Engineering Jobs In The Music Industry (Salaries And Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 2 December 2022

Published 12 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Engineering jobs in the music industry are specialist roles for experts in sound design, audio technology and equipment. If you are interested in music and the technology used to record and perform music professionally, a career in music engineering can be ideal for you. Music engineering jobs come in many forms, and you can work in live music events, in recording studios or in other industries involving music, including film, television, and theatre. In this article, we explain how to get a music engineering job and introduce 10 of the most popular music engineering roles.

What are engineering jobs in the music industry?

If you have a passion for music and technology, there are a variety of engineering jobs in the music industry for you to explore. When it comes to music and audio, engineering jobs involve working with audio technology and equipment to create the best possible sound for recording artists and live performers. As a music engineer, you may set up equipment, test different configurations, experiment with different sound effects and work on venue acoustics. Jobs also involve overseeing the recording process, sound mixing and editing, or managing the sound desk for live performances.

Related: What Does A Sound Engineer Do? (With Duties And Career Advice)

How to get an engineering job in the music industry

There are numerous roles for engineers at all levels of the music industry, from internships and assistants to more senior engineers or production managers, to roles overseeing the entire recording or performance process. With the right qualifications, skills and experience, you can successfully get engineering jobs in the music industry. If you want to pursue a career in music engineering, consider following the steps below:

1. Get the right qualifications

Most sound engineers have a degree in a relevant music technology subject, including sound recording or audio engineering. The role requires an in-depth understanding of complex systems and technology, so academic qualifications are important. You may also be able to gain an entry-level role with a degree in a related subject, such as music, mathematics, engineering or physics, though you may wish to gain a further post-graduate music technology qualification in this instance. If you do not have an undergraduate degree, employers may require a significant amount of work experience to supplement a qualification at this level.

2. Consider an internship

Internships in the music industry can be a valid entry point into your career. As an intern, you may work in a recording studio or as an assistant to a sound engineer at live music events. Internships provide you with the opportunity to gain real-world experience working in the music industry and can help you make connections that may prove valuable in the future.

3. Create a portfolio of your work

As you gain experience, make a digital portfolio of your work to showcase your skills and experience. Your portfolio can be as important as your CV in this industry. It shows employers real examples of your work.

4. Develop your networking skills

The music industry can be a relatively close community, so be sure to work on your networking skills. Build good relationships with colleagues and stay in touch with people with whom you worked in the past. If you build up an extensive network of contacts and colleagues, you may find it easier to find your next role or advance in your career.

Related: What Does A Music Producer Do? (With Career Steps And FAQs)

Top 10 music engineering jobs

There are a variety of music engineering roles in both live music and recording. Many of the roles require overlapping skill sets and experience, though there is a substantial difference between sound engineering in a studio setting and for live events. Here are the top 10 music engineering jobs:

1. Sound technician

National average salary: ₹2,19,060 per year

Primary duties: Sound technicians install, test and monitor audio equipment for venues and recording studios. They may also work on the recording process, providing technical assistance to ensure the best sound quality and resolving any issues that may arise. Sound technicians may also work with recordings and audio files, editing and adjusting their quality to provide the best final version for release.

2. Audiovisual engineer

National average salary: ₹2,55,000 per year

Primary duties: An audiovisual engineer is a specialist in both audio equipment and video. They typically work for live performances in concerts and festivals, setting up and monitoring both audio and video equipment. In addition to managing the audio equipment, audiovisual engineers can be experts in lighting, projection and filming techniques.

3. Sound engineer

National average salary: ₹3,87,335 per year

Primary duties: Sound engineers are sometimes interchangeable with sound technicians, though there are some differences between the roles. Though they often carry out much of the same work, sound engineers are more senior than sound technicians, and they may supervise them. Sound engineers usually assume more creative responsibility for the sound design of a recording or the setup of a studio or live venue. Technicians take on more of the practical work of setting up the equipment to realise the sound engineer's vision.

4. Production engineer

National average salary: ₹2,98,981 per year

Primary duties: Production engineers are responsible for inspecting and testing professional production equipment during the manufacturing process. This could include recording, broadcasting and performance equipment for the music industry. Audio technology is complex and extremely nuanced at a professional level, so overseeing the production of audio equipment and ensuring it meets the highest of standards is a critical role in the industry.

5. Studio assistant

National average salary: ₹3,00,000 per year

Primary duties: Studio assistants are responsible for supporting sound engineers and studio managers during the recording process. They may perform administrative duties, but assistants also help to set up and operate equipment during the recording stage. A studio assistant takes direction from a studio manager or sound engineer, and after gaining experience as an assistant, they can get a more senior role in the recording industry.

Related: What Does A Producer Do? (With Average Salary And Skills)

6. Design engineer

National average salary: ₹3,75,866 per year

Primary duties: A design engineer for the music industry researches and designs new audio technology, products and software. Recording and broadcasting equipment is continually becoming more sophisticated, and the industry regularly innovates with new technologies and products. Design engineers work towards improving the quality of recordings and performances.

7. Acoustic consultant

National average salary: ₹4,12,316 per year

Primary duties: Acoustic consultants are highly skilled and experienced professionals, who study sound, vibrations and acoustics to manage noise reduction and improve and enhance the sound quality at venues and studios. Acoustic consultants may provide their expertise in the design and construction of various buildings and venues, including concert halls, studios, and theatres. Acoustic consultants usually have in-depth knowledge of sound, acoustics and architecture. They understand and appreciate the nuances of designing venues for the best possible sound quality.

8. Systems engineer

National average salary: ₹3,82,782 per year

Primary duties: A systems engineer primarily works on installing, monitoring, repairing and disassembling sound equipment for live performances. Systems engineers usually have special expertise and experience in setting up live venues for events, including ensuring the best possible setup to complement the acoustics of specific venues. They may also work during the show to ensure audio equipment performs as expected and solve any problems that may occur. Systems engineers sometimes travel with touring musicians, bands or groups, setting up venues for tours and working with artists to meet their requirements.

9. Studio manager

National average salary: ₹3,05,292 per year

Primary duties: A studio manager oversees a recording studio and works in many stages of the recording process. Studio managers usually have in-depth knowledge of sound design and recording. They may supervise the recording process itself, including setting up studios, sound mixing and editing. They are also responsible for equipping the recording studio, maintaining equipment and hiring music production staff, technicians, and engineers.

10. Research and development engineer

National average salary: ₹5,71,727 per year

Primary duties: Research and development engineers design new audio technologies and products for the music industry. They require scientific knowledge and understanding of sound and audio technology. Research and development engineers may oversee the development of recording or amplifying technologies, along with products such as microphones, headphones, and speakers.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Explore more articles