Recording Arts Degrees

Recording Arts

Do you enjoy music, but aren’t exactly a songbird yourself? Can you spot a great tune when you hear it? Do you enjoy working with electronic equipment? If so, then a career in the recording arts might be right for you.

Those who earn a degree in Recording Arts will be qualified to operate recording devices to edit and produce music/audio tracks for the film or music industry.

Types of Degrees

While some institutions offer certificate programs for Recording Arts, others offer associate and bachelor degrees. Deciding which program is right for you will depend on how you plan to use your training. A certificate program can be completed in as little as six months, while an associate degree will take roughly two years. Bachelor degrees are the most time-consuming to earn, taking four years. Master degrees in Recording Arts are available, but not required, to find work in the industry.

Recording Arts students are taught how to manipulate sound through courses using electronic and digital equipment using for producing, mixing, editing and recording music. They also will learn how to manipulate voices and create sound effects. How you plan to use your training should influence which type of schooling you choose.

Certificate – Ideal for those who wish to kick-start their careers in a quick fashion, and are offered by community colleges, career colleges and online schools. Most schools which offer this type of degree pair students with professionals in the field, where they gain hands-on experience. Certificates can be earned in less than a year. Certificate programs also are used by professionals already working in the industry to help them learn the latest technology.

Associate’s Degree – Schooling for an associate’s degree generally takes about two years to complete. Students who choose an associate degree over a certificate can expect to develop more advanced skills than their counterparts who have chosen a certificate program only. They also can expect to earn a higher salary.

Bachelor’s Degree – This is the ultimate in training for the Recording Arts. This program takes four years to complete, and is more intense than either the certificate or associate’s degree programs. Students who choose a four-year program can expect to develop more advanced skills, such as multi-track mixing techniques.

There also are more advanced programs for the Recording Arts, including one offered by the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Md. The institute’s program takes five years to complete, but is designed to train musicians to possess both technical expertise and a sophisticated knowledge of music. Students who attend the institute can expect to complete relevant studies in electrical engineering, math, science and computer science.

Prior to graduation from the Peabody Institute, all students must successfully complete an internship, serving 320 hours alongside a professional in the Recording Arts industry.

Job Market

The type of job for which you are qualified will depend greatly on the degree level earned.

Those with a bachelor’s degree or higher are qualified for a position as a recording arts technician. Employment isn’t limited strictly to the music industry. Some recording arts technicians work for radio stations, TV studios and theaters to name a few.

The salary you earn in your field will depend on the level of education you have chosen. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010, professionals in the field who have earned at least a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn an average salary of $40,540 annually. The same statistics note that sound engineering technicians earned an average salary of $47,080 annually.

To help decide which school is right for you, use the tools here on to narrow down your search field. Simply plug in your zip code – or the zip code of the area in which you wish to find programs – and we’ll do the rest for you.

Article by Shari Berg,