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Recording engineers... how much can they make?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by slowburnaz, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    I'm considering going/applying to a school like the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences (www.cras.org). If anyone here is in the know, how much could someone expect to make after completing their Master Recording Program II (in the curriculum section)?
  2. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    It is a matter of what you make of yourself in the program. I know people that have done those programs and are workign at Food Lion now. If you do it right..and actually learn and get around then you can make good money.
  3. Droog


    Aug 14, 2003
    If you are looking for a career based on money maybey you should look into something different. If you want a career as an engineer you have to love the work first and foremost. It takes a while before you can make much money, unless you are lucky. Most engineers start at the bottom of the barrel and work their way up, thats the reality for almost all engineers. The Conservatory will give you all the skills you need to be a competent and solid engineer, but its experiance that gets you gigs and the money that comes with them. Once you leave the school you will go out and get yourself an internship and if you are smart you will bust your ass wherever you are and get noticed and hopefully asked to stay. Expect to make nothing, thats right no money during your internship and next to nothing when its over. The money comes when you have proven yourself with your skills as well as your demenor and work ethic. I will have been out of the Conservatory for three years in April and each year is better than the last. At first I was scrapeing and discouraged but I am pretty pleased with my little nitch now. Of coarse this is just one mans tale, everyones experiances and choices are different. Take care.
  4. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    scroll to the middle of the page (if it doesn't land on the Dixie Chicks part):


    the engineer is my brother (Fern). i never have asked him how much he makes, but he has a great house in Nashville and is doing well for himself.

    although he's a live guy, my other brother was a second engineer at Babyface's bev hills studio; he's much happier on his own.
  5. slowburnaz


    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    Hey Droog... cool to hear from someone who went to CRAS. Of course, I'm not looking to get rich or anything, my main motivation is love of music. However, I just want to know if standing on the corner with a cardboard sign will end up being my second job! LOL I'm hoping I'd be able to sustain myself after the internship... ya know?
  6. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I know way too many great engineers who aren't making much at all. It's almost as hard breaking into that biz as being a rock star. Add in the cost of the school and you are looking to be in a world of hurt. Be an investment banker instead.
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Consider, for a moment, the Chicago market.

    10 years ago, there were 6 large, multi-employee studios in the city, and business was good.

    Now there are 2, and one is likely on the way out. Most of the work is done in small boutique (aka "project studios"). There is so much competition between these studios that rates are incredibly low. We're talking 25-35 an hour.

    There are something like 100 schools cranking out people every year with aspirations of being recording engineers. Most of them have the romantic notion of opening their own studio and recording the next big folk album, or whatever.

    The bottom line? If you want it, you can do it. You have to be balls-out aggressive and willing to pay your dues for a while, but you can make it as an engineer. If that's what you want to do, far be it from me to try and dissuade you. I'm just trying to say that there is a lot of competition in a shrinking market. You'll have to work your balls off.

    Something to consider- there are plenty of careers in Audio besides being a studio engineer. Consider video/audio post production, live sound engineering, acoustical testing and treatment, sound for film, etc. Don't limit yourself to the recording engineer lifestyle if you're looking to make mad cash. (You know makes the big bucks? Acousticians and Sound Systems Contracters. Just food for thought.)
  8. Schwinn


    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Wise words. I considered this line of work for a while but changed my mind when I found out how much my yearly salary would be. It IS like being a pro musician...you have to do it because you can't imagine yourself doing anything else. For me personally, I decided to stick with my 'other' career idea. Anyway...Good luck!

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