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I Want To Be A Recording Engineer - US STATISTICS
Old 19th March 2012
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardcoreCAP View Post
Current job is paramedic, starts at $13 and caps out at $16/hour in the private industry where I live. Not much room for growth. Gotta work 60 hours week to pay bills.
But no doubt great benefits - health ins., retirement, overtime, etc. Which adds a huge benefit to your actual "hourly" wage. Pretty much none of which are ever even a glimmer of hope for those in the audio industry.
Old 21st March 2012
  #32
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
But no doubt great benefits - health ins., retirement, overtime, etc. Which adds a huge benefit to your actual "hourly" wage. Pretty much none of which are ever even a glimmer of hope for those in the audio industry.
meh, decent benefits...generic 401k for retirement...TONS of overtime if you want it but i'm already working 60 a week lol...i can imagine what you're saying though.....word of advice: if you ever want to go into medicine, skip paramedic and go straight to nurse lol :D
Old 21st March 2012
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Where will the new recruits work?
Walmart?

There are at least 35,000 graduates EVERY YEAR coming onto the US job market from accredited universities (the liberal arts colleges having discovered how lucrative a music tech course can be!) and then you have to add all the private courses from the likes of Full Sail and the like. God only knows how many that is, probably at least ten times as many.

Positions open? One thousand? Fewer?

The UK stats are 6,500 'accredited' graduates and at least 25,000 from private 'colleges' (The Wysuckie College for the Totally Dumb!)

Our nearest university (fully accredited BTW) requires ONE subject at A-Level standard (grade D or better!) That's one subject passed at minimum level.

The attitude of nearly all educators is not just disgraceful, but criminal.
Old 21st March 2012
  #34
Gear Addict
 

Thanks for the post drBill. Its really cool to see the data the way that it is laid out. Personally, I was surprised that the numbers on average were so high! I found it interesting since I just moved from DC (where I did quite well for the past 6 years) to LA for more opportunities and growth potential. Little did I know I was coming from the second best city in the country to be an audio engineer.

What I will say is that you can't necessarily compare different city's data. DC does not have the shear number of studios and audio engineers that CA has. The employment opportunities in DC are also completely different. Some engineers are hard to categorize since they do music, VO, sound for commercials, and any other AV gig that might come their way. On top of that there are a number audio engineers that work for the government doing various AV work for different agencies. CA (or LA at least) seems to have things and people much more segmented into music, post, commercial, etc. My point is that the job of "sound engineer" is not the same from market to market, making it very hard to compare.

I will say that anyone actually cut out for this industry will have already known these numbers (roughly) and has gone forward anyways.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #35
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Clearly, the lucky few that get to make an "alright" living at this do it for the love. no matter how ****ty it is; we still remain super passionate about music and gear. Sorry to rant but I packed my bags and headed for Los Angeles two years ago at age 19. I am struggling and living day by day with no savings but I would not trade it for the world. I have gained imdb credits for my post work and I even had a small sound panels biz going for a while. I would of never had time to do this had I gone to school and worked a day job to pay for it.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHickey View Post
Personally, I was surprised that the numbers on average were so high!
Careful!! Median is not average. Median is the "middle" figure. Modal or mean would have ben more useful. In fact Modal would have been the better figure to know.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #37
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
That's probably it. They are advertisers, read the thread, and strong-armed the mods into bumping it into the moan zone.
Hey Doc!!!

It's a complete and utter scam at this juncture.


I'm sorry...


Did I say Scam?


'Cause I meant to say SCAM.


Whatever.


The jig is almost up for these guys. Kids, and by proxy, their parents are starting to figure out what the ACTUAL post graduation 'job prospectus' is.

And it sucks.

I think we're gonna see a fairly substantial decrease in enrollment from current levels in the next 5-10 years... just from seeing and hearing the basic attitude and disposition of the young guys who come through here. Which is pretty grim.

A certain infamous PT Barnum quip is coming to mind.

Slippy
Old 23rd March 2012
  #38
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drBill's Avatar
What was that slippy?

Did I hear you say something.....let me turn down the 125dB rap music I'm enjoying.....

What?

Was it spam? You eat spam? YUCK! Blech.....


Oh wait, SCAM!!!!????!!!!

Um......yeah, you're probably right, but they advertise here don't they? I wondered why this thought provoking thread with no drama hit the dark recesses so fast it made my head spin, while tons of other useless drivel that's been regurgitated a thousand times remains on the top pages....

Hmmmm.....yeah, I'm a cynic. LOL Like when I read the SSL thread about how they are so popular they can't keep them in stock. I read that as what SSL meant to say was that they were still in China and boats are slow..... heh heh

Scam? I feel pretty much the same about them as I do about sPam.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #39
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
Careful!! Median is not average. Median is the "middle" figure. Modal or mean would have ben more useful. In fact Modal would have been the better figure to know.
Median is what you get when you compare 5 guys who get 10k to mix a track (that takes them a day) with 1000 guys who work for sub-minimum wage.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Median is what you get when you compare 5 guys who get 10k to mix a track (that takes them a day) with 1000 guys who work for sub-minimum wage.
Egg Sack, Lee.
Old 30th March 2012
  #41
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Walmart?

There are at least 35,000 graduates EVERY YEAR coming onto the US job market from accredited universities (the liberal arts colleges having discovered how lucrative a music tech course can be!) and then you have to add all the private courses from the likes of Full Sail and the like. God only knows how many that is, probably at least ten times as many.

Positions open? One thousand? Fewer?

The UK stats are 6,500 'accredited' graduates and at least 25,000 from private 'colleges' (The Wysuckie College for the Totally Dumb!)

Our nearest university (fully accredited BTW) requires ONE subject at A-Level standard (grade D or better!) That's one subject passed at minimum level.

The attitude of nearly all educators is not just disgraceful, but criminal.
+1 to this post. Education is a commodity these days; it doesn't matter what you can learn, only what you can sell or buy. Whether or not your education has any relation to the real world is completely irrelevant to the people who are selling it to you.

I took this picture on my phone. These ads are all over the subways here in NY.
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Old 31st March 2012
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P View Post
+1 to this post. Education is a commodity these days; it doesn't matter what you can learn, only what you can sell or buy. Whether or not your education has any relation to the real world is completely irrelevant to the people who are selling it to you.

I took this picture on my phone. These ads are all over the subways here in NY.
In the LA Weekly there is 3 different schools advertising their audio programs.
Old 28th April 2012
  #43
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The only reason DC has that much work and has a higher pay is all the conventions:
"Blah, Blah, Blah our goals for next year. Blah, Blah, Blah will the board be ruling on this by November?"

Exciting gigs we got here, for sure!!!
Old 3rd May 2012
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty James View Post
Exciting gigs we got here, for sure!!!
I think that for a lot of guys these days, ANY paying gig is an exciting gig.
Old 3rd May 2012
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I think that for a lot of guys these days, ANY paying gig is an exciting gig.
I'd agree with that.
Old 5th May 2012
  #46
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Honestly I'm not surprised. Too many people want to work in music, and it's just not a big industry.

Here are some alternatives:
If you want to make good stable money, be a medical doctor. $300k/yr is pretty standard, and you'll never be out of work, there is always going to be sick and dying people out there. You basically have no boss, which is great. If you are ambitious you can easily make millions as a doctor. But the interesting this is: you don't need to be ambitious to be wealthy. It's just standard course for the profession! Even the most unambitious doctors are extremely well off. Nurses also do really well, two years of training and $80k/yr. Starting rate. Medicine is just a great field for $$$. Nobody wants to get sick or die, and they are willing to blow all their money to prevent that.

Lawyers are pretty good, $100k/yr not too hard, but if you are successful you can easily make in the millions, and the odds are MUCH better for this kind of income than the "music lotto". A lot of potential for entrepreneurship in this industry too. Stability is pretty good, as long as two people exist on the world one will want to sue the other. The music industry is improving this profession if anything.

Software engineering of course is possibly the biggest growth areas too. $100k/yr not too uncommon, even as a starting salary. Probably the best benefits depending on your employer (Google/Apple gives all their employees free gourmet meals, gym memberships, luxury shuttles to and from work, 100% paid "luxury" health insurance, you name it). Lots of job opening not but enough to fill them, so they have to import people from other countries en-masse (and pay them the same and give the same benefits, it's the law). Future of this industry looks pretty good too, there is still tons of problems that need to be solved.

You definitely have to go to a school (for a long time) to be a lawyer or doctor though, and generally to be a software engineer. Best school for lawyer is Harvard, you can get it if you get like perfect grades undergraduate and do perfectly on the LSAT, so a lot of studying. For doctor, Harvard or Johns Hopkins. For SE, MIT or Stanford. Obviously there are many others. Regardless if you get your degree from any of these places you are set for life. Actually, for medical doctor, it doesn't matter much. You can get your degree from some unknown school in Jamaica, and you still set for life. All that really matters is the license.

So in conclusion, be a medical doctor. But there are other professions that are 1000x better than working the music field if you want to earn a living. Besides the above listed, like "train conductor" or "construction worker". Seriously.

Or you can get really lucky and make tens of millions of dollars from a single song that you farted out in an hour. It's certainly possible, but so is winning the lotto. Professional lotto player? Music industry is for people who like to gamble, not for people who want stability. Never was.
Old 5th May 2012
  #47
Lives for gear
Nine out of the top ten paying jobs in the US are medical. Even the CEO of a public company does not earn as much as the average anaesthetist.

The rewards for medical profession are just totally disproportionate to the effort involved, despite the very long and difficult studies.

One guy I used to know, worked as a dentist one month in the year, somewhere in the Midwest. The rest of the year, he kicked back and lived in the sun, drank beer and had several women and dozens of children. He died young with a smile on his face!
Old 5th May 2012
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by freetard View Post
Honestly I'm not surprised. Too many people want to work in music, and it's just not a big industry.

Here are some alternatives:
If you want to make good stable money, be a medical doctor. $300k/yr is pretty standard, and you'll never be out of work, there is always going to be sick and dying people out there. You basically have no boss, which is great. If you are ambitious you can easily make millions as a doctor. But the interesting this is: you don't need to be ambitious to be wealthy. It's just standard course for the profession! Even the most unambitious doctors are extremely well off. Nurses also do really well, two years of training and $80k/yr. Starting rate. Medicine is just a great field for $$$. Nobody wants to get sick or die, and they are willing to blow all their money to prevent that.

Lawyers are pretty good, $100k/yr not too hard, but if you are successful you can easily make in the millions, and the odds are MUCH better for this kind of income than the "music lotto". A lot of potential for entrepreneurship in this industry too. Stability is pretty good, as long as two people exist on the world one will want to sue the other. The music industry is improving this profession if anything.

Software engineering of course is possibly the biggest growth areas too. $100k/yr not too uncommon, even as a starting salary. Probably the best benefits depending on your employer (Google/Apple gives all their employees free gourmet meals, gym memberships, luxury shuttles to and from work, 100% paid "luxury" health insurance, you name it). Lots of job opening not but enough to fill them, so they have to import people from other countries en-masse (and pay them the same and give the same benefits, it's the law). Future of this industry looks pretty good too, there is still tons of problems that need to be solved.

You definitely have to go to a school (for a long time) to be a lawyer or doctor though, and generally to be a software engineer. Best school for lawyer is Harvard, you can get it if you get like perfect grades undergraduate and do perfectly on the LSAT, so a lot of studying. For doctor, Harvard or Johns Hopkins. For SE, MIT or Stanford. Obviously there are many others. Regardless if you get your degree from any of these places you are set for life. Actually, for medical doctor, it doesn't matter much. You can get your degree from some unknown school in Jamaica, and you still set for life. All that really matters is the license.

So in conclusion, be a medical doctor. But there are other professions that are 1000x better than working the music field if you want to earn a living. Besides the above listed, like "train conductor" or "construction worker". Seriously.

Or you can get really lucky and make tens of millions of dollars from a single song that you farted out in an hour. It's certainly possible, but so is winning the lotto. Professional lotto player? Music industry is for people who like to gamble, not for people who want stability. Never was.
That's a very insulting post.

That "single song that farted out in an hour." will be the culmination of years and years of hard work, training, and practice. It takes as much training and work to become a good musician as it does to become a lawyer - in fact it's probably much easier to become a lawyer and it certainly takes far less talent to have a career of it. And the fact is that songs can sometimes take weeks or even years to complete to the satisfaction of the songwriter.

You don't create great music by chance. Contrary to what you apologists for the tech robber barons would claim, not anybody can create music that other people will actually be interested in, and it's even harder to create something that will still be listened to 10, 20, or 50 years later.

It's not like code where any socially-impaired dweeb can sit in a cubicle and crank out reams on command.


I think that's one of the reason that you nerds hate musicians so much - you're jealous - you don't understand that what we do is much, much harder to do right than what you do. Sour Grapes.
Old 5th May 2012
  #49
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Hey John,

I hear you man. I'm working as a professional musician these days too, and these jealous nerds just keep getting in my way. My new album will be out soon, and I assure you it will not contain songs that I farted out in an hour.
Old 5th May 2012
  #50
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freetard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
Nine out of the top ten paying jobs in the US are medical. Even the CEO of a public company does not earn as much as the average anaesthetist.

The rewards for medical profession are just totally disproportionate to the effort involved, despite the very long and difficult studies.

One guy I used to know, worked as a dentist one month in the year, somewhere in the Midwest. The rest of the year, he kicked back and lived in the sun, drank beer and had several women and dozens of children. He died young with a smile on his face!
Yeah seriously. I got a root canal/crown that took my dentist two 45 minute sessions to do, the total bill was $1000 (with insurance, by the way). Well to be fair, they do have a lot of overhead, but they aren't not a poor group of people by any measurement.
Old 5th May 2012
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by freetard View Post
Yeah seriously. I got a root canal/crown that took my dentist two 45 minute sessions to do, the total bill was $1000 (with insurance, by the way). Well do be fair, they do have a lot of overhead, but they aren't not a poor group of people by any measurement.
You're lucky. You have insurance. Most musicians don't.
Old 5th May 2012
  #52
Lives for gear
I always wanted to do music or be a audio engineer. But saw other guys touring for a few months and always going back to the parents house broke at any age...even bands who had big record deals and gave up everything for it. Even if you are lucky and get a million dollar deal for 4 guys in a band it can all be gone in a year and no one cares...probably makes it easier to get layed in you home town though lol. Biggest scam is when you get signed, flop and the record company sends you a huge bill you can never pay.

I went for a communications degree as a equal medium and learned video production,graphic design as well so I could still be close to what I love...realized fast you need to be good at a lot of things not just audio. A lot of people dont even care about quality audio to be honest, just a full multimedia package. We live in a world of media convergence where one person does many jobs very well. Doesn't start out at a lot, but it's something!

I also know a lot of people with great jobs and benefits and it has nothing to even do with the degree they got and more about the fact they have a degree and sometimes a strong personal portfolio. So get a degree no matter what it is and built up a resume of hard work even while in school.
Old 5th May 2012
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
You're lucky. You have insurance. Most musicians don't.
Most musicians aren't the lyrical genius of their generation either. Pretty soon, I won't just have mediocre dental insurance, I will have the world.

Just watch this music video from the former lyrical geniuses of our generation (Nickleback). Everything you need to know is here. Is that you at 0:13?
Old 6th May 2012
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
I can't imagine trying to live in LA on $22/hour. Maybe a cheap flop in the Compton area would do you with no chance of raising a family. Do recording engineers actually live like that?
Young guys do. And most on a LOT less than $22 an hour. $22 an hour is 45k+ a year. If you're married and wife makes $45k a year also, that's $90k a year. Subsistence living in LA.
Old 6th May 2012
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Young guys do. And most on a LOT less than $22 an hour. $22 an hour is 45k+ a year. If you're married and wife makes $45k a year also, that's $90k a year. Subsistence living in LA.
I would LOVE to make 22/hr for 40hrs a week. That would be more money than I know what to do with.

That being said, some people who I just graduated with are moving on to jobs that pay 85-90k a year, right out of school.
Old 7th May 2012
  #56
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickNagurka View Post
I would LOVE to make 22/hr for 40hrs a week. That would be more money than I know what to do with.

That being said, some people who I just graduated with are moving on to jobs that pay 85-90k a year, right out of school.
Out of recording school? Jobs in the music industry?

Please elaborate - exactly where are these "jobs"? Did they involve working for a relative?

Now, out of LAW SCHOOL, well, I'd have a hard time believing that, either, but it sounds somewhat less dubious. Even doctors don't make that kind of money right out of school.
Old 7th May 2012
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Out of recording school? Jobs in the music industry?

Please elaborate - exactly where are these "jobs"? Did they involve working for a relative?

Now, out of LAW SCHOOL, well, I'd have a hard time believing that, either, but it sounds somewhat less dubious. Even doctors don't make that kind of money right out of school.
I went to the University of Michigan school of music. Thank God i didn't get sucked into a trade school! Some of my friends from the college of engineering or computer science are readying themselves for those types of jobs.
Old 7th May 2012
  #58
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oh! I thought you were talking about music jobs and music engineering. You're talking about ENGINEERING, engineering. That's a whole different type of Bridge you're engineering!!
Yeah I see the 60-90 k there.
Old 18th June 2012
  #59
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by timlloyd View Post
A little less than before though. Thanks for posting it Bill - will no doubt find it very useful :
Cool, glad you found it useful.
Old 18th June 2012
  #60
Gear Maniac
 

So are alot of the well paid studio guys in a union? I am guessing the Hollywood folks making the $30hr range are probably in a union and have benefits.
If you are anti-union keep it to yourself plz. My guess is the recording pros making good consistent money are in a union.
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