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Sound technician

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Summary of occupation

Sound technicians operate technical audio equipment, to support television or radio broadcasts, film or video productions, or in live performance. They use equipment to record, reproduce, mix, enhance and amplify sound. They set up, test, operate, monitor or repair equipment and work with performers and other production staff to attain the desired sound.

Many sound technicians work in the field, in venues, such as the pubs and clubs of Northbridge and Fremantle, concert halls and outdoor events. They can also work in businesses renting or selling audio monitoring and recording equipment, as well as undertaking maintenance and repairs.

ANZSCO description: Operates audio equipment to record, enhance,  mix and amplify sound in support of television, radio, film or video  productions, or stage performances.
Alternative names: Audio Engineer
Specialisations: Audio Operator, Dubbing Machine Operator, Foley Artist, Re-recording Mixer, Sound Editor, Sound Effects Person, Sound Mixer, Sound Recordist, Video and Sound Recorder
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Sound technicians need:

  • an interest in all aspects of sound recording, production and performance
  • good hearing and an ear for detail
  • to enjoy working with electronics and an interest in the science of sound production
  • problem solving skills
  • the ability to work under pressure
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Working conditions

Sound technicians are often expected to work long hours including late nights and on weekends, for example when they are responsible for setting up, monitoring and then packing down the sound equipment at concerts and other live performances. Sound technicians' work can also involve heavy lifting and the co-ordination of other technical crew.

Sound technicians can also be required to work in loud, dark concert venues, or in variable weather conditions at heavily populated outdoor events, like the Big Day Out in Claremont. They may also work in wholesale or retail businesses.

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Salary details

On average, sound technicians, classified under performing arts technicians, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a sound technician develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase. 

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Tools and technologies

Sound technicians work with a detailed and complex range of very specific sound recording, mixing and production tools. These may include audio mixing consoles, noise reduction systems, audio filters, microphones, radio frequency transmitters or receivers, sound and video editing software, cable testers and many different types of cabling. Sound technicians will need to know how each of these pieces of equipment work together, and are responsible for using them in conjunction with each other, as well as setting them up or packing them down.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as a sound technician without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a formal qualification in sound production, music, screen production, film and video or other related area.

VET qualifications and university courses in these fields are widely available at TAFE Colleges and universities throughout Western Australia. Contact the training institution or university you are interested in for more information.

​You can also complete a traineeship. The music industry (technical production) traineeship takes 24 months to complete.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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Related links

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Sound engineer Video Sound engineer Occupation

Sound engineers (also sound technicians) operate technical audio equipment, to support television or radio broadcasts, film or video productions, or in live performance.

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