Men represent the vast majority of Audio Engineers in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $44K annually nationwide. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction for Audio Engineers is high. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just under a half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by a little more than half and dental coverage is claimed by around two in five. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$24,808 - $82,342
(Median)
$25K
$44K
$82K
MEDIAN: $43,826
10%
50%
90%

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$10.25 - $40.07
(Median)
$10
$19
$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
$24,808 - $82,342  
   
Bonus
$304.10 - $10,264  
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).
)
$24,218 - $84,633  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 372
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$23$46$69
Hourly Rate
$10.25 - $40.07  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.23  
Overtime
$17.97 - $67.60  
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
$304.10 - $10,264  
   
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).
)
$24,218 - $84,633  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 328
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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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As Audio Engineers transition into upper-level roles such as Technical Director, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Technical Directors earn $89K on average per year.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Mixing, Pro Tools, and Audio are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 34 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Audiovisual Tools, Video Editing, and Audiovisual Hardware. 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.


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Audio Engineers. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $39K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $43K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Audio Engineers make a median salary of $52K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $67K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $42,391

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

Chicago is home to an above-average pay rate for Audio Engineers, 33 percent higher than the national average. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Seattle (+21 percent), New York (+19 percent), Austin (+8 percent), and Los Angeles (+8 percent). Trailing the national average by 15 percent, Orlando is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Philadelphia (11 percent less) and Miami (6 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

Mixing
up arrow 40%

Pro Tools
up arrow 34%

Audio
up arrow 18%

Audio Visual Equipment Use
up arrow 2%

Pro/Engineer
up arrow 1%

Audiovisual Systems
up arrow 1%

Audio Mixing
up arrow 1%

Editing
0%

National Average
$42,000


Video Editing
up arrow 17%

Audiovisual Tools
up arrow 20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 61 votes.

Gender

Female
7 %
Male
93 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 53%
dental benefits
Dental: 40%
medical benefits
Vision: 33%
dental benefits
None: 46%
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