In the world of music, not all the successful sound engineers have professional qualifications with regard to music. This is what makes this career path interesting because it mainly thrives on how passionate one is about it.
This then leaves the question; How can I become a successful sound engineer without a degree?
You can become a sound engineer without a degree by learning the craft and working with people in order to gain the needed experience that can reflect well on your resumé. Being able to compete with sound engineers that have degrees will highly depend on your ability to show how skilled you are and how good of a resumé you possess.
Learning this craft is certainly easier now that information is readily available and can be accessed with a few clicks.
Back in the day, it was difficult because information was held by people that were already sound engineers.
To become an effective sound engineer without a degree you need to gain valuable skills and this post will walk you through how you can go about becoming a successful sound engineer, so do stick around as I reveal these secrets that can help you elevate your career.
Getting Skills to Become a Sound Engineer
Now that we understand the importance of acquiring skills to be a sound engineer, this part of the post will explain how you can go about acquiring the necessary skills to become a sound engineer.
Invest in a course
One of the easiest ways to become a sound engineer is basically investing in a course that is taught by somebody credible.
I’m not talking about the run of the mill educational degree program. I’m referring to courses available on websites like Coursera, Udemy etc.
They can help you get well focused knowledge on the various facets of sound engineering. Plus they are a lot cheaper than what you would pay for a typical degree programme.
So, look into these courses and see how best they can help you build up some knowledge and get started in this field.
Work closely with a professional
Another way you can gain some sound engineering knowledge is by working closely with a professional sound engineer.
The only challenge you’d face here is not having the expertise to actually intern at a recording studio.
Nevertheless, you could possibly find a spot at a studio where you can pick up a few skills if you can make the right pitch to the sound engineer.
You can offer to do some work in return for some studio time. This is pretty easy to do but…..may involve running errands for the engineer or basically doing odd jobs that are unrelated to audio production.
But focus on the larger goal which is, getting the chance to learn directly from a sound engineer.
What ever knowledge you pick up can be valuable and can help you do research easily because of the foundational knowledge that the sound engineer gives to you.
The self taught route can also work. The only catch with this is that you have to basically develop a keen interest or passion to actually want to learn this stuff on your own.
It’s not easy, but with the right attitude and mentality. I believe you can work your way up to success.
You can invest in some books and other free information online to get you started into the work of sound engineering. Also get yourself a PC or laptop and a Digital Audio Workstation so you can experiment with the knowledge you acquire online.
YouTube can also help you and I have a list of the best music production YouTube channels in this post.
Keys to a successful career as a Sound engineer
We just discussed the various ways you can look to, in order to get some sound engineering knowledge. Now let’s discuss the what you need to know about a good career in sound engineering.
Learn the craft
One of the secrets to a successful career in sound engineering is learning the craft, through and through.
This is one career that is diverse. Rather than focusing on one area, expand your knowledge in order to increase the odds of your success.
In the beginning you ofcourse have to get good foundational knowledge, but keep working to improve and enhance your knowledge because this will make you a valuable player in this game.
So don’t disregard your ability to learn and expand your knowledge because it can define your success ad set you up to excel in your career.
Work with people
As a sound engineer, working with people is how you exercise your skills.
If you’re interested in music production, then do work with musicians. Do your best to make high quality records.
If you’re more into live sound engineering, you can find some gigs that can allow you to offer your services.
My point is, the more you work with people, the more you develop your resumé and build some credibility to go work your skill.
Work in various environments
Another key to a successful sound engineering career is working in various areas that require sound engineers.
The reason for this is that it can help you figure out which particular industry you can thrive in. It can also help you figure out which particular areas has the most opportunities.
Another reason why working in various areas of sound engineering is important is because it can help you build various skills.
Build an online presence
Another important thing you have to consider doing is building an online presence. This can help your career unfold in different ways.
Plus, it can help bring awareness to your brand and your work. So don’t neglect this.
Sound engineers are meant to be the background guys but this no longer true because the internet has basically allowed everyone to shine.
So don’t be the guy or girl with no social profiles, work as hard as you can and promote your work online.
Advantages of a SOUND engineering degree
Now that we’ve discussed the various key important things that you have to consider in order to increase the odds of your success. Let’s now look into the advantages of having a sound engineering degree.
You have instant credibility
Possessing a sound engineer degree is advantageous because it gives you instant credibility and authority in this space.
A person without a degree has to build a resumé to be able to establish some authority and credibility.
A person with a degree has the authority and credibility with their degree.
You can work in formal setups
Having a sound engineering degree can also be advantageous because it can help you work in more formal set ups that only hire people with a formal education degree.
Some corporations may hire sound engineers to work in their firms. It may be harder for you to get this kind of work if you don’t have a degree. But it’s not impossible, its only harder.
You can demand higher pay
As somebody with a degree, you have more authority to negotiate and demand for higher pay.
This can work well in situations where alot of money is at stake for a project.
You can work in various departments
Another great added benefit of having a degree is that you can work in different departments because a formal education doesn’t only prepare you for one area of sound engineering.
It basically gives you adequate knowledge to thrive in various industries. This is advantage because you can pick and choose which area to work in.