engineering technician introduction

The engineering technician is very integral in many scenarios where is needed. They are found in many settings in the music industry from the recording studio to concerts.

job summary

assemble and operate sound equipment for events.

They use this equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce music and voices or sound effects.

Their expertise can be required for:

  • film.
  • video.
  • hotels.
  • arenas.
  • offices.
  • schools
  • concerts.
  • theater.
  • movies.
  • podcasts.
  • television.
  • radio programs.
  • sporting events.
  • recording studios.
  • other productions that require sound.  

Common titles for the sound engineering technician

Common titles include:

  • Sound engineering technicians.
  • Sound engineering operators.
  • Sound engineers.
  • Audio engineers.
  • Sound mixers.

In the , the average yearly wage for was $49,050, as assessed in May 2021.

Technicians usually work full time and may do overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events.

Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.

The educational requirements for the job of sound engineering technician can vary from a high school diploma to a college degree.

High school math, physics, and electronics are desirable in the .

Other desirable skills include knowledge of audio equipment and related technologies.

Educational training may cover several months to years to be completed depending on the certification being awarded. Sound engineering technician educational programs may lead to either a nondegree award or a college degree.

Education includes hands-on experience with sound recording equipment.

Continuing education for

Sound engineering technicians engage in various kinds of continuing education activities in order to remain current.

One of these is on-the-job training which can include:

  • setting up cables.
  • testing electrical equipment.
  • setting up automation systems.
  • implementing safety procedures.
  • learning the codes and industry standards

Licenses, certifications, and registrations for Sound engineering technicians

Licenses, certifications, and registrations are generally not required in the USA. However, the Society of Broadcast Engineers provides education and certification at different levels.

Sound engineering technicians may want to pursue the Certified Audio Engineer (CEA) certification.

Sound engineering technician job description

  • Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, sound, and broadcast equipment to ensure consistent quality.
  • Set up and take down equipment for events and live performances.
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording equipment or computers, sometimes using complex software.
  • Synchronize sounds and dialogue with action taking place on television or in movie productions.
  • Convert video and audio records to digital formats for editing on computers.
  • Install audio equipment in hotels, offices, and schools.
  • Report any problems that arise with complex equipment and make routine repairs.
  • Keep records of recordings and equipment used.

Sound engineering technician skills

Communication skills. 

Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers regarding clients and status of the preparation for events.

Computer skills.

Sound engineering technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit recordings.

Problem-solving skills.

Technicians need to identify problems with the equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them.

Manual dexterity. 

A steady hand and good hand-eye coordination are required for setting up equipment and cables, and for adjusting small knobs, dials, and sliders during broadcasts and live performances.

Sound engineering technician quick facts

Quick facts
2021 Median Pay$49,050 per year
$23.58 per hour
Typical Entry-Level EducationSee How to Become One
Work Experience in a Related OccupationNone
On-the-job TrainingShort-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2020138,700
Job Outlook, 2020-3021% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2020-3028,600
US Bureau of Labor Statistics


 Society of Broadcast Engineers

US Bureau of Labor Statistics

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