Sound Engineer Salary in the US | How Much Do Sound Engineers Make in 2022?

Sound-Engineer-Salary
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Table of Contents Show
  1. What Does It Mean To Be a Sound Engineer?
  2. What is the Role of a Sound Engineer?
  3. What is the Average Sound Engineer Salary in 2022?
  4. Factors Affecting the Salary of Sound Engineers in the US
    1. Experience Level
    2. Level of Education
    3. Gender
  5. How Much Does a Sound Engineer Make in the US?
    1. How Much Does Sound Engineer Make A Year?
    2. How Much Do Sound Engineers Make a Month?
    3. How Much Do Sound Engineers Make Weekly?
    4. How Much Do Sound Engineers Make per Hour?
  6. Salary of Sound Engineer in the US Based on Location
    1. What are the Highest-Paying States in the United States for Sound Engineer Jobs?
    2. What Are The Top Ten Cities With The Highest Salary For Sound Engineer Jobs?
    3. What are the Top 5 Best Paying Related Sound Engineering Job
  7. Salary for Sound Engineer in the US Based on Level
    1. How Much Do Sound Engineers Make Based on Entry Level?
    2. How Much Do Sound Engineers Make at the Senior Level in the US?
  8. Salary for Sound Engineer in the US Based on Field
    1. How Much Does a Church Sound Engineer Make in 2022
    2. How Much Does Audio Engineer Make in 2022?
    3. How Much Does a Concert Sound Engineer Make in 2022?
    4. How Much Does a Front of House Engineer Make in 2022?
    5. How Much Does a Video Game Engineer Make in 2022?
  9. Salaries of Sound Engineers in the Top Industries in the US
  10. Are There Other Benefits of Being a Sound Engineer Aside From the Salary?
  11. What are Sound Engineer Job Prospects?
  12. FAQs
  13. Do sound engineers make good money?
  14. How much do sound engineers make?
  15. Is sound engineering a good career?
  16. What jobs will get you rich?
  17. How much do top audio engineers make?
  18. Are sound engineers in demand?
  19. Conclusion
  20. References
  21. Recommendations
    1. Related

Sound engineers work in different places, from motion pictures and radio to tv and concerts. You can also find them in video game houses, churches, and stage plays.

Aside from the salary, sound engineers have the benefit of getting new contacts and traveling from city to city around the country.

But before seeking a career in this field, it is important to find out what the sound engineer’s salary is.

Your earnings can be affected by your experience and other qualification. You don’t want to be paid lesser than you deserve so go ahead and explore everything about what professionals at different levels in this field are making.

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What Does It Mean To Be a Sound Engineer?

A Sound Engineer is someone who works in a recording studio or for a radio or television station and is responsible for adjusting and balancing the levels of various sounds as they are recorded.

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What is the Role of a Sound Engineer?

So what exactly does a sound engineer do? The most likely picture that comes to mind is someone in front of a large soundboard.

That could be true on one part. On the other hand, that imagery could as well fit the description of an audio engineer as much.

However, a sound engineer holds more responsibilities for the success of a project even though both play similar roles.

Having said that, the following are some of the specific roles of a Sound Engineer;

  • Edit tracks by arranging what’s been recorded.
  • Mix a track by adjusting sound levels through an entire recording.
  • Mastering during audio post-production to ensure consistency of sonic levels and quality.
  • Oversee more junior sound engineers taking on specific roles or phases within the project.
  • Manage output levels, equipment maintenance, and setup.
  • Ensure the highest quality of sound reaches the audience.

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What is the Average Sound Engineer Salary in 2022?

We’re seeing average sound engineer salaries as low as $57,661 and as high as $74,300 from salary aggregate websites.

For instance, salary.com puts the average sound engineer’s pay at $74,300 per year. On the other hand, Glassdoor puts out a higher rate of $84,996.

It’s important to note that differences in salary rates from different job sites are fueled by different factors.

Such factors include specific companies posting jobs on their websites; the companies job reviewers on their websites work for as well as the level of the majority of their reviewers.

Below, you’ll find a summary of the average sound engineer salary from top aggregate websites in 2022;

Glassdoor$51,406
Salary.com$46,802
Zippia$52,197
ZipRecruiter$56,680
Average Sound Engineer Salary in 2022

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Factors Affecting the Salary of Sound Engineers in the US

Experience Level

The most important factor in determining the salary of a Sound Engineer is experience level.
The more years of experience, the higher your wage.

For instance, a Sound Engineer with less than two years of experience makes approximately 43,200 USD per year according to salaryexplorer.

On the other hand, someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn $55,500 per year, 29% more than someone with less than two years of experience.

Furthermore, an experience level between five and ten years can land you a salary of $76,600 per year, 38% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Furthermore, Sound Engineer(s) with ten to fifteen years of experience earn $94,900 per year, which is 24 percent more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If you have fifteen to twenty years of experience, you can expect to earn $102,000 per year, which is 7% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Finally, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience earn $108,000 per year, which is 7% higher than those with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Level of Education

Generally, higher education equals a bigger salary. But how much more money can a degree add to the income of a Sound Engineer?

See the comparison below as listed on salaryexplorer.

A High School education will land you an average salary of $53,900 per year as a Sound Engineer.

Further, a Certificate or Diploma gets a salary of $61,900 per year. This is 15% more than someone having a High School degree.

A Bachelor’s Degree can scoop you an average salary of $83,400 per year, 35% more than someone with a Certificate or Diploma.

Finally, if you hold a Master’s Degree, this can land you an average salary of $105,000 per year. And this is 26% more than someone with Bachelor’s Degree.

Gender

According to Zippia.com, 9.7% of all Sound Engineers are women, while 90.3% are men in the US.

Now concerning the Sound Engineer payment, gender shouldn’t be a determining factor for how much you’re paid. But the reality is that it does. So, who gets paid more among the two?

Salaryexplorer data shows that Male Sound Engineer employees in the United States earn 5% more than their female counterparts on average.

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How Much Does a Sound Engineer Make in the US?

You’ve seen above that a sound engineer’s salary can be affected by three factors. To help you get a clearer view of how much you can earn, we’ll break it up by year, month, week, and hour.

How Much Does Sound Engineer Make A Year?

The highest salary for a Sound Engineer in the United States is $93,531 per year according to Glassdoor.

Similarly, Sound Engineers in the United States typically earn around $74,300 per year. Salaries range from $36,400 (lowest) to $116,000 according to salaryexplorer.

So, depending on the factors stated above that can affect your pay, you can earn from $36,400 to $116,000 per year.

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How Much Do Sound Engineers Make a Month?

As of September 1, 2022, the average monthly payment for a Sound Engineer in the United States is $4,723 a month according to ZipRecruiter.

Now, let’s do a quick calculation with the stated yearly salary to make a comparison. So $36,400 to $116,000 per year gives us a monthly Sound Engineer salary of between $3,033.3 and $9,667 when divided by 12 months.

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How Much Do Sound Engineers Make Weekly?

Sound Engineers make $1,090 per week in the USA in 2022. This is according to data from ZipRecruiter.

A quick calculation from the above monthly range gives us a weekly salary of $758.325 and $2,416.75. As you can see, the first data falls within this range.

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How Much Do Sound Engineers Make per Hour?

The average hourly salary of a Sound Engineer is $28 /hour according to ZipRecruiter. Indeed.com gives out a similar hourly pay of $26.66 per hour.

Salary of Sound Engineer in the US Based on Location

Needless to say, salaries for most professions can vary even among metros in the same state. In the same vein, salaries can vary from state to state.

For instance, sound engineer salary California and Texas are $29.07 and $22.63 per hour. As we can see, the sound engineer salary in California is approximately 22.2% higher than in Texas.

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What are the Highest-Paying States in the United States for Sound Engineer Jobs?

California ($84,910), New York ($80,030), Connecticut ($78,680), Michigan ($73,200), and the District of Columbia ($71,930) are the states and districts that pay sound Engineering Technicians the highest mean salary. This is based on data from Usnews.

California$84,910
New York$80,030
Connecticut$78,680
Michigan$73,200
District of Columbia$71,930
The highest-paying states in the United States for Sound Engineer

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What Are The Top Ten Cities With The Highest Salary For Sound Engineer Jobs?

Below, you’ll see ten cities where the average Sound Engineer salary is higher than the national average. 

Santa Clara, CA tops the list, with San Francisco, CA, and Fremont CA close behind in second and third place. Fremont, CA outperforms the national average by $9,485 (16.4%), and Santa Clara, CA outperforms the national average by another $13,447 (23.3%).

With average salaries higher than the national average in these ten cities, the opportunities for economic advancement by changing locations as a Sound Engineer appear to be extremely fruitful.

Finally, the average salary for these top ten cities varies very little, at 11 percent between Santa Clara, CA, and Maple Grove, MN, emphasizing the limited potential for wage advancement.

When considering location and salary for a Sound Engineer role, the possibility of a lower cost of living may be the most important factor to consider.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Santa Clara, CA$71,108$5,926$1,367$34.19
San Francisco, CA$68,818$5,735$1,323$33.09
Fremont, CA$67,146$5,596$1,291$32.28
Marysville, WA$66,204$5,517$1,273$31.83
San Jose, CA$65,001$5,417$1,250$31.25
Oakland, CA$64,363$5,364$1,238$30.94
Jackson, WY$64,120$5,343$1,233$30.83
Alexandria, VA$63,990$5,333$1,231$30.76
Sunnyvale, CA$63,445$5,287$1,220$30.50
Maple Grove, MN$63,311$5,276$1,218$30.44
Source: ZipRecruiter

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Below, you’ll see at least five jobs related to the Sound Engineer job category that pay more per year than a typical Sound Engineer salary.

All of these jobs pay between $12,255 (21.3%) and $25,413 (44.1%) more than the average Sound Engineer salary of $57,661.

If you are qualified, being hired for one of these related Sound Engineer jobs may allow you to earn more money than the average Sound Engineer position.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Sound Design Engineer$83,074$6,923$1,598$39.94
Puget Systems$79,777$6,648$1,534$38.35
Sound Engineering$74,977$6,248$1,442$36.05
Supervising Sound Editor$70,232$5,853$1,351$33.77
Sound Design Audio Engineer$69,916$5,826$1,345$33.61
Source: ZipRecruiter

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Salary for Sound Engineer in the US Based on Level

As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, experience, and academic levels can affect how much you earn as a Sound Engineer.

Therefore, we’ve detailed how much you can earn as a Sound Engineer based on entry and senior level.

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How Much Do Sound Engineers Make Based on Entry Level?

The average annual pay for an Entry Level Audio Engineer in the United States is $47,563 a year according to ZipRecruiter.

A quick calculation gives us approximately $22.87 an hour. This is the equivalent of $3,964/month or $915/week.

Similarly, Glassdoor puts the national average salary for an Entry Level Audio Engineer at $44,232 per year in the United States.

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How Much Do Sound Engineers Make at the Senior Level in the US?

The estimated total pay for a Senior Audio Engineer is $100,628 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $77,131 per year according to Glassdoor.

This is a whopping 43% ($32,899) difference on average from entry-level salary.

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Salary for Sound Engineer in the US Based on Field

Some sound engineers work in different places. You can work as a Church Sound Engineer, Audio Sound Engineer, Concert or Live Sound Engineer, Front of the House Engineer, as well as Game Engineer.

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How Much Does a Church Sound Engineer Make in 2022

The average annual pay for a Church Sound Engineer in the United States is $58,094 a year according to ZipRecruiter.

A quick salary calculation gives us approximately $27.93 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,117/week or $4,841/month.

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How Much Does Audio Engineer Make in 2022?

The average salary for an audio engineer is $26.66 per hour in the United States. This is based on 170 salaries reported on indeed.com.

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How Much Does a Concert Sound Engineer Make in 2022?

As of Jun 2, 2022, the average annual pay for a Live Audio Engineer in the United States is $76,353 a year.

Glassdoor puts up an estimated total pay for a Live Sound Engineer to be $83,410 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $47,872 per year.

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How Much Does a Front of House Engineer Make in 2022?

As of Jun 2, 2022, the average annual pay for a Front of House Engineer in the United States is $72,078 a year.

Similarly, the estimated total pay for a Front of House Engineer is $84,486 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $68,266 per year.

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How Much Does a Video Game Engineer Make in 2022?

As of Jun 2, 2022, the average annual pay for a GAME Engineer in the United States is $138,716 a year according to ZipRecruiter.

Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $66.69 an hour. This is the equivalent of $2,668/week or $11,560/month.

Similarly, Glassdoor reports that the estimated total pay for a Game Engineer is $115,159 per year in the United States area, with an average salary of $86,175 per year.

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Salaries of Sound Engineers in the Top Industries in the US

Looking at the number of employees within each industry, you can determine the most common industries that employ Sound Engineers. Those industries include Manufacturing, Retail, and Education.

IndustryPercentages
Manufacturing12%
Retail12%
Education11%
Hospitality9%
Fortune 5009%
Technology7%
Professional6%
Non Profits6%
Media5%
Transportation3%
Finance3%
Health Care3%
Telecommunication3%
Government2%
Utilities2%
Construction2%
Internet1%
Automotive1%
Start-up1%
Real Estate1%
Agriculture1%
Energy1%
Source: Zippia.com

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Are There Other Benefits of Being a Sound Engineer Aside From the Salary?

The average income for a sound engineer in the US is about %57,661 in 2022. Typically, sound engineers earn between $36,400 and $116,000 per year.

Pay is mainly dependent on experience, and some companies offer bonuses based on performance.

It is a full-time job that typically comes with health benefits and other benefits, including paid time off.

Sound Engineers also have more exposure, new contacts, and travel opportunities for those who love to mingle and experience new cultures.

As a Sound Engineer, you have a variety of industries where you can work. For instance, you can work in motion pictures, stage plays, and video recording.

Also, you can work in radio and tv broadcasting or with an independent band, or artists, or work as a freelancer.

However, there are many jobs that pay $30 an hour in 2022 even without experience.

What are Sound Engineer Job Prospects?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 18,000 openings for broadcast, sound, and video technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Competition for jobs in this area in larger cities is high. Job seekers in small towns may have a better chance of finding work because there is less competition.

However, you can gain experience working in smaller radio and television stations before applying for jobs at large recording studios, big-city television and radio stations, or movie production operations.

With extensive experience, you can easily be promoted to supervise other sound engineers in a company. Typically, additional education is required for this.

FAQs

Do sound engineers make good money?

Sound Engineers in the United States typically earn around $74,300 per year. Salaries range from $36,400 (lowest) to $116,000 according to salaryexplorer.

How much do sound engineers make?

Salary.com puts the average sound engineer’s pay at $74,300 per year. Glassdoor puts out a higher rate of sound engineer salary of $84,996.

Is sound engineering a good career?

Job growth in this field is about average, but competition in larger cities is high. Job seekers in small towns may have a better chance of finding work because there is less competition. The average salary is around $74,300.

What jobs will get you rich?

Top 5 Jobs That’ll Get You, Rich

  • Doctor: Average salary: $189,760.
  • Surgeon: Average salary: $352,220.
  • Corporate Executive: Average salary: $173,320.
  • Petroleum Engineer: Average salary: $147,520.
  • Psychiatrist: Average salary: $181,880.

How much do top audio engineers make?

The middle 57% of Audio Engineers make between $91,356 and $230,492, with the top 86% making $508,892 according to Comparably.

Are sound engineers in demand?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 18,000 openings for broadcast, sound, and video technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Conclusion

Sound engineering is one of the jobs you can get into with a high school degree. However, to grow and earn more, you’ll need good experience, higher education, and bigger platforms.

It is not one of those jobs that can get you rich. And it might not pay as much as some other engineer jobs like Director of Engineering. However, it’s good enough to cover your finances and live a comfortable life.

We say this because the average national minimum wage in the US is $7.25 per hour. Washington D.C. pays $15.20 hourly minimum wage while California pays the highest in the country at $15 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2022.

Whereas, the Sound Engineer’s salary is $28 /hour on average.

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