Audio Engineer Salary: Getting Top Dollar

If you are looking to become an audio engineer, you’re probably doing some research at the moment. That’s probably how you came across this article. If you want to know how much an audio engineer actually gets paid, stick around!

You might like the idea of playing around with soundboards, or you might like working with all things audio in the music or movie industry (as a couple of examples). Everyone has that one dream job they are after

An audio engineering job can be rewarding for those who enjoy it. One of the questions people ask about a job is ‘does it pay well.’ The answer – it depends.

You could work as an audio engineer for a small studio or a larger company. The size of the company may be one of the determining factors of how much you might get paid. 

Before we unveil how much an audio engineer’s salary is, let’s discuss the role it entails.

The Roles and Responsibilities of An Audio Engineer

An audio engineer uses the equipment that can record, edit, and broadcast all kinds of audio. This can include music, sound effects, voiceovers, and more. Audio engineers can work in various settings.

You could be an audio engineer for a rock concert. You can also work for a radio station and handle all things audio while a radio show is being broadcast. Whenever there is a sound that needs to be worked on, an audio engineer just might be needed!

Do You Need to Go to School for Audio Engineering?

The good news about being an audio engineer is that it will not require some kind of formal education. 

However, audio engineering and similar programs are available mostly at community or vocational colleges and even some four-year universities. Audio engineering training can be available in various undergraduate programs, including music production, broadcast technology, and audio technology. They will give you plenty of hands-on training, but you can receive the same on the job if needed. 

You won’t need a college degree to become a sound engineer. However, you may need certification for audio engineering through an accredited training program. These will be required for many entry-level audio engineering positions.

The good news is you won’t have to spend nearly four years of your life in school. Not to mention, it also means not getting yourself into debt due to student loans. An audio engineering job can be something that you can attain with the right kind of training and certification.

What is the Average Salary of An Audio Engineer?

Audio engineers can expect to make anywhere from $30,000 to $82,000 a year. Keep in mind that there may be outliers as well. An audio engineer may be paid outside of this pay range (but it’s not common).

The salary may vary from one role to another. Entry-level audio engineers can get paid on the low end of the sale. However, they will get paid above-average salaries with experience.

Another thing to take into account is the geographical location. You may get paid more if you live in a larger city compared to someplace smaller. The size of the company can play a role as well.

For example, a movie studio in Los Angeles can pay you more compared to a radio station in Madison, Wisconsin. You may look to make a big move if you are looking to advance your audio engineering career.

What are the Pros and Cons of Being An Audio Engineer?

Every job comes with its own set of pros and cons. An audio engineering job also has its upsides and downsides that you can expect.

Let’s take a look at what they are, starting with the pros:


Good Paying Salaries

Audio engineering is a good-paying job. Sure, some may pay less than others. Likewise, some will pay more. But the better-paying jobs are usually best suited for someone with experience.

Don’t let that discourage you in the slightest. The more experience you have, the more opportunities you may have in the future.

No Formal Education Needed

All it takes for you is a certificate for training—no need to go to school for two or four years. See if your local colleges or universities offer audio engineering training that is available to the public.

You can be able to attend these courses without being a full-fledged student. 

The Field is Quite Broad

Audio engineers can work in various fields. This includes music, radio broadcasting, films, and so much more. You can be able to work as an audio engineer in a field that you desire. 


The Schedule Can be Unpredictable

This may depend on the field you are working in. With tight production and broadcasting being done during all hours of the day, the schedule can be all over the place. You may be filming, and it can be a long day at the office.

It Can be Stressful

This job may also include working under tight deadlines. Live events can also get chaotic. It can be stressful for these reasons. As long as you keep a cool head, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Slow Growth

Audio engineering is one of the jobs that isn’t growing in ridiculous numbers. So it may not be as demanding. Don’t let that stop you from becoming one in the future.


If you intend to become an audio engineer, knowing about the salary is a good start. You also know about the roles and responsibilities. Yes, it has its upsides and downsides, but it certainly can be rewarding.

Audio engineers can work across several different fields. They can work a soundboard like no one else and make sure the sound is on point. They may enjoy working on major projects such as films and music or in a small-scale environment. 

Either way, an audio engineering job might be good for you if sound is your life.