Many of us got into sound because we are music lovers and certified audio engineers from sound engineering schools. That’s definitely the path I took – my audio skills were just a byproduct of my need to record my own music. Once I started going to gigs as an audio engineer, I started to realize that there are a lot of audio jobs that don’t necessarily have anything to do with music, but can still be highly educational and fulfilling, or at least help pay the bills. Hence I have compiled 5 alternate ways to make money as an Audio Engineer- blog. So whether you see these options as long-term career opportunities or temporary side gigs, here are some ways you can apply your audio engineering skills to earn a living.
Audio Equipment Renting is a great place to get additional income for audio engineers. Since you are an audio engineer, try and collect all major essential gears needed for your work and keep building on the arsenal, you can rent out the equipment that you are not using for your project and having a special limited edition equipment list would also give you an upper hand with other rental companies.
You can also learn how to fix equipments and try to find and help others who have broken audio interfaces and other audio gears, also you can work as a consultant for audio equipment companies like Shure, AKG, Soundcraft etc or you can do this freelance, teaching people how to use their audio equipments in the right way and what all features it can have. You can also work in consulting studio owners in what all gears they need to buy which are economic, state of the art gear, industry standard gear and would be useful for their clientele.
Plugins and audio softwares
Software design has emerged as an attractive career path for digital-minded audio engineers. As more plug-in companies emerge, the need for audio professionals who are also computer programmers continues to grow. And the need for tech-savvy audio professionals goes beyond music plug-ins.
Software companies like iZotope create a variety of audio tools specifically for post-production in movies and television. In addition, many app makers, video game design companies, and other software companies also require skilled audio engineers. Also you can try making your own DIY Plugins with Max for Live and share it with other producers and engineers to grow your plugin.
Podcast and voiceovers
When you have a decent space where you can record vocals ie. basic acoustically treated, you can work your way into recording voice-overs and with some post processing you should get a good quality output. The advantages of voice-overs are, it’s easy to record and not much work when your foundation is strong and how to tackle any bad recording, and is quick money. You can charge hourly according to the script length and post processing and editing.
Another aspect of voice overs are also podcasts there are many youtubers out there whose main content is to create podcasts and lending your space out for them to record high quality audio is also a very quick and easy money for any audio engineer, all you need is a sound proof room, some good condenser microphones, a good audio interface and obviously your laptop/desktop with a DAW. (5 alternate ways to make money as an Audio Engineer)
Live sound is also a very great place for all audio engineers to work and make some money on the side. Live Sound Engineers usually need good trouble-shooting skills and find the best possible way to make the artist sound good. The equipment and gears would be provided either by the venue or the vendor, all you have to do is show up and mix and troubleshoot if something goes wrong.
You can also teach aspiring music producers and sound engineers to use a Digital Audio Workstation. And also if you are a producer yourself you can teach different production ideas and break-down classic productions. You can also teach voice-over artists to use any basic DAW to record high quality voice-overs and how to edit and process it, as most of the artists lack the knowledge of using a DAW you can really capitalize on this, plus this can also be done online. You could also work as a faculty member for any Audio Engineering Course or Audio School. So there are multiple ways of going about in teaching so all you need is a little effort and some exploring.
These are 5 alternate ways to make money as an Audio Engineer, if you want to share more let us know down below in the comments.