Audio Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Audio Engineers in the United States, bringing in about $44K per year. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Unfortunately, some people in this line of work are without benefits — more than two-fifths lack coverage. On the flip side, the greater part have medical insurance and around two in five receive dental plans. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to 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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Many Audio Engineers move into an Audio/Visual Technician role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Audio/Visual Technicians on average bring in a similar salary to Audio Engineers.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. 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 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 is an important factor influencing the compensation of Audio Engineers. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $38K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $43K. Audio Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $54K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $66K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,355

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

Surpassing the national average by 28 percent, Audio Engineers in Chicago receive some of the highest pay in the country. Audio Engineers will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+27 percent), Seattle (+23 percent), New York (+21 percent), and Los Angeles (+17 percent). The lowest-paying market is Nashville, which sits 25 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in Philadelphia and Orlando also lean toward paying below-median salaries (13 percent lower and 5 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
$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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