Audio Technician Job Description
An Audio Technician is responsible for setting up sound and recording equipment, making adjustments and testing the equipment and assisting with recordings or sound production. They work most often in recording studios and concert venues but may also work in television, film or radio.
Audio Technicians generally work as independent contractors, but may also be hired as part of a recording team in a recording studio setting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians are expected to see a growth of about 7 percent through 2024. This will add an estimated 7,700 jobs to this sector during this timeframe.
Audio Technician Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization an Audio Technician works for will determine their particular responsibilities, however, there are several main duties all Audio Technicians perform. A review of current job listings identified the following primary tasks and responsibilities.
Prepare Sound Equipment
Audio Technicians are responsible for setting up any required sound equipment for a recording or live performance. This may include soundboards, microphones, amplifiers, audio lines, monitors and speakers, just to name a few. The type of recording or performance will determine how large of a setup is needed, but Audio Technicians must be comfortable with setting up all common sound equipment. They must also know how to test all the equipment and use it as well. They will be responsible for recording the music or monitoring the sound levels and quality for live performances.
Many Audio Technicians work as independent contractors and must maintain and own their own sound equipment. They must keep abreast of the latest technologies and trends in the audio recording industry to stay competitive and relevant. Audio Technicians will repair or replace faulty equipment and order new devices when needed. For Audio Technicians working for a studio or similar gig, they may be responsible for researching and making ordering decisions for the company’s sound and recording equipment. They may also keep an inventory on all the devices to prevent loss or theft.
Provide Customer Service
A large part of the Audio Technician’s job is ensuring clients are happy, both with the sound quality or recording and with the setup and process itself. In such a competitive business, it is vital that Audio Technicians develop good rapport with clients to encourage repeat business. For the independent contractor this is even more important, as they are responsible for finding their own clients. Some recording studios will also task Audio Technicians with finding new talent. Audio Technicians must be good at networking and making contacts.
Audio Technician Skills
A successful Audio Technician has a broad knowledge of sound technologies and is skilled at problem solving. They have excellent communication skills and keep up-to-date on the latest developments and trends in the industry. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Audio Technician with these core skills. If you want to work in sound and recording, focus on the following.
- Advanced knowledge of computer systems, both PCs and Apple
- Excellent hearing and an ear for detail
- Knowledge of sound and recording equipment
- Technical aptitude
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your skillset and broaden your career options.
- A college degree or certification in related field
- Previous professional experience
Audio Technician Resources
There are more helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming Audio Technicians. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Sound on Sound – This is one of the oldest recording technology magazines around, founded in 1985. It continues to be one of the leading magazines in the industry today and is a great resource for sound equipment.
Mix Online – This professional audio and music production magazine is offered in both print versions and electronic versions. It provides articles from industry leaders and equipment reviews.
The Pro Audio Files – This site is an open forum where audio professionals can share information and tips about the industry. It’s a great resource for those interested in learning about Audio Technician’s duties and responsibilities.
@focusritetech – Tony Marra is a professional Audio Technician in Las Vegas who tweets a mixture of business and personal viewpoints. His business related tweets are worth checking out to see what is happening in the industry.
@PandaExFresh – Andy Dudash is a Live Audio Technician who is currently on tour. Follow his feed to see the pictures he posts of venues all over the world.
Audio Engineering Society – AES was founded in 1948 in the US and has expanded to its current status as an international organization. It is the only professional society dedicated solely to audio technology and provides its members with publications, education and networking opportunities.
The Society of Professional Audio Recording Services – In 1979 the leaders of the recording industry got together and formed SPARS. This society is the networking tool for audio recording professionals, providing mentoring services and training from successful veteran professionals.
The Society of Broadcast Engineers – SBE was founded in 1964 and is the only organization focusing on all levels and types of broadcast engineering. Their members enjoy publications with industry news, education programs and networking opportunities.
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