Audio Engineer Salary

A sizeable majority of Audio Engineers in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $44K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Audio Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. While some workers in this profession — more than two-fifths — do not have any health coverage, the larger part do receive medical benefits and roughly two in five have dental insurance. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,486 - $83,249
(Median)
$25K
$44K
$83K
MEDIAN: $44,066
10%
50%
90%

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$10.17 - $40.26
(Median)
$10
$18
$40
MEDIAN: $18.00
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$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$25,486 - $83,249  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,087  
Commission
$509  
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).
)
$24,046 - $86,073  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 404
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$22$44$66
Hourly Rate
$10.17 - $40.26  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.77  
Overtime
$17.88 - $64.64  
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 - $5,087  
   
Commission
$509  
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).
)
$24,046 - $86,073  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 354
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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' salary tends to stay somewhat level for those who assume higher-end positions like Audio/Visual Technician. Median pay for Audio/Visual Technicians is $38K.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, facility with Pro Tools and Audio Mixing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 35 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Those listing Editing as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Hardware also typically command lower compensation. Most people skilled in Audiovisual Systems are similarly competent 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 rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. At career start (within the first five years), average income sits near $38K, and the average for folks who have worked for five to 10 years is only slightly higher at $43K. Audio Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $54K. Audio Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $66K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,355

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

For those looking to make money, Audio Engineers in Chicago enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 28 percent above the national average. Audio Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+27 percent), Seattle (+23 percent), New York (+21 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). Audio Engineers in Nashville earn salaries far below the national average by 25 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Philadelphia (13 percent less) and Orlando (5 percent less).

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
$42,000


Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Pro Tools
up arrow 35%

Audio Mixing
up arrow 6%

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 1%

Pro/Engineer
0%

National Average
$42,000


Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 20%

Editing
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 101 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 56%
dental benefits
Dental: 40%
medical benefits
Vision: 33%
dental benefits
None: 43%
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