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Audio Engineer Salary (United States)

The Golden State offers the largest salaries to Audio Engineers; the three top-paying cities in the field are San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, approximately two in five are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by the greater part and dental insurance is reported by just over two-fifths. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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.
)
$26,655 - $82,971
(Median)
27K
34K
45K
59K
83K
MEDIAN: $44,599
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.
)
$10.18 - $40.84
(Median)
10
14
18
28
41
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$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$26,655 - $82,971  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,011  
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).
)
$24,139 - $87,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 316
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
$10.18 - $40.84  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $2.19  
Overtime
$16.39 - $66.63  
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 - $5,011  
   
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).
)
$24,139 - $87,697  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 272
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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.
Read More...
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

Survey results show that Audio Engineers typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, skills in Audiovisual Systems, Pro/Engineer, Audiovisual Hardware, and Audiovisual Tools are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Audiovisual Tools. For most people, competency in Audiovisual Systems indicates knowledge of 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 rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $36K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $44K on average. Audio Engineers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $54K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $62K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Francisco
up arrow 92%
San Diego
up arrow 27%
up arrow 16%
Miami
up arrow 16%
Dallas
up arrow 15%
Seattle
up arrow 15%
Chicago
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 4%
Boston
up arrow 2%
Phoenix
0%
National Average
$43,000
Las Vegas
up arrow 1%
Philadelphia
up arrow 4%
Orlando
up arrow 9%
Nashville
up arrow 27%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Audio Engineers in search of above-average pay will head to California: In particular, Audio Engineers in San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles are the best-paid American cities for Audio Engineers, who enjoy higher pay rates than the national average. Audio Engineers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Audio Engineers in Nashville bring in salaries that are 27 percent lower than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Orlando (9 percent lower) and Philadelphia (4 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

Late-Career
up arrow 44%
National Average
$43,000

Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 3%
Pro/Engineer
0%
Audiovisual Hardware
0%
National Average
$43,000
Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 108 votes.

Gender

Female
7%
female alumni
 
Male
93%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
31%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 59% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 40%