Studio engineers are critical for every studio. Without a good studio engineer, no studio can function, and no good music can be made.
If you are thinking of becoming a studio engineer, you might be wondering how much a full-time studio engineer makes and what factors dictate that amount.
A studio engineer’s salary is usually between $50,000 and $80,000 per year. Some studio engineers earn as much as $100,000 annually, but this is very rare. The engineer is paid based on their skills, experience, education, and ability in the studio. Good engineers get paid more.
There are several factors that affect the salary of any individual in any position in any industry, but the role of a studio engineer is more specialized than most, which can make it difficult to determine a good salary for this position. With that in mind, let’s explore the typical salary for studio engineers.
How Much Do Studio Engineers Earn?
Studio engineers are important for all studios. The difference between a good studio and a bad studio is the engineer that runs it, and a good engineer is the difference between good recordings and bad recordings.
However, the music industry is very intense, and it is almost impossible to find a well-paying job as an audio engineer without many years of experience.
With that said, there are still ways for audio engineers to make a living in the industry, and many new engineers are joining the industry every year.
This leads young audio engineers to wonder how much they can expect to earn annually in this line of work.
The annual salary for a studio engineer varies depending on many factors, but the average salary that most studio engineers can expect is around $50,000 – $80,000 per year.
There are many engineers who earn far less in studios, and there are a few who earn much more, but this is what most audio engineers can expect to be paid to work in a studio with a lot of business and in a country where studio engineers are well-paid.
Some countries are more difficult for studio engineers than others, and some make life very easy for audio engineers. There are several crucial factors that contribute to the wage of a studio engineer, including where in the world they are.
This average annual salary is difficult to find in most instances, as studio engineer is a very niche profession, and when a studio has an engineer, they are not usually looking for more. This means that while the job can pay well, competition in the industry is fierce, and jobs are scarce.
What Factors Affect The Salary Of a Studio Engineer?
Now that we have learned what the salary of a studio engineer is and what a studio engineer can usually expect to be paid annually, but also know that the range of salary for a studio engineer depends on several factors. What are the factors that determine the salary of a studio engineer?
The truth is that there are several defining factors that determine how much a studio is willing to pay an engineer. Some of these factors are dependent on the engineer, some are dependent on the studio, while others are dependent on the larger music industry.
Let’s examine some of the factors that determine how much a studio engineer is paid.
The Engineer’s Experience
The first factor that determines the salary of a studio engineer is their experience. An engineer with a lot of experience can expect a higher salary, as their skills are usually more valuable than an inexperienced engineer.
Experienced engineers are more valuable to a studio than inexperienced engineers and even more valuable than highly educated engineers.
The Engineer’s Skills
The skills that an audio engineer possesses also determine how much they can earn at a studio.
If the studio has to train an engineer to work well and to learn the software and equipment that they use, they are less valuable to the studio, and the studio will pay them less.
If an engineer has a lot of skills, knows how to use all of the software, tools, equipment, and gear in the studio well, and is an effective and efficient worker, they are of much more value to the studio and are therefore paid a higher salary.
The Engineer’s Education
An audio engineer that has a good audio engineering education is more valuable to a studio than an engineer with no education.
A good education sets serious, professional engineers apart from others, and these engineers are more likely to be hired and can charge more for their work than those who are uneducated in the field.
The Engineer’s Background
The life experience and background of an audio engineer also affect their salary.
If the engineer has only ever worked in home studios, small operations, or only worked in small venues and never in a studio, they are less valuable than an engineer who has worked in various arenas in the industry and has a background that compliments the necessities of the studio.
The Location Of The Studio
Where the studio is located also determines the amount they can pay the staff.
An engineer working in a studio in a rich country in an area that is known for good musicians, as well as an area with high local salaries will earn significantly more than an engineer working in a studio in a poor country with very bad local salaries.
The Funding Of The Studio
The amount of money that the studio has to spend on audio engineers determines how much the engineer is paid as well.
If the studio is small and cannot afford high salaries, the engineer will not earn a high salary, but big studios with big budgets can pay their engineers a lot.
How Busy The Studio Is
A studio that is not busy and a studio that does not have much work cannot afford a pay an engineer well. The same is true for a studio that only works with unknown artists.
An engineer that works for a busy studio that works with artists who have big budgets will be paid significantly more than engineers in an unknown studio.
At the end of it, a good salary for a studio engineer is anything more than $50,000 per year. Studio engineers that are paid more than this are rare, but they are highly skilled and well worth the money.
Any studio that can afford a full-time engineer must be prepared to pay these salaries, as there are other studios that always will, which means that engineers will always go where the work is. The competition is fierce for good studio engineers, as there are not many well-paying jobs available in the industry.