You might organise a recording session with an artist or musician, set up the required equipment, record each instrument individually, and then edit and combine recorded sounds to create a high-quality recording.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:
- plan recording sessions with producers and artists
- set up microphones and equipment in the studio
- make sure the volume and recording levels are set correctly
- operate recording equipment and add effects
- record each instrument or vocal onto a separate track
- mix tracks to produce a final ‘master’ track
- log recordings and other details of the session in the studio archive.
- Starting salaries for an apprentice is £17,000 per year.
- Experienced sound engineers can earn up to £40,000 per year.
You will typically work 39 to 41 hours per week. Working evenings, weekends and bank holidays depending on customer demands.
You could work at a recording studio.
Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice studio sound engineer include:
- Level 4 Assistant Recording Technician – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 24 months to complete.
On a studio sound engineer apprenticeship, you’ll learn:
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be flexible and open to change
- persistence and determination
- customer service skills
- knowledge of media production and communication
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently.
Career path and progression
After gaining expertise, many studio sound engineers become freelance. However, if you specialise in a specific technical ability, you may become a music producer, studio manager, or even create your own recording studio.