Updated: Oct 18, 2018
Published: Oct 11, 2018
Creative Jobs in the Audio Industry can be fun and exciting but you may not know much about them, let alone what they are.
This article is all about the creative opportunities out there and what is generally done in each of them.
Now, depending on when the work takes place in the production process, each job's responsibilities can vary slightly but generally revolve around the same skills and knowledge.
Average Income (USD): 30k to 100k per year
Possible Career Path: Senior Sound Designer, Audio Director
Sound design is a highly creative part of audio production and is involved in almost all entertainment that has audio.
The primary responsibility of this career is creating unique sounds to be used in production. This is done by taking different sounds and pulling them together, recording new sounds, or by using virtual instruments.
After the initial audio is brought in, effects are almost always added to enhance or manipulate the sound.
Depending on the scale of the project, taking on this role may also involve recording Foley to use, and in the case of video games, knowing how to implement the audio via middle-ware.
Average Income (USD): 20k to 120k per year
Possible Career Path: DJ, Composer, Audio Engineer
Instead of creating individual sounds, you can create entire tracks as a Music Producer.
Typically, duties will be creating, arranging, and even recording instruments or vocals. You can either go at it alone and build your own alias or produce for other artists such as bands, singers as well as soundtracks for video games.
In this niche of work, you can expect plenty of opportunities to advance into different fields as you’ll usually be hands-on with the whole process of making music.
Average Income (USD): 35k to 110k per year
Possible Career Path: Director of Audio, Sound Designer
An essential part of the film and game industry, a Foley artist will produce a large majority of the sound effects.
From footsteps to a car door closing, the sounds of a film can be created using far from obvious sources inside a studio. Typically the sounds will be created while watching different scenes, aiming to perform the sound in sync with the event on screen.
Average Income (USD): 20k to 95k per year
Possible Career Path: Music Supervisor, Songwriter
As a composer, the main objective is creating music via virtual samples or making a score that will be played by musicians.
The soundtrack is aimed at expressing the mood of the visuals and lining up to what's happening on screen. It's good to know about some of the terms used by the development team of a game or film to have better communication and clarity of goals.
Knowing how to play the piano or guitar is a huge advantage as a composer, allowing for quick iteration of ideas and bouncing concepts around with the rest of the team.
Making a living as a composer can be challenging for beginners. It's a highly competitive field so yearly income can change a lot.
Average Income (USD): 35k to 80k (150k in some niches) per year
Possible Career Path: Music Producer, Run your own studio
Getting the audio to sound just right is the job of an Audio Engineer. Whether you take on mixing, mastering or recording, most of the skills you learn will be used across all of them.
This roll in the audio industry deals heavily with other artists work and is mostly post-production work.
It's up to the engineer to refine and form the sound of a project into a finished piece and sometimes record the initial content in the first place.
Now for two bonus careers that you might find interesting.
The first one is Voice Talent. This niche includes singers, radio and podcast hosts, animation voice actors and many more fields.
If you want to dive into this niche of work in particular, you might like to check out this list of popular jobs in voiceover, which is an article on how to start voice acting but also has a list of jobs.
Although you don't necessarily have to produce the content yourself, mixing different songs together does require some skill if you want to pull off a good set.
Depending on your personal brand, you could be on the road for the majority of your career performing at different events.
On the other hand, performing at local clubs or events is something you might end up doing if you don't have a large personal brand or following.
Working locally as a DJ is also practical for those who simply don't want to travel, regardless of the size of their brand.
At the end of the day, if you love music, video games or film, you shouldn't stress too much about where you start in the audio industry.
Many of the careers dealing with audio will have a lot of shared skills and learning other rolls won't be a huge challenge.
Your success in the audio industry will largely come down to passion and persistence. And being easy to work with is going to help a lot too.
I hope this article sparked some interest in working with audio. As always, thanks for reading!