Music as a career has become one of the most sought after dream jobs out there right now.
Being a passion driven career, Music has become a career for almost everyone.
This has made jobs like sound engineering more than necessary because musician’s need people who can help them make the best Music possible.
This post will explore whether sound engineering is a competitive field because its a question that I often times come across.
Most people are trying to get into this career therefore questions like these are to be expected.
With that said, is sound engineering competitive?
Sound engineering is a competitive field because there many people looking for jobs in this industry. Most employers hire based on experience which is hard to get due to the fact that there are a few places that take on people without adequate work experience.
Why sound engineering is so competitive
Let’s get into some of the reasons why sound engineering is so competitive.
Many people looking for work
The facts is, sound engineering is one of those careers with a lot of people looking to make it.
You don’t only have to worry about people with professional qualifications you also have to worry about those with self taught knowledge looking for the same job as you.
Let’s face it, a lot of people are getting into music now… and the space for decent employment opportunities grows narrow every day.
One has to really explore sound engineering deeply to look for ways in which they could fit in. For that you can check out this full guide on what to know about becoming a sound engineer and everything in between.
Experience is the deciding factor
The second reason why sound engineering is such a competitive field is because you need vast or acceptable experience to be hired.
In sound engineering, employers cannot afford to hire somebody that they have to train for years. They’d rather run with a person that atleast knows what their doing.
This in itself means that you won’t get hired if you don’t have some experience to back you up.
A person that is just leaving college is then at a disadvantage because they are not just experienced enough.
Another reason why there’s so much competition in the sound engineering space is because sound engineering is a delicate art and the last thing employers want to do it replace audio engineers that often.
Quality is hard to come by when it comes to engineering sound which means when a company hires a good sound engineer, they are going to look to stay with that person for as long as they can in order to avoid compromising quality.
This means you’ll have to display unique abilities in order to be even just considered. Furthermore, sometimes getting the job may mean coming on as an assistant.
The simple truth is employers don’t want to replace quality sound engineers.
No properly structured internships
It’s rare to find internships in sound engineering and you probably won’t find any if you’re not creative enough to look for these opportunities or make them yourself.
Which means that people looking for the traditional internship may not find them.
You therefore have to find other ways to look for work in your field.
I’ll share a few trade secrets below. Just keep reading.
Formality doesn’t equal advantage
Another reason why sound engineering is competitive is because experience matters more than formal qualification.
A person with some years of experience without any formal qualifications will be easily considered than a person with a boat load of qualifications but no experience.
Sound engineering is all about your abilities as an engineer, it’s not always about your qualifications.
How to position yourself to win in sound engineering
I know some of the points I’ve discussed above may be scary and may make you reconsider your career choice. Its understandable. However, if you’re looking to soldier on and keep going. I have some good trade secrets that you can use below.
Find a sub niche
The mistake that most people make is they try to go after each and every sound engineering job they see.
This only makes you a slave. The pros are not doing this which is why they can lose work and be back on a new job in just a couple of months.
What you want to do is focus on a sub niche in sound engineering. It could be live sound engineering, game sound engineering, music sound engineering etc… there are various other small fields in sound engineering.
You want to focus on a small market because it will be easier for you to find a job in that space. It will also be easier for you to narrow your focus and go hard at one thing rather than going after a hundred.
Network as much as possible
Most new sound engineers that I meet complain about not finding clients and wanting some help.
But you should understand this, its not always about fishing for clients sometimes you just need to build a network of people.
So while you’re looking for work, it’s also important to make some genuine connections along the way because you just might find yourself with the right person.
Find the key players in your niche
I discussed finding a sub niche in sound engineering because you need your focus on one thing so you improve your odds at success.
The third thing you need to do is figure out who the key players in your sub niche are.
Find the guys that are recruiting, hiring talent, making decisions etc. you’ll need to know who these guys are by name.
Once you know them, it will be easy for you to reach out to them or find their network and hop on it.
Find out where the key players hang out online
Social media is the most powerful tool we have as sound engineers. You may think only musicians stand to benefit from the Internet, but anyone with any craft stands to benefit.
With that said, it’s important that you find where the key players in your sub niche hang out.
It could be LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social platform.
It’s up to you to find them.
This is not difficult, once you know the names of the big players, all you have to do is just search for them on various social platforms.
Even a simple google search can lead you to them.
Offer your services for free
A good way to build your book as a sound engineer is to get people to vouch for you.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have the necessary experience yet, then you need to strategize.
One strategy you can employ is offering your services for free in return for a review or testimonial or a good video testimonial (which works wonders by the way).
People will always jump on free stuff so you can easily Capitalize on that.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
As a sound engineer offering a service, you need to make your offer irresistible in order for you to get clients.
So you need to come up with a good hook for your clients, and a good offer behind a big idea.
You can assess your competition and see what they lack and then work that into your offer.
The more you get clients, the more you get testimonials, the more you show your experience, the more you get hired.
Don’t be afraid to be an assistant
In sound engineering, it is very difficult for you to land a lead role at first.
You’ll probably get hired on as an assistant first and then you’ll have to work your way up to better roles.
Don’t take this as a failure, its an opportunity for you to learn as much as you can.
Promote your work
Always be on the front line when it comes to promotion.
Ensure that your work is visible on all your online social profiles.
In short, sell yourself.