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audio and sound engineer salary

Audio and Sound Engineer Salary Guide 2022

Table of Contents

Maybe you aspire to be an audio engineer, or you want to hire one to support your projects. Whatever your reason is, knowing how much a sound engineer pays can be insightful information.

Audio engineer and sound engineer terms have the same meaning. However, people will commonly link audio engineers to recording projects, and sound engineer is related to live concerts or events. They are responsible for constructing musical elements to produce well-tuned audio. Multimedia and music-related projects will mainly require their services. 

Sound engineer roles are vital for multiple production industries. Televisions, radio, performing arts, and concerts become the typical workplaces for them. Besides that, record producers and musicians will also need their services to create the sound quality they want to achieve.

Since many companies are popping up in the multimedia industry, there is a high demand for recording engineer positions.  The increasing demand also impacts linearly on both jobs’ salaries. 

Let’s find out more about sound engineer salaries!

What are audio and sound engineers?

It’s common to interchange the terms audio engineer and sound engineer because their job descriptions also often overlap. However, their duties revolve around mixing musical elements to create high-quality audio or sound quality.

They are creative people who mix their skills with technological skills. Knowing electrical components is essential for them as an additional skill to having audio engineering skills. 

Both multimedia productions and live performances will need to hire audio technicians and sound engineers. Being in either profession entails having  a good sense of sound quality to produce high-quality output. 

Skills required to be audio and sound engineers

Similarities between audio technician and sound engineer positions make these careers require equivalent skills. To be an audio technician or sound engineer, you need to have a comprehensive knowledge of the tools and equipment used to capture, record, and process audio. 

The requirements demand you to use and operate:

  • digital and analogue mixing consoles, 
  • sound cards, and 
  • microphones. 

As sound engineers, you handle technical equipment such as speakers, amplifiers, synthesisers, and many more.  You’ll also be required to understand how the audio level meters and acoustical calibrators work. 

As an aspiring sound engineer, you’ll need to intervene or adjust some technical issues and calibrate them to suit the settings. That’s why you need to be familiar with how the equipment works.

Achieving these skills can be acquired through practical experience. You can enrol in a wide variety of educational backgrounds to enhance your sound engineering skills. Another option would be to join courses and practice self-learning to improve your audio skills.

Audio engineers salaries in Singapore

According to Salary Expert, sound engineers’ average base salary in Singapore is S$80,028/year. The salary ranges start from the lowest of S$58,434/year and S$98,562/year as the highest salary group.

The majority of recording engineers work as freelancers or are self-employed. If you want to get a higher income, you will need to gain more experience in this field. Another critical aspect to keep in mind is building your network and reputation by having a good work ethic. 

Gain experience as a sound engineer

Experience indicates the number of hands-on practices in the work industry. Referencing from Salary Explorer, it’s common for a level-entry audio technician to start with lower salaries than the senior practitioners. 

To get recognised in the audio engineering industry, you will need some time doing internships or work for free and creating tracks for artists or music producers. Another option would be doing volunteer work for significant events, such as live concerts or corporate seminars that usually take place in auditoriums.

Once you have a proven track record and volunteer history, you can start charging your clients for your services. Don’t think that doing free or volunteering work is a burden. Many people can understand audio engineering easily, but it takes years to master the skills. Yes, it might take some time and sacrifice, but it will be worth the process as you’ll get to build your reputation and network.

Less than two years of experience

Audio engineers who are still new in the sound engineering field will typically earn less than other senior professionals working in similar industries. Salary Explorer mentions that junior sound engineers with less than two years of experience in Singapore will commonly make S$3,800 every month.

2 – 5 years of experience

As experience grows, sound engineers will also grow. Salary Explorer also mentions that recording engineers with 2 to 5 years of Experience in Singapore will typically earn S$4,880 per month. It  means there is a 28.4% increase in income compared to those with less than two years of experience.

5 – 10 years of experience

Medium-level audio engineers in Singapore can earn as much as S$6,730 every month, as stated by Salary Explorer. There’s a 37.9% increase in their monthly wage compared to engineers who have 2 to 5 years of experience.

10 – 15 years of experience

Salary Explorer wrote that a more advanced group of sound engineers in Singapore with 10 to 15 years of experience averagely get S$8,430 as their monthly income. The salary shows a 25.2% earning raise compared to the practitioners with 5 to 10 years of experience.

15 – 20 years of experience

Audio engineers who have gathered 15 to 20 years of experience can earn as much as S$8,940 per month, as mentioned by Salary Explorer. However, they would need to build years of reputation to reach this point where they received a 6% salary increase.

More than 20 years of experience

Citing to Salary Explorer, senior recording engineers who have spent more than 20 years in the industry will earn as much as S$9,530 every month. It  means there’s a 6.5% wage increase than those with 15 to 20 years of experience. The probability is they don’t earn it from the same place as they probably have a large number of connections. 

What do sound engineers do?

Sound engineers are audio professionals whose work revolves around audio quality reinforcement. They will mix and reproduce the equalisation and electronic effects of sound.

There are other subtypes of sound engineers that you need to know. Many audio engineers can have more than one of these specialities, but many others focus on one speciality:

  • Monitor sound engineers: Monitor the on-stage sound.
  • System engineers: Set up amps, complex PA systems, and speakers for the performing artists.
  • Studio audio engineers: Work in the studio, and they will make high-quality recordings of music, speech, and sound effects.
  • Research and development audio engineers: Invent new technologies, equipment, and techniques to improve the procedure of art of audio engineering.
  • Wireless microphone engineers: manages wireless microphones during sports events, theatre productions, and any other types of live events.  
  • Game audio designer engineers: works on the sound for video and computer game development.

Courses or discipline  needed to become audio engineers.

Pursuing education can be beneficial if you want to build your career in the audio engineering field. Attending centres that revolve around an audio or sound engineering niche could also help you develop your connection. You will be able to build more connections when you attend one!

There are many options in Singapore that you could choose when it comes to education for audio engineering. Here are some of the choices available:

Building your career as a sound engineer

Having an open-minded mindset and a flexible personality will be beneficial if you wish to become a recording engineer. As a creative and technical professional, you will meet many different people who will need your service and eventually hire you. 

Pursuing an audio engineering education is good, but it would be better to market yourself and sell your skills to everyone. The goal is to make yourself stand out and be recognised as much as possible as a sound engineer. Mastering entrepreneurial skills could also be great to attract more clients.

If you’re still new in the sound engineering industry, it would be great if you start by doing internships, either for musicians or corporations. Exemplify your skills by focusing yourself on either paid or unpaid internships and on the clarity and the overall quality of the music. 

Once your clients appreciate your work, you can start charging them with a low fee. It might be a burden for you to work for free. However, the results can be good if you’re consistent in improving your tracks’ quality.

Once you’ve gathered enough experience, you’d have many options in this field. You can either focus on being an audio engineer who works in a recording studio or become a sound engineer who travels to different places for live concerts. Another option would be owning a recording studio and starting your own business.

Conclusion

Now that you have understood how much audio engineers typically earn in Singapore, you might notice that various aspects impact how much a sound engineer makes. Experience, connections, and education affect how much they can earn.

It would be best to expand your network, hone your musical skills, and enrich your acoustical knowledge. By having excellent skills and reputable connections, people will easily recognise you as a recording engineer, thus bringing more profitable projects to you.

Finally, don’t forget to stay humble and be a person who’s pleasant to be around. That way, people will feel happy working with you and might consider collaborating with you. Who knows if some of the projects will give you the best pay, right?

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