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Film & Video Sound Engineers

Career Highlights

  • Film and stage production career
  • On-location work
  • Work with a variety of sounds and music

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Career Summary

Film and video sound engineers are involved in the creation of filmed or recorded media as part of the production team, and in many cases monitor the sound and picture quality of filming or stage production. They are responsible for making adjustments to lighting and microphone locations to maximize quality.

Film and video sound engineers work on live shows and on film or video productions, which may occasionally involve working on-site in remote locations. This means a film and video sound engineer must be prepared to work in a variety of conditions, good and bad. Film and video engineers sometimes work for news stations where they go with reporters to set up for live reports and specials.

An ability to work under pressure and quickly solve problems is important for an engineer. Common work activities include:

  • Setting up and testing the operation of all video and sound equipment
  • Coordinating communication systems between the various crew members, directors, and on- and off-site personnel
  • Working with a team of production people to get a high-quality video or audio recording completed within the allotted time frame

Film and video sound engineers do have choices outside the film and stage industry. Getting into the Hollywood industry can be very tough, and it may take years to truly establish a name. Until that name is known, film and video sound engineers can work in other areas that will enhance their skills. One such area is forensics. A forensic audio engineer assists police in distinguishing recorded sounds, voices and messages to aid in crime solving.

Expert witnessing is another area film and video sound engineers may pursue outside of the entertainment industry. An audio specialist expert witness is a freelance professional who testifies in court verifying fact from fiction in courtroom testimony.

A third area, audio archiving, is the business of building a digital library of different sounds. The audio collection can include music, audio books, news broadcasts, old time radio shows and a wide variety of other audio files.

Film and video sound engineers are responsible for high-quality sound, and there is a wide variety of career opportunities available in career building and specialization. Whether you’re interested in stepping into a live sound engineer position or digital remastering, the key is to learn everything you can and never stop learning to listen.

Salary

$42,000*

Education

Requires a degree in:

  • Audio Production
  • Film and Video Production

Career Skills

  • General knowledge of pop culture
  • Vast knowledge of film, digital video and digital audio
  • Experience with DVD authoring and DVD structure
  • Good team player & motivator
  • Ability to quickly learn new technologies and methods and stay on the cutting edge

Additional Information

References

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*Salary ranges based on location, experience, and demand. This number represents a rough nation-wide average.