Audio Degree Programs and Majors Overview

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Students in a 4-year bachelor's degree program in audio engineering learn to install and operate analog and digital recording equipment. Students gain the necessary skills for jobs in television broadcasting, in recording studios, or behind the scenes at live events such as concerts, conferences, or sporting events.

Applicants may need a high school diploma or equivalent to gain admission, as well as an associate degree in some cases.

Bachelor's Programs in Audio Engineering

These programs focus on music recording, processing, and reproduction of sound. Students take general education courses in addition to core audio engineering classes. Other areas of study include math, physics and electronic engineering. Some common courses include:

  • Studio production
  • Live recording applications
  • Electronics and circuit theory
  • Auditory perception
  • Sound reinforcement
  • Audio engineering physics

Bachelor's Programs in Digital Audio Technology

Students in a digital audio technology program learn about audio engineering, digital audio technology, and audio production. Digital signal processing and computer engineering is covered in the audio engineering portion of the course. Program topics include soundtrack production for film, desktop audio production and video game audio. Other courses might include:

  • Digital circuits design
  • Digital signal processing
  • Audio software development
  • Audio signals and systems
  • Design of digital filters
  • Object-oriented programming

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Employment for sound engineering technicians is expected to grow by 6% from 2019 through 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This projected growth is faster than average when compared to the employment growth for all other occupations. In 2020, the BLS reported the median annual income of sound engineering technicians as $53,520.

Popular Career Options

A bachelor's degree in audio gives the graduate several options in career choice. Some options are:

  • Studio sound recording engineer
  • Live sound engineer
  • Recording engineer
  • Sound therapist
  • Re-recording mixer

Continuing Education

Because of the nature of the industry, the BLS recommends that all audio engineers should take continuing education courses to stay abreast of the latest technological advances. Courses are available at community colleges and 2-year schools.

Audio degree programs can be found at the undergraduate level in the areas of both audio engineering and digital audio technology. These degrees can open up career opportunities in live sound engineering, sound therapy, and more.

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