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Recording Engineer Salaries

I am interested in attending a school to learn the art of recording. But before I commit to this I would like to know what to expect as far as salary goes. If someone could tell me starting salaries, salaries after a few years, etc. Also, could anyone recommend a good school? Money and location is not an issue here. Thanks so much.


Guest Mon, 11/26/2001 - 09:52
Main thing to know is that when you come out of a school you are only fit to be an assistant / not an engineer that takes a few years watching & working on real sessions.

Salaries vary from $50 per day to $3,500 per day & higher.

The non music field of sound for picture pays on average better than the rock pop & dance jobs.

Is it the music side of the studio biz you wish to work on? Give us some more to go on..

You will find it frustrating to get a precise answer to your question. It is a strange business! It is not known for it's high salaries in general, like other aspects of show business, folks daydream of the $$ the top 1% earn.

See what the various folks say here.


MadMoose Mon, 11/26/2001 - 19:59
Well, expect to loose money for a while. After a few years you might make $10 a hour at a big studio in NYC or LA. Some of the bigger guys might make anywhere from $300 to $3000 a day. The thing that the schools don't tell you is that there aren't a lot of jobs in this field. If you want to make money and record you'll have a better chance of getting a nice day job and recording your friends on the weekends. Sometimes that's more fun too.

Member Tue, 11/27/2001 - 11:38
expect a salary anywhere from 'practically nothing' to something you can scrape by on...but that depends on if you score a staff gig or go strictly freelance, where you'll have to hustle hustle hustle to put dinner on the table.

as far as recording schools go, pick one in or near one of the 3 coasts (NYC, LA, Nashville).
the cost of living in LA and NYC is pretty high, Nashville is relatively low/medium, so you may want to keep that in mind.

you don't necessarily have to go to a regular college that has a 'music business' program, but if you want a 4-6 year, well-rounded college education, be my guest. there are a few specialized trade schools out there, Full Sail, SAE, Rec. Workshop etc. If any of these learning institutions are worth their salt, they should have some sort of internship program, and that's a good angle to exploit - it's more of an 'official' relationship and you (should) receive college credit for it. that's how I landed my first gig - that and getting lucky by being in the right place at the right time helped too.

this type of question has been asked many times all over the board, so do youself a favor and look at the other posts/threads...there are so freakin' many factors that you really have to consider...