Sound Technician

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Sound technicians set up, operate and maintain the technical equipment used to record, edit, amplify and enhance the sound produced for film, radio, TV or theatre. They can also be called sound engineers.

The Work

Work can be in sound production, which involves producing all sound by making recordings, or in post-production, which involves amplifying, balancing, mixing and monitoring sound. It may be in a studio, dealing with recordings, or in a venue hosting live productions.

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary depending on:

The starting salary for sound technicians can be around £18,000 a year. With some experience this can rise up to around £25,000 and with long term experience and excellent technical skills earnings can be over £35,000 a year.

Many technicians are freelance and negotiate their fees on an individual basis. The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) website has guidelines to help you. Their suggested rates depend on the type of production you work on and the exact job you do. For example, a first assistant sound person can earn £340 for a 10-hour day on a TV drama production (Band 1), while a production sound mixer on a low budget film production can earn £450 for a 10-hour day.

However sound engineers at the start of their career often work on a low pay/no pay basis, sharing in the profits (if any) of the event.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Most people enter by one of the following routes.

What Does it Take?

You should have:


Employers provide on the job training.

Getting On

More Information

The Engineering Council sets and maintains the standards of the engineering profession in the UK.

The Tomorrow’s Engineers website has more information on careers in engineering, including those in music.

The Creative and Cultural Skills website has a careers section called Creative Choices which covers careers information, jobs and opportunities in the theatre and music business, including sound work.


Courtesy of Creative Choices


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BBC Recruitment
Twitter: @BBCCareers

BECTU Scotland (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union)
Twitter: @bectu

BPI - The British Phonographic Industry
Tel: 020 7803 1300
Twitter: @bpi_music

Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 020 7015 1800
Twitter: @CCskills

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts.

JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support)

JAMES provides industry support for education and student careers advice. They accredit courses in audio recording & music production, live performance, music composition and audio post production for film & TV.

Radio Academy
Twitter: @radioacademy

Information on how to break into the world of radio.

Tel: 020 7713 9800
Twitter: @UKScreenSkills

ScreenSkills (formerly Creative Skillset) works with the UK’s screen-based creative media industries to develop skills and talent from classroom to boardroom.

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