How to become a Sound Technician

Sound technicians operate technical equipment to amplify, enhance, record, mix or reproduce sound in support of performing arts. They may also assemble and maintain sound equipment.

Personal requirements of a Sound Technician

  • A good ear for detail in all areas of sound
  • Aptitude for working with computers and audio equipment
  • Flexible attitude toward working hours and conditions
  • Able to work under pressure

Education & Training for a Sound Technician

You can work as a sound technician without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications. You may like to consider a VET qualification in technical production, sound production, music or live production and services. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a sound technician through a traineeship in Live Production and Services, Live Production and Technical Services, Technical Production or Sound Production. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Sound Technician

Sound technicians may perform the following tasks:

  • determine sound requirements
  • set up, test and operate equipment in accordance with the acoustics of the area and select, place and adjust microphones
  • monitor audio signals to detect quality deviations or malfunctions
  • service, maintain and repair amplifiers, tuners, receivers, digital audio systems, turntables and pick-ups, reel-to-reel and cassette-type tape recorders and speaker systems
  • build and install sound systems
  • dub and edit tapes or compact discs
  • operate controls to maintain correct sound levels
  • talk with performers and instruct them on microphone use
  • introduce pre-recorded special effects required by scripts.

Working conditions for a Sound Technician

Sound technicians may be required to work shifts that involve long hours in the evenings and on weekends. They often work under difficult conditions and, when working at outdoor concerts, in variable weather.

Employment Opportunities for a Sound Technician

Sound technicians are employed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), commercial radio and television broadcasting stations, film production companies, theatre and live entertainment companies and venues, sound recording studios, and PA equipment and audio reproduction businesses. Some sound technicians work on a freelance basis and may establish their own studios. This is a very competitive occupation and people sometimes need to travel interstate to find work.

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