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Career in Audio engineering
Old 2nd November 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Career in Audio engineering

Hey everyone! So i'm going to college soon and I'm unsure of what I want to do. For the longest time I was sure I was going to study education, primarily elementary school education and ESL training. However, I now am quite interested in music and getting a degree in audio engineering sounds quite fun! I just want to know, what is the job market like for audio engineers? If I get a degree, will I be able to make a decent living off this or will it be a tough industry where i'm fighting for every dollar? I am still interested in education but an audio engineering degree just sound like an awesome way to spend my time

Thanks!!
Old 2nd November 2018
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
.. an audio engineering degree just sound like an awesome way to spend my time.
It is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
I just want to know, what is the job market like for audio engineers?
Join in line...
Old 2nd November 2018
  #3
Quote:
I just want to know, what is the job market like for audio engineers? If I get a degree,
Degree or no degree, in this field degrees are useless. There are Tens of thousands of talented engineers with a lot of experience that cannot find a job to make a living as an audio engineer. A lot of big studios have closed, I mean a lot and all those engineers are out of work and looking. so stand in line and im sure who ever hires will only hire an engineer with credits to their name and lots of experience. Its just how it goes and most of the time, its who you know. no studsio wuill hire you out of school. They will hire someone that has a lot of experience and knowledge and credits over someone who just graduated.

If you are one of the lucky ones who can find an internship and I mean lucky., There are only few studios who still do this and there are millions of engineers who will compete with you for it. But if you win the intern lottery, you will basically work for free for a few years, getting lunch, cleaning the toilets, washing cars (yes, I've seen it) and what ever else they want to make you do. you will do everything, but audio engineering stuff, basically, but them consider yourself lucky
Quote:
I now am quite interested in music and getting a degree in audio engineering sounds quite fun!
Its awesome!!!
Old 2nd November 2018
  #4
Unless you're the top 1% of the 1%, most musicians make musical "careers" multi-faceted: they can produce, engineer, play gigs at night and teach during the day. Gone are the days of being on demand of big label music studios. The music industry model has changed so much the last 18 years.

Your best bet is going to diversify and make yourself marketable. Learn to produce, edit, mix and master. Start working on your clientele. Networking is what will keep you getting repeat business.

I've known 15 musicians go to school to engineer, open their own studios, and 14 closed within their first year. The one that is open is because he has a day job to pay for it.

Degree's do not guarantee jobs.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
For the longest time I was sure I was going to study education, primarily elementary school education and ESL training. However, I now am quite interested in music and getting a degree in audio engineering sounds quite fun! I just want to know, what is the job market like for audio engineers?
What type of audio engineering in what market? There's a huge variation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
If I get a degree, will I be able to make a decent living off this or will it be a tough industry where i'm fighting for every dollar?
See above. Best bet is be prepared to "fight". Or possibly 'fail'. Sorry to be a downer but it's a tough market, and technological advances are going to make it far harder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
I am still interested in education but an audio engineering degree just sound like an awesome way to spend my time

Thanks!!
Learning the craftsmanship of the arts is a fantastic way to spend one's time... until it's time to pay off student debt, then it's less fantastic.

My guess is that education, particularly for younger children, will be more in demand for a longer period of time than audio engineering. Again though, it depends on the market.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #6
7+1
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Two bits of advice I give..

-It is one hell of an industry... But if you do good work and believe and drive like no other, you will succeed.

-Never let anyone tell you No.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #7
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Sigma's Avatar
Get a degree as an actuary or in health care then take lessons in engineering..so if engineering fails you got fall back..I never understood what 4 year 60k a year recording colleges teach that it takes so long..most assistants take 18-24 months to move on up
Old 2nd November 2018
  #8
Gear Head
diy.... go to school for debt....school is pretty pointless unless you want to work a 9-5 job or worse.

I’m not expecting you to know this for yourself at your age, but really what do you really want in life?

Because I went to school and I got my “dream” job. I ended up ****ing hating what I was doing. Worked some years away, realized how stupid that is and I quit.

Here’s what I can say about music, just like anything else, if you don’t put hours in you will suck at it.

Even if you are the best in the world, you still have to apply yourself and market yourself properly. Not the hardest thing for me to figure out but for others....yikes


What kind of music do you make?
Old 3rd November 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
 

If you have a Degree in Audio Engineering, you can intern somewhere for free and make coffee - just like the guy who walked in off the street with no degree. If you have a degree as a Radiology Assistant, you can make $60k - $80k a year. Hospitals are hiring.

If you are thinking about it in terms of a "career", I would use music as a pretty close analogy. You might learn some hip chords at music school, but when you join a band, all the band wants is to hear you play. You can get good at guitar by yourself, or with a private teacher. You don't need 4 years of college. Chops beats degrees to the point that nobody cares if you even went to school, much less graduated.


The "job prospects" are only what you make of them. There are few lists of companies "hiring". Not everybody is cut out for such uncertainty in their lives. As someone who teaches a few audio classes at a nearby college, I sometimes get students saying things like: "I want to be a rock guitarist, but my parents think I should learn engineering to have something to fall back on".

It is sometimes a struggle not to spit out my coffee, but I try to explain to them that the 'odds' are fairly equally lousy. Some talented, dedicated and lucky people get so far as to make a living at it, but it's a big crapshoot. The student's parents assumed that because one involves a computer and the other involves a Stratocaster, that one is "a job" you can "get" and the other is "dream" you can reach for. In fact both are "glamor" professions, meaning everybody wants to do it. I am not saying there are too many "applicants per opening" - I am saying there are hardly any "openings" at all - it's more like you have to make your own openings.

That, far more than any technical knowledge, love of music, ear for sound, or college degree is what you will really need.
Old 21st November 2018
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divinejames View Post
Hey everyone! So i'm going to college soon and I'm unsure of what I want to do. For the longest time I was sure I was going to study education, primarily elementary school education and ESL training. However, I now am quite interested in music and getting a degree in audio engineering sounds quite fun! I just want to know, what is the job market like for audio engineers? If I get a degree, will I be able to make a decent living off this or will it be a tough industry where i'm fighting for every dollar? I am still interested in education but an audio engineering degree just sound like an awesome way to spend my time

Thanks!!
Do what you want, but I highly recommend getting your major in a different field that is in demand, that you are interested in, at a school with an audio program - and use your electives for the audio classes. Do a minor or something. You can ALWAYS do professional audio without a degree if you work at it. You cant though, go back on student loans and 4 years of your life, and a BA if it doesnt work out. Having said that, if you choose to major in it - go to a major city that does a lot of multimedia, and IMMEDIATELY start interning and getting your foot in the door. There is no time to waste and you'll be wasting your time if you just go to classes, and if you arent in a good geography.

But again, you dont need to go to college to learn audio. You can if you want, but colleges and audio programs arent exactly always honest about the job market, nor do they really teach you how to mix or record well. Theyll teach you the tools, but in the end it's about your ear and who you know. Give yourself some breathing room with a complimentary major and dont risk your higher education for a field that has severely constricted, unless you are truly/honestly prepared that it might not turn out - and you might end up working in a factory or retail or something, but hey you got to spend $10,000s for audio school (instead of gear )
Old 18th December 2018
  #11
Gear Addict
 

I think it's really expensive to attend audio engineering school and then everyone has a daw.
Definitely look at something that is stable like being a doctor. Then you can buy a studio and put it in your mansion.
Old 18th December 2018
  #12
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Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I think it's really expensive to attend audio engineering school and then everyone has a daw.
Definitely look at something that is stable like being a doctor. Then you can buy a studio and put it in your mansion.
I left school at 16 to become a professional musician and now 40 years later .... I lucky enough to still be a professional musician/creative.

But 2018 is not 1979 when an album cost $20 (= today's money) and people bought them in there millions and millions and the industry was literally swimming in cash!

I hate to admit it but Saxplayerz advice is very sensible, very sensible indeed.

Here in 2018 music/creative recording/production would make a wonderful all absorbing passion and hobby and decent professional job outside music would pay for it!
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