A recording engineer is someone who is responsible for creating, modifying and producing music and audio files. The equipment a recording engineer requires includes mixing boards, digital recorders and listening equipment. Many modern sound studios include a sophisticated computer program and software, which is used to combine multiple audio files.
There is no standard training program required to become a recording engineer. Most recording engineers have received formal training in music and have completed courses in music theory and music composition. The completion of post-secondary education may not be directly related to a career as a recording engineer, but it will show potential employers dedication to learning, ability to follow through and long-term planning.
The technical skills required for this job are computer based. Many professional quality sound production software products can be purchased directly and installed on your home computer. Practice using these tools to develop your skills in modifying audio files, saving different versions and playback. In addition to mixing programs, there are other software tools designed to create sound effects, modify existing audio tracks, slow down or speed up the dialog and adjust background noise levels. All these skills are useful when applying for a job as a recording engineer.
The salary range for a recording engineer is between $18,000 to $85,000 US Dollars (USD) per year. At the beginning of your career, it may be necessary to work for very little money or even volunteer in a recording studio to gain valuable experience. Due to the lack of formal training programs, experience and references are very important when applying for work.
As a recording engineer, there are certain character traits that will enhance your career. Patience, listening, dedication and attention to detail are critical in this field. In this role, you may be asked to work with a wide range of musical types and personalities. A professional is expected to give all projects the same care and attention that you would, regardless of your personal music preferences.
The long-term career options for a recording engineer include positions as a music producer, movie sound editor, musical composer or song arranger. These opportunities can become possible through a combination of professional reputation, skill and interest. Potential employers include concert production companies, television and radio stations, and recording studios. Investigate the number of entertainment related companies in your area. A large city with an active movie or music production industry will offer numerous job opportunities and allow you to establish your reputation in a central location.