Recording Engineer

Set up microphones and capture takes of songs and voice-overs.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$23,000 – $93,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Recording Engineers do?

A Recording Engineer performs the initial recording of a sound track. The job of a Recording Engineer is to make sure that the sound, be it someone’s voice or a guitar, is captured clearly. You then pass your work onto a Sound Editor who will polish up your work and pass it on.

In this position as a Recording Engineer, you need a good ear for tiny audio distinctions, and to know your equipment like the back of your hand. You operate the soundboard and other audio recording equipment while noise is being made, emitted, or produced in any fashion. Your goal is to capture the balance, pitch and tone that when played back will make your clients hum, smile, and tap their feet.

While you run the session you will be working closely with clients (and music clients come with all sorts of fun personalities), so you need to be patient and communicate clearly. You also must ensure the recording will meet the expectations of the Producer, Director, band, or whoever else you ultimately report to. To do this you must make your tracks high quality, whether that means adjusting all of your equipment on the fly or telling the band they can not sing that close to the microphone.

You usually work in the music industry, but can also work in video games, audio books, or any other venue where sound is recorded. A very similar position in the film industry can be found under the title of Production Sound Mixer.


Should I be a Recording Engineer?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Audio Recording Engineer, Videotape-Recording Engineer

    How to become a Recording Engineer

    Most Recording Engineers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:a9uhee&chl=|no+college+%2841%25%29|certificate+%2831%25%29|associate%27s+%2822%25%29|bachelor%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%283%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,41
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