Sound Engineer

"Sound is the foundation of broadcasting. Even the most compelling video images are rendered useless if the audio isn’t correspondingly great. My work requires a strong understanding of the technical systems required to share voices, sounds and music that are clear and engaging. It starts with picking the right microphone, positioning it properly, and then working a sound board to ensure the audio input is just right for our audience. I have worked in both radio and TV, but my approach is always the same. Working for the national broadcaster, I’m meticulous in my approach. Whether it’s a morning radio show or the supper-hour TV news, I ensure the quality of our audio. When things go wrong, I’m there to troubleshoot. The best days for me are when our programming runs so smoothly, no one notices."

Salary Range:

$35,000 - $80,000

The Tip

Context is king. Explore different contexts to provide you more agility in the future.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Expert
  • Visual and audio recording and editing

  • Ability to develop a compelling narrative

  • Ability to generate new approaches to familiar stories

  • Research

Great at
  • Production planning & design

  • Manage projects

  • Data analytics

Good at
  • Expertise in verbal and written use of language

  • Link content with a specific audience

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:

 

"In college I spent hours in our radio studio and audio editing suites. I became the “go-to” for other students looking for help with their audio work."

 

Employment Experiences:
  • I was the station manager at our campus radio station

  • I started on a street team at a private radio station in my first year. While there for a meeting, I approached the technical manager to see if he needed anyone on the weekends to run the board. I started two years of weekend work the following Saturday.

  • After graduation I became the technician for the afternoon show

  • Took a job with the national broadcaster working the evening newscast, then switched to the radio afternoon show

 

"You have to be thorough and organized in this type of work. The systems are complicated so you need to understand them better than anyone else. In addition to providing the technical production for the on-air product, I help train other staff members—producers, hosts, reporters—on using the studios, editing suites and audio software."

 

Community Experiences:
  • I volunteer with the local folk music festival, using my technical skills to help musicians and organizers with set-up, tear-down and sound design

 

"Volunteering not only allows me to contribute my skills to my community, it broadens my network and relationships. The diversity of these relationships forces me out of my comfort zone."

Contextual Experiences:
  • I helped set up an online radio station for an inner-city school, and still help out with maintenance

 

"I’m not very outgoing, but there’s always a way to give back, and I learn a lot from the students."

Relationships:
  • It might seem a bit strange, but I’ve developed a strong network of colleagues among electronics vendors. These people often know more about the latest technical developments than anyone.

 

"Staying current is critical in the media business today, as platforms, equipment and software evolve—and improve—so quickly."