Sound Engineering Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Operates machines and equipment to record, synchronize, mix or reproduce music, voices or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, recording studios, or movie and video productions.

This career is part of the Arts, Audio-Video Technology and Communications cluster Audio and Video Technology and Film pathway, Journalism and Broadcasting pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Confers with producers, performers, and others to determine and achieve the desired sound for a production, such as a musical recording or a film.
  • Prepares for recording sessions by performing activities such as selecting and setting up microphones.
  • Records speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
  • Regulates volume level and sound quality during recording sessions, using control consoles.
  • Separates instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combines sounds later during the mixing or postproduction stage.
  • Mixes and edits voices, music, and taped sound effects for live performances and for prerecorded events, using sound mixing boards.
  • Keeps logs of recordings.
  • Reports equipment problems and ensures that required repairs are made.
  • Sets up, tests, and adjusts recording equipment for recording sessions and live performances.
  • Synchronizes and equalizes prerecorded dialogue, music, and sound effects with visual action of motion pictures or television productions, using control consoles.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Acoustical Engineer -- Applies the science of sound and vibration to reduce unwanted noise, to amplify desired sounds or to manipulate sound vibrations for measurement purposes.
  • Audio Engineer -- Records, edits and mixes real audio sound in the studio and works with singers, arrangers, musicians, record producers, and artists' management, to try and create the best sound possible.
  • Mixing Engineer -- Combines the different sonic elements of a piece of recorded music (vocals, instruments, effects) into a final version of a song, also known as final mix or mixdown.
  • Special Effects Technician -- Creates various types of illusions for television commercials and shows, movies, theater productions and other special projects.
  • Studio Engineer -- Works within a studio facility, either with a producer or independently, and uses machinery and equipment for the recording, mixing and reproduction of sounds.