Audio Engineer Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Audio Engineers earn an average of $45K per year. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Audio Engineers is high. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and approximately two in five lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by the larger part and dental coverage is claimed by more than two-fifths. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$26,623 - $82,579
(Median)
$27K
$45K
$83K
MEDIAN: $44,567
10%
50%
90%

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$10.09 - $39.72
(Median)
$10
$18
$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
$26,623 - $82,579  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,057  
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).
)
$23,969 - $84,293  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 358
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 - $39.72  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.13 - $1.67  
Overtime
$16.48 - $66.68  
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 - $5,057  
   
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).
)
$23,969 - $84,293  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 313
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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.

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Pro Tools, Audiovisual Systems, Pro/Engineer, and Audiovisual Hardware are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Audiovisual Tools and Audiovisual Hardware. Most people experienced in 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.


Audio Engineers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $38K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $43K. Audio Engineers see a median salary of $53K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $63K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Audio Engineers, Washington provides a pay rate that is 39 percent greater than the national average. Audio Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Seattle (+27 percent), Chicago (+21 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), and New York (+17 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in an Audio Engineer's salary, with Nashville Audio Engineers earning salaries that are 27 percent less than the national average. Workers in Austin and Orlando earn less than others in this profession; their salaries fall short of the national average by 10 percent.

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
$43,000


Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Pro Tools
up arrow 13%

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 2%

National Average
$43,000

Pro/Engineer
up arrow 1%


Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 98 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
28%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 33% employee benefits None: 41%
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