40.45  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $2.19  
Overtime
$15.32 - $67.36  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,955  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$23,206 - $85,975  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 258
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Job Description for Audio Engineer

An audio engineer uses analog and/or digital sound equipment to record, master, mix, synchronize, replicate, and create audio files. This individual may be employed in various entertainment industries, including the movie, music, television, theater, and video game industries. The day-to-day responsibilities of an audio engineer include the creation, recording, mixing and mastering of music, ambient sounds, and audio effects. Additionally, the audio engineer is responsible for working to optimize, quantize, and compress the audio they develop to deliver the best possible sound quality while minimizing the size of necessary sound files. The audio engineer also works with other engineers to develop and design rich sound environments used in their specific media type.
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Audio Engineer Tasks
  • Record, layer, and produce sounds and sound effects for desired impact.
  • Spot, arrange, and edit audio into video or other delivery mechanism.
  • Create, update, maintain, and add to sample and sound libraries.
  • Assist in postproduction with improving sound quality or adding sound over video.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer

Professional skills reported by Audio Engineers are few in number. Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Systems are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 4 percent and 4 percent respectively. Those educated in Audiovisual Systems tend to be well-versed in Audiovisual Hardware.

Pay by Experience Level for Audio Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many but not all Audio Engineers, a key factor in salary decisions is experience; more experience generally yields higher pay. Beginning workers can expect to earn $36K starting out, which grows to $44K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $53K. Audio Engineers who stay in the field for several decades see their salaries grow less quickly after 20 years, with incomes eventually hovering around $62K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 23 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining 14 percent. Workers in this area tend to have one to nine years of experience.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 92%
Los Angeles
up arrow 31%
Las Vegas
up arrow 18%
Seattle
up arrow 16%
up arrow 15%
Chicago
up arrow 5%
Dallas
up arrow 5%
Boston
up arrow 3%
Atlanta
0%
Phoenix
0%
National Average
$43,000
Philadelphia
up arrow 4%
Orlando
up arrow 9%
Charlotte
up arrow 19%
Nashville
up arrow 27%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for Audio Engineers, San Francisco offers exceptional salaries, 92 percent above the national average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, and New York, top-paying markets where Audio Engineers rake in more than the national norm (+31 percent, +18 percent, +16 percent, and +15 percent). Audio Engineers' salaries are heavily influenced by location—Audio Engineers in Nashville bring in salaries that are 27 percent lower than the national average. Workers in Charlotte and Orlando earn less than others in this profession; their -19 percent and -9 percent-salaries fall short of the national average.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 43%
Experienced
up arrow 23%
National Average
$43,000

Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 4%
Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 4%
Audiovisual Hardware
up arrow 2%
Pro/Engineer
up arrow 1%
National Average
$43,000

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 112 votes.

Gender

Female
6%
female alumni
 
Male
94%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 57% dental benefits Dental: 41%
vision benefits Vision: 31% employee benefits None: 42%
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