Audio Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Audio Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $44K annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — about two-fifths lack any form of coverage — but a majority have medical insurance, and just over two-fifths have dental, too. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$26,305 - $82,086
(Median)
$26K
$44K
$82K
MEDIAN: $44,492
10%
50%
90%

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$10.09 - $39.72
(Median)
$10
$18
$40
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
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
$26,305 - $82,086  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,113  
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).
)
$23,960 - $84,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 357
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 - $39.72  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $1.67  
Overtime
$16.48 - $66.68  
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 - $5,113  
   
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).
)
$23,960 - $84,007  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 313
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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.

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Pro Tools, Audiovisual Systems, Pro/Engineer, and Audiovisual Hardware are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Hardware. Most people who know Audiovisual Systems also know Audiovisual Hardware.

Pay by Experience Level for Audio Engineer

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Audio Engineers. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $37K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $43K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $53K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $63K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Audio Engineers in Washington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 39 percent above the national average. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+28 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), Chicago (+19 percent), and Minneapolis (+17 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. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Austin and Orlando (12 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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 13%

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 98 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
29%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 40%
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