Audio Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Audio Engineers in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $44K annually. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Although more than half have medical coverage and just over two-fifths have dental coverage, around two in five claim no health benefits at all. Job satisfaction for Audio Engineers is high. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$26,816 - $82,754

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$10.07 - $39.63

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$26,816 - $82,754  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,051  
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).
)
$23,976 - $84,260  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 355
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$10.07 - $39.63  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $1.67  
Overtime
$16.22 - $66.51  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,051  
   
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).
)
$23,976 - $84,260  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 317
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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.

Common Career Paths for Audio Engineer


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Audio Engineers who take on a higher-level position such as Audio/Visual Technician may get paid a little bit less in that new role, as Audio/Visual Technicians on average bring home $38K.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Survey takers who work as Audio Engineers typically report just a few professional skills. Fortunate workers who know Pro Tools can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 34 percent above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Hardware. Those proficient in Audiovisual Systems are, more often than not, also skilled in Audiovisual Hardware.

Pay by Experience Level for Audio Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Audio Engineers with a lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $38K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $43K. Audio Engineers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $53K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $63K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 28 percent, Audio Engineers in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Chicago (+22 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), New York (+20 percent), and Minneapolis (+17 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Audio Engineers is geography, with workers in Nashville earning a whopping 26 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Orlando (8 percent lower) and Dallas (7 percent lower).

Audio Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as an Audio Engineer?

Audio Engineer in Washington:
"The work is inconsistent, but it's easy and can be fun!"
Pros: I like having my hands in the music on a technical level. I have been a musician all of my life, so I feel this comes to me very naturally. I am good at planning, troubleshooting, and identifying tasks, so I am comfortable being a leader during setup, sound check and breakdown.
Cons: My work is very seasonal. The hours drop off, and the employers have very little commitment to helping me stay afloat during the off season. If you don't have several jobs, you could be stuck in a dry spot. This also means that all of the jobs are part time, have few benefits, and you will be looking for insurance on your own. There is also a large amount of responsibility for relatively low pay.

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Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries




National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Pro Tools
up arrow 34%

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 2%

National Average
$43,000

Pro/Engineer
up arrow 1%


Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 97 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 34% employee benefits None: 40%
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