A substantial slice of final earnings for Audio Engineers (more than a third) arrives through commissions. Median overall income in this area is approximately $43K. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Audio Engineers claim high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — nearly one-half — do not have any health coverage, slightly more than half do receive medical benefits and approximately two in five have dental insurance. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$25,075 - $80,335
$25K
$44K
$80K
MEDIAN: $44,085
10%
50%
90%

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$10.19 - $39.95
$10
$19
$40
MEDIAN: $18.84
10%
50%
90%

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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$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$25,075 - $80,335  
   
Bonus
$387.83 - $10,090  
Profit Sharing
$2,625  
Commission
$14,740  
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).
)
$24,233 - $83,360  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 374
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
$10.19 - $39.95  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.23  
Overtime
$17.84 - $68.56  
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
$387.83 - $10,090  
   
Commission
$14,740  
Profit Sharing
$2,625  
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).
)
$24,233 - $83,360  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 326

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • Create, update, maintain, and add to sample and sound libraries.
  • Assist in postproduction with improving sound quality or adding sound over video.
  • Record, layer, and produce sounds and sound effects for desired impact.
  • Spot, arrange, and edit audio into video or other delivery mechanism.

Common Career Paths for Audio Engineer


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Audio Engineers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Technical Director. The latter position pays an average of $88K annually.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Survey takers working as Audio Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Mixing, Pro Tools, and Audio are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 34 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Those listing Audiovisual Tools as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Video Editing and Audiovisual Hardware also typically command lower compensation. Those familiar with Audiovisual Systems also tend to know Audiovisual Hardware.

Pay by Experience Level for Audio Engineer

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


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Individuals who have worked for fewer than five years bring in approximately $39K on average. Those in the five-to-10 year range can expect an average that is only a touch bigger at $43K. Audio Engineers bring in $53K after working for 10 to 20 years. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $67K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,635

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Audio Engineers, Chicago provides a pay rate that is 49 percent greater than the national average. Audio Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+43 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), New York (+19 percent), and Austin (+16 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Orlando, 17 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 13 percent less in Philadelphia and 8 percent less in Miami, below-median salaries for those in this field.

Audio Engineer Reviews

Q: 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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Audio Engineer

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 57 votes.
036
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
11%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries




National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Mixing
up arrow 40%

Pro Tools
up arrow 34%

Audio
up arrow 18%

up arrow 5%




Audio Mixing
up arrow 1%

National Average
$43,000


Video Editing
up arrow 15%

Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 57 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 52%
dental benefits
Dental: 40%
vision benefits
Vision: 32%
dental benefits
None: 48%
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