Audio Engineer Salary

Commissions constitute a big slice (about one in three on average) of overall compensation for Audio Engineers, and the median take-home for this group lies near $44K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Health benefits are not claimed by all — roughly one-half lack any form of coverage — but close to one-half have medical insurance, and nearly two in five have dental, too. For the most part, Audio Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$25,367 - $81,661
$25K
$45K
$82K
MEDIAN: $44,850
10%
50%
90%

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$11.64 - $40.49
$12
$20
$40
MEDIAN: $19.93
10%
50%
90%

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$0$85K
Salary $25,367 - $81,661
Bonus $391.49 - $10,365
Profit Sharing $2,625
Commission $14,740
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).
)
$24,873 - $85,734
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 365
Hourly Data $0$68
Hourly Rate $11.64 - $40.49
Overtime $19.03 - $68.05
Annual Data $0$85K
Bonus $391.49 - $10,365
Commission $14,740
Profit Sharing $2,625
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).
)
$24,873 - $85,734
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 310

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • Create, update, maintain, and add to sample and sound libraries.
  • Assist in postproduction with improving sound quality or adding sound over video.
  • Record, layer, and produce sounds and sound effects for desired impact.
  • Spot, arrange, and edit audio into video or other delivery mechanism.

Common Career Paths for Audio Engineer


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It's not very common for Audio Engineers to move on to become Technical Directors. Average pay for a Technical Director is $87K annually. Audio Engineers most frequently advance into Audio/Visual Technician and Audiovisual Equipment Technician roles even though the median salaries are $6K lower and $7K lower, respectively.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers report using a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Pro Tools, Mixing, and Audio are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 29 percent, 13 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Those listing Audiovisual Tools as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Video Editing and Audiovisual Hardware also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Audiovisual Systems indicates knowledge of Audiovisual Hardware.

Pay by Experience Level for Audio Engineer

Pay by Experience for an Audio Engineer has a positive trend. An entry-level Audio Engineer with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $38,000 based on 332 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. An Audio Engineer with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 233 salaries. An experienced Audio Engineer which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $53,000 based on 192 salaries. An Audio Engineer with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $65,000 based on 70 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $44,343

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

Audio Engineers will find that Chicago offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 41 percent. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+38 percent), Denver (+17 percent), New York (+13 percent), and Seattle (+13 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in an Audio Engineer's salary, with Orlando Audio Engineers earning salaries that are 20 percent less than the national average. Philadelphia and Miami are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 18 percent lower and 12 percent lower, respectively.

Audio Engineer Reviews

Q: 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

Key Stats for Audio Engineer

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 80 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
12%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries

▲47%

▲19%

National Average
$44,000

▼3%

▼14%

Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Pro Tools
▲29%

Mixing
▲13%

Audio
▲10%

National Average
$44,000


Audio Mixing
▼3%

Pro/Engineer
▼4%


▼6%


Video Editing
▼11%

Audiovisual Tools
▼23%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 80 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 51%
dental benefits
Dental: 39%
vision benefits
Vision: 32%
no benefits
None: 49%
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