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How to Get Audio Engineering Certification

7/14/2012

Looking to get certified as an audio engineer? If so, there are several places to get audio engineering certification, some more expensive than others. Here is some helpful information that can help you make the right choice for you.

First of all, you should know that “certification,” per se, is not really a requirement to work in recording studios, nor is there any set form of certification, as there is in other professions. All certification does is essentially tell the music industry that you’ve achieved a basic level of training in an area of technical skill. Taking a Pro Tools certification class, for example, will give you a certification that you’ve taken an approved course and that you know how to use Pro Tools. But certificates, diplomas or degrees are optional in this field, not mandatory. If you can do the work well, and can prove yourself in a professional studio environment, that can take you even farther than a college degree can—at least where the music industry is concerned.

That being said, here are a few ways in which you can receive audio engineering certification:

TAKE A COLLEGE DEGREE PROGRAM

Earning a college degree in audio production is the most comprehensive form of training you can receive, but it also includes general education requirements that are unrelated to audio engineering, and can be very expensive (up to $100,000 total, depending on the school). Remember, college degrees are unnecessary to having a successful career in professional audio, so earning a degree is completely optional.

ATTEND A TRADE SCHOOL

Numerous trade schools nowadays focus on audio production as a trade. These courses generally last 6 months to one year, and result in a diploma or certificate. The benefit is that these courses are more intensive and career focused; the down side is that they can also be pricey (in the tens of thousands of dollars), and they do not actually do much to connect you to the audio industry, which can make it difficult to land a job afterward.

INDIVIDUAL CERTIFICATION

As mentioned earlier, you can take individual short-term courses in various software programs like Pro Tools that will certify you to work with those particular programs. These courses are short and relatively cheap, and can add to your resume.

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS

Attending an audio school that uses the mentor-apprentice (extern) approach is possibly the most cost-effective and efficient way to get certified, because it gives you direct access to the music industry by training you in a real recording studio under the mentoring of a working audio professional. This type of course is very affordable (typically under $10,000) and helps connect and establish you in the music industry itself.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to receive audio engineering certification; use this information to determine which pathway is right for you.