Associate Degree in Audio Engineering

Audio engineering programs prepare students for careers operating recording and sound equipment for sporting events, concerts, radio stations and television broadcasts. Learn about common courses in audio engineering associate degree programs, and find out career options for graduates. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate Degree in Audio Engineering?

Many colleges offer an audio engineering program at the associate degree level. Because you'll be completing lab work with expensive and field specific audio equipment, you won't be able to study this program over the Internet. Often, as part of your program, you'll spend time working in audio booths with a college's theater department or radio station. This program also focuses study on preparation for a bachelor's degree in a related study. Some associate degree programs accept credits from certificate programs in audio engineering.

What Will I Learn?

This is an intensive, hands-on program that may provide opportunities to work and learn in college radio stations. While some colleges do not offer this opportunity, internships can be completed with local broadcasting stations. A main focus will be how to operate the equipment. You'll not only learn how to run the equipment, but to troubleshoot and set it up on location.

You'll also study the various parts of audio equipment, such as mixing stations, microphones, audio consoles, multi-track recorders, MIDI and signal processing devices. A focus may be placed on the theories behind recording and recording techniques. Some of the topics a degree program may cover include live recording reinforcement, music theory, music appreciation, songwriting, signal flow, circuit analysis and audio manipulation. Programs may also focus heavily on music, with applied courses in instrument or performance ensembles. You may also look at how audio engineering is changing with technology through computer usage and digital sound.

Since you may be required to work in a studio or with a venue, you'll also look at the music business and take business courses. This is where an internship will be useful, because it teaches you about the business industry while learning about equipment operation.

What Career Can I Consider?

One career option is as a sound engineering technician. Sound technicians work in sports arenas, recording studios and live settings. They mix, record and reproduce music and audio. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the five areas that have the highest employment rates in this field include New York, Nevada, California, District of Columbia and Tennessee (www.bls.gov). The mean annual salary for this career as of May 2009 was $53,940.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • DeVry University

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  • ITT Technical Institute

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  • Herzing University

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