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Audio Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Audio Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $44K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. While some workers in this profession — approximately two in five — do not have any health coverage, the greater part do receive medical benefits and just over two-fifths have dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$26,393 - $81,081
(Median)
$26K
$44K
$81K
MEDIAN: $44,123
10%
50%
90%

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$10.23 - $40.44
(Median)
$10
$19
$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
$26,393 - $81,081  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,953  
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).
)
$24,341 - $85,047  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 340
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
$10.23 - $40.44  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $1.88  
Overtime
$16.62 - $67.10  
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 - $4,953  
   
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).
)
$24,341 - $85,047  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 295

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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 usually report a few specific skills. Most notably, skills in Audiovisual Systems, Pro/Engineer, Audiovisual Hardware, and Audiovisual Tools are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Hardware. It is often found that people who know Audiovisual Systems are also skilled 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 lot of experience tend to enjoy higher earnings. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $37K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $43K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $53K in this role. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $65K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Audio Engineers, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 94 percent above the national average. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+36 percent), San Diego (+28 percent), Seattle (+27 percent), and Los Angeles (+26 percent). Audio Engineers in Nashville make 25 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Orlando and Chicago are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 8 percent lower and 3 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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 53%



National Average
$43,000


Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 4%

Pro/Engineer
up arrow 1%

National Average
$43,000

Audiovisual Hardware
up arrow 4%

Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 104 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
33%
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: 34% employee benefits None: 40%