They say that the perfect job is the one that… doesn’t feel like a job. If you are thinking about a career in the audio industry, and you are really passionate about knobs, microphones and music making software, just be aware that you have started what is probably a very steep uphill path. Still, if you succeed, you will be rewarded with what could become not only a dream job, but a fulfilling life.
There is no right answer. The reality is, that truth lies in the middle. If you enroll at a good sound engineering school, you may end up with a diploma that could lead you to land a more than respectable trainee position, or you could even start your own business. The good thing about formal education is that, regardless of your personal interests, you will receive an “overview” where you will be able to confront yourself with all the tools of the trade.
Even if you are not thinking about becoming a live sound engineer, it is always good to know how to set up a PA and perform a sound check. And, after all, you never know. Especially at the beginning, you’ll need a lot of practice as, in this area, no job is too small. Let’s get to the second option, as many people working in this industry are (successfully) self-taught. So, yes, it’s an option, but it will require many years of continuous apprenticeship and dedication.
Try to get in touch with people that can help you kick-start your career: musicians, producers, club owners and even TV and radio executives. Be always professional, do not expect to be paid hips, especially at the start, but, at the same time, avoid working for free. Be curious, challenge yourself and never stop learning. And, most importantly, try to have fun and be creative, whether you will end up working in music, television, post production, radio, theatre or even corporate events.