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Audio Engineering and Video Production
Audio engineering and video production is the area of study and employment that is responsible for the recording, editing, and finalization of audio and video for the purposes of art and/or entertainment. Individuals in this field will work with various software and equipment to produce and finalize the given work. Audio engineers may choose to work with software such as Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Apple Logic Pro, or Propellerheads. Video producers may choose to work with software such as Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premier Elements, or AVS Video Editor. Individuals working in this field will typically work with other specialist to blend ideas, change effects, and make edits to meet client or supervisory demands.
What is Audio & Video Production?
Video and music producing is the field of study that leverages leading-edge technology and unique equipment to produce a variety of content through visual and auditory mediums. Video and audio specialists typically work for broadcasters or production companies to capture multimedia from presentations, concerts, schools, public presentations, music videos, newscasts, conventions, films, and a variety of live events.
In a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the top job responsibilities of music production specialist and video engineer specialist were brought into focus. A list of the top job duties of a video producer and sound engineer include:
- Selecting equipment and software for particular venues
- Operating sound board and mixing board
- Analyzing audio and video techniques and production methods with executives
- Operating video and audio equipment
- Installation of audio and video equipment in a variety of settings from schools to conventions
- Utilizing software to properly edit sound files and videos
- Aligning audio and video images to ensure they are in synch
- Capturing visual and audio files as additional texture for production
Do You Need a Degree in Video and Audio Production?
For entry-level jobs in the field, a certificate from an accredited college or trade school is recommended. Higher level jobs typically favor graduates with a formal music production or video engineering degree such as an associate degree and bachelor degree from an accredited college. Each organization or consulting firm will ultimately decide upon candidate requirements given the size of the job, the scope of the project, and the budget they are working within.
Classes in a certificate program or degree-granting program in audio and video production include classes such as: signal processing, transmedia design, essentials of Pro Tools, psychology, audio production, creative presentation, creative writing, mixing concepts, quantitative principles, analog recording systems, recording consoles, studio recording, mastering, live music production, music copywriting, and business administration.
Top Video Production Schools
A video production degree is a subset of A/V production with a singular focus on visual media. Students earning an associate’s degree in video production or bachelor’s degree in video production will have the best opportunity to enter the competitive video production field. From entry-level positions through upper level film editing and production, the combination of a formal education and work experience in the field provide the best opportunity for career mobility. Video production students will create a portfolio during their time in college while taking classes to enhance skills and knowledge with video: editing, producing, directing, design, camera operation, lighting, sound, special effects, and mastering.
Top Audio Engineering Schools
The audio engineering and audio production track is an area of specialty that may be offered as either an associates degree or a certificate program. It will take about a year to complete a certificate program and 2 years for an associate’s degree from an accredited college. Students will learn the intricacies of recording, cabling, live sound production, testing equipment, music theory, electrical codes, recording techniques, sound editing, sound design, along with analog and digital recordings. Quickly find the best audio engineering schools by requesting information from the schools below.
Best Colleges in Video & Audio Production
Individuals wishing to enter the field of audio and video production will typically pursue an education through an art or film school, usually earning a bachelor’s degree. An education in this field will cover both practical and theoretical applications of audio and video production, educating individuals in the various programs used by the music and entertainment industry, and how best to apply one’s knowledge in completing a given project.
A curriculum in audio and video production may include:
- Lighting Techniques
- Audio Production
- Video Editing
- Camera Operation
- Film and Digital Media
Though art and film schools are the traditional location where one would find such a program, it is also true that many traditional colleges and universities also offer an equivalent curriculum. Identifying the right program depends largely on the type of work the individual wishes to pursue, and the level of education they wish to receive. Short programs can offer targeted education in a specific area, whereas four year or graduate studies can provide a broader or more in depth education that may lead to wider varieties for employment.
Careers in Audio & Video Production
Once an education is received, individuals may pursue careers in a variety of related fields. The most common is editing, special effects, or recording, though careers in cinematography, pre-production, planning and others are also possible. Work can be procured through a variety of sources, including television stations, recording studios, post-production houses, freelance, and more. Individuals should be able to take criticism and work under the supervision of others in order, including a willingness to revisit and adjust previously completed material.
Due to emerging technologies that allow for the distribution of content quickly, demand for professionals capable of producing quality content is expected to increase over the next decade. As such trained and knowledgeable individuals should be able to find some form of work related to their area of expertise.
The median annual income of an audio and video production specialist is currently $59,040 according to the BLS with an expected growth rate of 11% is expected over the coming decade. This rate of job growth is nearly twice the average rate of job growth during this time frame adding some 6,400 jobs during this reporting period. Students earning a master's degree in video production average $110,000 a year according to the latest survey performed by Payscale.
Top Jobs of an Audio and Video Production Major
Audio and video specialists will find a variety of job types available to choose from after graduating from an accredited college or trade school. To help students understand the vernacular and job type variations, we have assembled a list to make the process more efficient. A list of the top jobs of an audio and video production major include:
- Broadcast Engineer
- Sound Engineer
- Multimedia Artist
- Recording Engineer
- A/V Technician
- Audio Technician
- Sound Editor
- Field Technician
- A/V Specialist
- Broadcast Engineer
- Master Control Operator
- Production Assistant
- Floor Director
- Foley Artist
- Production Technician
- Studio Camera Operator
- Sound Mixer
- Film Editor
Top Employers of Audio and Video Production Graduates
- Motion Picture Industry
- Radio & Television Broadcasting
- Cable Operators
- Scientific & Technical Consulting Firms
- Local Government
- Independent Artists
- Spectator Sports
Top Paying States for Video and Audio Production Graduates
- District of Columbia $87,220
- New York $82,870
- California $75,550
- Oregon $65,880
- Washington $65,000
Additional resources and information may be found at through the Digital Media Organization, a professional association dedicated to protecting the rights of its members and encourage lawful usage of media and technology. Students may also be interested in organizations such as the Audio Engineering Society (AES), MVPA, or the California Film Commission (CFC).