Audio Engineer Salary (United States)

Most Audio Engineers in the United States are men, earning an average of $43,217 annually. Pay generally spreads from $23,206 to $85,975 per year. Residency is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Although 42 percent lack health benefits of any kind, more than half do enjoy medical insurance, and 41 percent get dental coverage, too. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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  
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  
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

Audio Engineers only report a few specific skills. Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Systems are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 4 percent and 4 percent respectively. The majority of those 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.
Pay for Audio Engineers increases steadily with experience. Beginning workers can expect to earn $36K starting out, which grows to $44K after five to 10 years. After spending one to two decades on the job, pay usually hovers around $53K. After 20 years in the field, Audio Engineers see their salaries growing more slowly, eventually averaging out to $62K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about one-fourth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than five percent, 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.
For Audio Engineers, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 92 percent above the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, and New York, where Audio Engineers typically earn around 31 percent, 18 percent, 16 percent, and 15 percent more than usual. Compared to the national average, Nashville Audio Engineers have considerably lower salaries, 27 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Charlotte (-19 percent) and Orlando (-9 percent).

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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%