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Sound Engineer Average Salary in United States 2024

How much money does a person working as Sound Engineer make in United States?

Average Yearly Salary
74,300 USD
( 6,200 USD monthly)

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working as Sound Engineer in United States typically earns around 74,300 USD. Salaries range from 36,400 USD (lowest) to 116,000 USD (highest).

Salary Variance

This is the average salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Sound Engineer salaries in United States vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Sound Engineer Pay Scale and Salaries in United States

Median and salary distribution United States Sound Engineer yearly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
68,900 USD or more
10% of people earn
60,900 to 68,900 USD
20% of people earn
43,200 USD or less
65% of people earn
43,200 to 60,900 USD
Minimum Salary
36,400 USD
69,300 USD
116,000 USD

Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries for the position Sound Engineer in United States range from 36,400 USD (starting salary) to 116,000 USD (maximum salary). It should be noted that the given figure is not the legally mandated minimum wage; rather, it represents the lowest figure reported in a salary survey that included thousands of participants and professionals from all regions of the country.

  • Median Salary

    With a median salary of 69,300 USD, half of the professionals who work as Sound Engineer in United States earn less than this amount, and the other half earn more. The median salary denotes the middle value of salaries. Ideally, you would want to belong to the group earning more than the median salary, located on the right side of the salary distribution graph.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    The median is closely associated with two other values known as the 25th and 75th percentiles. By examining the salary distribution chart, it can be determined that 25% of professionals employed as Sound Engineer in United States earn less than 56,700 USD, while 75% earn more. Similarly, the chart shows that 75% earn less than 79,300 USD while 25% earn more.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    To provide a better understanding of expected salaries, we categorized the frequently occurring salaries into different ranges. This approach provides a more precise representation of salary distribution for the job title Sound Engineer in United States compared to simply calculating the average. The majority of reported salaries, approximately 65%, fall within the range of 43,200 USD to 60,900 USD. About 20% of salaries are below the 43,200 USD mark, while 10% fall within the range of 60,900 USD to 68,900 USD. Only 5% of individuals have salaries exceeding 68,900 USD.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience / Sound Engineer / United States

How do experience and age affect pay?

0 - 2 Years
43,200 USD
2 - 5 Years+29%
55,500 USD
5 - 10 Years+38%
76,600 USD
10 - 15 Years+24%
94,900 USD
15 - 20 Years+7%
102,000 USD
20+ Years+7%
108,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Sound Engineer
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally, the more years of experience the higher the wage. We broke down salaries by experience level for people working as Sound Engineer and this is what we found.

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.

Employees with less than two years of experience earn approximately 43,200 USD.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 55,500 USD, 29% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 76,600 USD, 38% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Additionally, professionals whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 94,900 USD, 24% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 102,000 USD, 7% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 108,000 USD, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary Comparison By Education / Sound Engineer / United States

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary variance between different education levels of professionals working as Sound Engineer.

High School
53,900 USD
Certificate or Diploma+15%
61,900 USD
Bachelor's Degree+35%
83,400 USD
Master's Degree+26%
105,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Sound Engineer
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down salaries by education level for the position Sound Engineer in order to make a comparison.

Level 1: High School

Employees at this education level have an average salary of 53,900 USD.

Level 2: Certificate or Diploma

At this level, the average salary becomes 61,900 USD, 15% more than the previous level.

Level 3: Bachelor's Degree

At this level, the average salary becomes 83,400 USD, 35% more than the previous level.

Level 4: Master's Degree

At this level, the average salary becomes 105,000 USD, 26% more than the previous level.

Is a Master's degree or an MBA worth it? Should you pursue higher education?

A Master's degree program or any post-graduate program in United States costs anywhere from 39,600 USD to 119,000 USD and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment.

You can't really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. In most cases, a salary review is conducted once education is completed and the degree has been attained.

Many people pursue higher education as a tactic to switch to a higher-paying job. The numbers seem to support the theory. The average increase in compensation while changing jobs is approximately 10% more than the customary salary increment.

If you can afford the costs of higher education, the return on investment is definitely worth it. You should be able to recover the costs in roughly a year or so.

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Sound Engineer / United States

Salary comparison by gender United States Sound Engineer yearly
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? For the people who work as Sound Engineer in United States, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 5%.

76,100 USD
72,300 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage / Sound Engineer / United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for individuals working as Sound Engineer? How often do employees get salary raises?

Individuals working as Sound Engineer in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 11% every 16 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Sound Engineer
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States
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The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rare that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one-year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 / Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.

Bonus and Incentive Rates / Sound Engineer / United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Sound Engineer
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68% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 32% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 0% to 4% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus, where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Average Hourly Wage / Sound Engineer / United States

36 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for individuals working as Sound Engineer in United States is 36 USD.This is the rate they get paid for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary / ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

About The Hourly Pay Rate

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually, jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fixed amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for people working as Sound Engineer in United States is 18 USD. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Media / Broadcasting / Arts / Entertainment-100%
3D Artist86,000 USD+16%
3D Designer84,700 USD+14%
3D Generalist70,000 USD-6%
3D Visualization Specialist89,000 USD+20%
Acrobatic Rigger57,000 USD-23%
Actor115,000 USD+55%
Art Administrator95,600 USD+29%
Art Director117,000 USD+57%
Art Lead114,000 USD+53%
Artificial Intelligence Generated Art Creator81,200 USD+9%
Associate Media Director102,000 USD+37%
Associate Producer121,000 USD+63%
Broadcast and Sound Engineer74,100 USD-0%
Broadcast Associate63,400 USD-15%
Broadcast News Analyst91,900 USD+24%
Broadcast Technician50,900 USD-32%
Broadcasting Journalist107,000 USD+44%
Broadcasting Presenter107,000 USD+44%
Camera Equipment Repairer61,100 USD-18%
Camera Operator54,100 USD-27%
Cartoonist / Animator81,500 USD+10%
CAS Engineer92,800 USD+25%
Censorship Executive101,000 USD+36%
Chief Social Media Officer147,000 USD+98%
Choreographer74,800 USD+1%
Colorist45,100 USD-39%
Communications Manager132,000 USD+78%
Content Moderator71,700 USD-4%
Correspondent100,000 USD+35%
Dance Director90,600 USD+22%
Dancer74,900 USD+1%
Digital Content Manager127,000 USD+71%
Digital Music Promoter107,000 USD+44%
Director of Photography95,000 USD+28%
Disc Jockey58,300 USD-22%
Drone Cinematographer82,500 USD+11%
Editorial Assistant46,900 USD-37%
Events Manager92,500 USD+24%
Graphic Designer63,000 USD-15%
Illustrator69,200 USD-7%
Industrial Designer57,300 USD-23%
Influencer Marketing Manager122,000 USD+64%
Influencer Outreach Specialist88,800 USD+19%
Instructional Designer55,900 USD-25%
Internet Community Manager79,800 USD+7%
Internet Radio Producer136,000 USD+83%
Journalist110,000 USD+48%
Live Streaming Moderator71,300 USD-4%
Live Streaming Producer110,000 USD+48%
Live Streaming Specialist87,300 USD+17%
Makeup Artist56,800 USD-24%
Media Design Manager150,000 USD+100%
Media Equipment Operator50,400 USD-32%
Media Operations Manager123,000 USD+65%
Media Planner78,600 USD+6%
Media Producer110,000 USD+48%
Media Product Development Manager154,000 USD+110%
Media Production Manager154,000 USD+110%
Media Program Director161,000 USD+120%
Media Relation Executive161,000 USD+120%
Media Relations Manager157,000 USD+110%
Media Sales Manager169,000 USD+130%
Movement and Dance Coordinator90,400 USD+22%
Multimedia Coordinator62,400 USD-16%
Multimedia Designer58,100 USD-22%
Music Consultant76,600 USD+3%
Music Producer127,000 USD+71%
Musician65,600 USD-12%
News Associate78,100 USD+5%
News Reporter106,000 USD+43%
Online Community Moderator76,500 USD+3%
Podcast Advertising Specialist80,900 USD+9%
Podcast Producer87,800 USD+18%
Post Production Assistant52,300 USD-30%
Producer141,000 USD+90%
Product Designer61,300 USD-18%
Product Planner75,200 USD+1%
Production Artist76,600 USD+3%
Production Assistant54,200 USD-27%
Production Director128,000 USD+72%
Production Technician54,300 USD-27%
Program Researcher93,700 USD+26%
Promotion Coordinator71,700 USD-4%
Social Media Compliance Manager95,900 USD+29%
Social Media Compliance Officer84,700 USD+14%
Sound Engineer74,300 USD-0%
Sound Engineering Technician45,900 USD-38%
Stage Technician44,400 USD-40%
Sub Editor53,200 USD-28%
Television Executive Producer172,000 USD+130%
Transmission Engineer87,100 USD+17%
Video Editor65,800 USD-11%
Video Producer82,200 USD+11%
Videographer79,700 USD+7%
Virtual / Augmented Reality Content Creator132,000 USD+78%
Virtual Set Designer97,600 USD+31%
Virtual Staging Specialist93,800 USD+26%
Visual Designer80,100 USD+8%
Visual Effects Artist89,300 USD+20%
Voiceover Artist74,800 USD+1%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Boston80,300 USD
Chicago91,000 USD
Houston88,400 USD
Las Vegas75,400 USD
Los Angeles93,200 USD
New York88,800 USD
San Francisco81,900 USD
San Jose87,900 USD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama78,800 USD
Alaska65,800 USD
Arizona82,800 USD
Arkansas73,300 USD
California88,500 USD
Colorado76,400 USD
Connecticut78,400 USD
Delaware69,800 USD
District of Columbia65,300 USD
Florida86,000 USD
Georgia80,800 USD
Hawaii73,000 USD
Idaho69,900 USD
Illinois87,300 USD
Indiana79,800 USD
Iowa77,900 USD
Kansas74,600 USD
Kentucky73,500 USD
Louisiana77,900 USD
Maine68,600 USD
Maryland81,900 USD
Massachusetts78,400 USD
Michigan86,000 USD
Minnesota77,800 USD
Mississippi77,400 USD
Missouri79,500 USD
Montana67,300 USD
Nebraska73,500 USD
Nevada71,800 USD
New Hampshire72,800 USD
New Jersey80,900 USD
New Mexico76,100 USD
New York85,000 USD
North Carolina79,000 USD
North Dakota68,300 USD
Ohio80,800 USD
Oklahoma77,700 USD
Oregon74,300 USD
Pennsylvania87,300 USD
Rhode Island68,500 USD
South Carolina81,100 USD
South Dakota69,300 USD
Tennessee77,200 USD
Texas87,100 USD
Utah70,800 USD
Vermont69,400 USD
Virginia80,600 USD
Washington84,400 USD
West Virginia71,800 USD
Wisconsin83,000 USD
Wyoming67,300 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in United States is 5% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
92,800 USD
Public Sector+5%
97,500 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary for the job title Sound Engineer in United States?

A good and competitive compensation would range anywhere between 69,300 USD and 79,300 USD. This is a very rough estimate. Experience and education play a very huge part in the final earnings.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary for a careers like Sound Engineer in United States ranges from 36,400 USD to 56,700 USD. The base salary depends on many factors including experience and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

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