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How Do I Become an Audio Technician?

Working as a college DJ may open up avenues to becoming an audio technician.
A mixing board is among the equipment an audio technician should know how to use.
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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2014
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There are four steps required to become an audio technician: post-secondary training, related work experience, certification, and the job interview process. A audio technician provides assistance setting up, recording, and managing audio transmissions, performances, and recordings. An audio technician can find employment opportunities in television studios, lecture facilities, audio, and home theater installation companies.

People who want to become an audio technician often have a strong interest in music, enjoy a wide variety of music, and have naturally good hearing. In addition, many people fine tune their hearing through listening classes, ear training, and other programs designed to enhance their natural skills.

The first requirement to become an audio technician is to complete a post-secondary education program. Audio technician programs are available from a wide range of community and career colleges. Look for schools that offer audio technician training as part of their program. The admissions criteria for this specialty may be slightly higher than the standard program, as demand for this training is increasing.

Related work experience needed to become an audio technician is usually obtained through a job placement program, or can be through a part-time job as an assistant audio technician. Other options for related work experience include audio-visual set-up assistant, recording assistant, DJ, or working in a theater.

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There are several programs that offer professional certification as an audio technician. Although not required by law, professional certification can be helpful when applying for jobs on movie sets, television shows, or other unionized work locations. Review the details of the programs to find out if they offer this type of certification.

When applying for a job as an audio technician, be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter, double checking for any grammar or spelling mistakes. During the job interview process, remember that the employer usually has a standard list of questions and is looking for complete, concise responses. Keep in mind that everything you say will be written down and reviewed. Think about your answers, stay calm, and focus on how you can contribute.

Think about adding valuable audio technician experience to your resume by volunteering with your local high school or theater production as an assistant. In this role, you can learn a lot by observing a professional audio technician and discover how to use the equipment, interact with other professionals, and more. It is important to realize that even an entry-level job provides chances to learn, if you pay attention and try your best.

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Monika
Post 4

@JessicaLynn - Sounds like college was really beneficial to your boyfriend. I just wanted to say that college isn't always necessary to be an audio technician.

I have a friend who works as an audio technician, and he learned on the job. He got an entry level job right out of high school, and they trained him. He takes certification classes through his work periodically to keep his skills up and learn about new technologies. But he's never taken even one college class!

JessicaLynn
Post 3

My boyfriend works as an audio technician. He got a bachelors degree in Electronic Media, which I think has really helped further his career.

He also did a few things when he was in college that I think really helped too. He worked in the recording studio on campus. He got paid a decent hourly wage, and he got some really valuable experience. He also secured a few very credible references for when he was job searching as a graduate.

In addition, he worked at the campus radio station. So he got two very different audio technician experiences while he was still in school. I know this looked great to prospective employers.

Ivan83
Post 2

@truman12 - Good points. I followed a similar path when I was trying to break into the industry and now I have been a technician for over 20 years.

Another step that helps is becoming familiar with all the different instruments you may be recording and if possible become familiar with the most obscure instruments you can. Most people know how to record a guitar but recording a tuba or a steel drum is a lot trickier. If you understand the kind of sound you will be working with it makes the technical aspects a lot easier.

truman12
Post 1

A big part of being an audio technician is getting familiar with all the technology you will be using. This can be tricky for people just starting out because it is hard to get access to top of the line studios and big mixing boards.

The good news is that you can learn a lot of the basics from smaller scale equipment. Even with just a four track recorder you can learn a lot of the principles of audio production.

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