Audio Engineer Salary

Men make up the majority of Audio Engineers in the United States, and the nationwide average salary in this area lies in the neighborhood of $45K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. While some workers in this profession — approximately one-half — do not have any health coverage, roughly one-half do receive medical benefits and nearly two in five have dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,257 - $82,638
$25K
$45K
$83K
MEDIAN: $45,194
10%
50%
90%

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$11.70 - $40.50
$12
$20
$41
MEDIAN: $19.91
10%
50%
90%

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$0$85K
Salary $25,257 - $82,638
Bonus $295.90 - $14,681
Profit Sharing $4,000
Commission $5,000
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 - $85,972
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 359
Hourly Data $0$68
Hourly Rate $11.70 - $40.50
Hourly Tips $1.00
Overtime $18.82 - $68.78
Annual Data $0$85K
Bonus $295.90 - $14,681
Commission $5,000
Profit Sharing $4,000
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 - $85,972
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 300

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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Audio Engineers who advance into the role of a Technical Director are fairly uncommon. Technical Directors on average earn $87K per year. Many Audio Engineers choose to become Audio/Visual Technicians and Audiovisual Equipment Technicians as their careers advance. However, folks in those positions report median salaries of $5K less and $7K less, respectively.

Audio Engineer Job Listings

Popular Skills for Audio Engineer


Audio Engineers seem to exploit a large range 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: $44,611

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

Chicago is home to an above-average pay rate for Audio Engineers, 42 percent higher than the national average. Audio Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+38 percent), Denver (+18 percent), New York (+14 percent), and Seattle (+13 percent). Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Audio Engineers in Orlando earning a whopping 20 percent below the national average. Workers in Philadelphia and Miami earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (18 percent less and 11 percent less, 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 86 votes.
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
13%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Audio Engineer Salaries

▲46%

▲18%

National Average
$45,000

▼4%

▼15%

Skills That Affect Audio Engineer Salaries

Pro Tools
▲28%

Mixing
▲12%

Audio
▲9%

National Average
$45,000

Pro/Engineer
▼4%


Audio Mixing
▼4%


▼6%


Video Editing
▼11%

Audiovisual Tools
▼24%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 86 votes.

Gender

Female
6 %
Male
94 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
13%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 51%
dental benefits
Dental: 40%
vision benefits
Vision: 32%
no benefits
None: 49%
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