Salary

Recording Engineer Salary: What You’ll Make and Why

Recording engineers make around $30,171 to $87,974 on average in the US, depending on experience, location, skills, and other factors.

According to various salary aggregate websites, a recording engineer’s salary in the US ranges between $30,171 and $87,974, with an average salary of $60,659. As of June 2022, the base salaries for recording engineers are listed as follows:

PayscaleZipRecruiterIndeedSalary.comGlassdoor
$46,324$30,171$75,564$63,264$87,974

Keep in mind: Salary aggregate websites typically rely on data submitted anonymously by individuals using their site. Some websites may have received larger amounts of data of either higher or lower than average salaries, which may affect the site’s calculated average.

Read more: What Is a Recording Engineer? How to Become One

What influences a salary?

Recording engineer salaries can vary based on experience, education, location, and more. Here’s a look at what factors may impact your recording engineer salary.

Years of experience

Salary increases are generally tied to your experience level. In general, the more years you spend working as a recording engineer, the more you can expect to earn. Here’s how experience can impact your recording engineer salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey.

Level of experienceSalary
Entry-level (less than 1 year)$29,201
Early career (1 to 4 years)$35,643
Mid career (5 to 9 years)$51,337
Experienced (10 to 19 years)$69,865
Late career (20+ years)$108,052
Location

Where you live can also impact how much you can make as a recording engineer. Typically, working in a large metropolitan area correlates to a higher salary, as well as a higher cost of living.

Here is a list of some major cities with their corresponding average recording engineer salary according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CityAverage Salary
New York City, NY$69,306
Atlanta, GA$64,134
San Francisco, CA$60,172
Denver, CO$55,786
Seattle, WA$55,605
Baltimore, MD$46,011
Boston, MA$45,975
Pittsburgh, PA$40,587
St. Louis, MO$40,145
Virginia Beach, VA$38,466

How does this compare to similar jobs?

Here’s how a recording engineer’s salary stacks up against similar jobs.

Related JobsAverage Salary
Sound Engineer$53,876
Audio Engineer$51,774
Music Producer$70,326
Mixing Engineer$66,890
Mastering Engineer$82,385
Live Sound Engineer$46,718
Post Production Engineer$105,003
Broadcast Engineer$58,261
Sound Designer$58,425

How to increase your recording engineer salary

Now that you have a better idea of what you could expect to earn as a recording engineer, let’s look at ways to boost your salary.

1. Strengthen your skills

Pursuing and improving in-demand skills could make you more competitive for promotions and higher-paying positions. These skills include:

  • Signal Flow: Understand the path that a signal takes from its source to its destination
  • Analog and Digital Recording: Know how to record audio using both analog and digital equipment
  • Microphone Techniques: Be familiar with different microphone types and how to position them for optimal recording
  • Editing and Mixing: Edit and mix recorded audio tracks using a digital audio workstation (DAW)
  • Mastering: Prepare recorded tracks for release by adjusting levels, EQ, and other sound properties
2. Take more responsibilities

Recording engineers are often responsible for a lot more than just recording audio. If you can take on additional responsibilities, such as mixing and mastering, you may be able to increase your salary. Additionally, if you have experience with other types of audio engineering, such as live sound, you may be able to command a higher salary.

3. Get a good performance review

Recording engineers who can demonstrate their value to their employers through positive performance reviews are in a good position to ask for a raise. If you can show that you’re an asset to the company, and that your work has helped the business succeed, you’ll be more likely to get the salary you deserve.

Article Sources

1. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “National Compensation Survey, https://www.bls.gov/ncs/.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Employment and Wages, https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes274014.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

3. Payscale. “Engineer, Music Recording Hourly Pay, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Engineer%2C_Music_Recording/Hourly_Rate.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

4. Ziprecruiter. “Recording Engineer Annual Salary, https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Recording-Engineer-Salary.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

5. Indeed. “Indeed Salary Finder, https://www.indeed.com/career/salaries.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

6. Salary.com. “Recording Engineer Salary, https://www.salary.com/research/salary/hiring/recording-engineer-salary.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

7. Glassdoor. “Recording Engineer Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/recording-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,18.htm.” Accessed June 2, 2022.

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