California is home to some of the best audio engineering schools in the United States. These schools offer comprehensive programs that cover everything from sound design and mixing to music production and studio management. There are hundreds of different jobs you could do as an audio engineer, ranging from live music and studio work, to setting up a party DJ at a wedding or working in radio. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in audio engineering, here are some of the top schools in California to consider.
What’s even better is that is doesn’t matter whether you live down south or up north (San Francisco) there are still plenty of schools to choose from.
The average salary of an Audio Engineer is $69,480. Salaries start from $25,620 and go up to $119,930. Please note that the average salary for an Audio Engineer may vary depending on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location
Audio Engineering Schools in California
- University of Southern California: The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California offers a Bachelor of Music in Recording Arts program. This program covers a wide range of topics, including music production, sound design, and studio management. Students also have access to state-of-the-art recording studios and equipment, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and artists.
- California Institute of the Arts: The California Institute of the Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Technology program that covers a wide range of topics, including sound design, recording techniques, and music production. The program is designed to give students a hands-on education in the field of audio engineering, with a focus on practical, real-world experience.
- Berklee College of Music: While not located in California, Berklee College of Music offers an online Bachelor of Professional Studies in Electronic Music Production and Sound Design program that is accessible to students anywhere in the country. The program covers everything from the basics of sound design to advanced mixing and mastering techniques, and is designed to give students a hands-on education in the field of audio engineering.
- Los Angeles Recording School: The Los Angeles Recording School offers a comprehensive Audio Production program that covers everything from the basics of sound design to advanced mixing and mastering techniques. The program is designed to give students a hands-on education in the field of audio engineering, with a focus on practical, real-world experience.
- San Francisco State University: The School of Music at San Francisco State University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Recording Arts program. The program covers a wide range of topics, including music production, sound design, and studio management. Students also have access to state-of-the-art recording studios and equipment, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians and artists.
- The Art Institute of California – Hollywood: The Art Institute of California – Hollywood offers a comprehensive Audio Production program that covers everything from the basics of sound design to advanced mixing and mastering techniques. The program is designed to give students a hands-on education in the field of audio engineering, with a focus on practical, real-world experience.
- Pyramind: Pyramind is a music and audio production school in San Francisco that offers a comprehensive Audio Engineering program. The program covers everything from the basics of sound design to advanced mixing and mastering techniques, and is designed to give students a hands-on education in the field of audio engineering.
Overall, California offers a wide range of audio engineering programs that are designed to prepare students for careers in the field. Whether you’re interested in music production, sound design, or studio management, there is a program out there that will meet your needs and help you achieve your career goals.
Featured Audio Schools in CA
- Audio Production (BS)
Your creativity is a big part of who you are and where you’re going. To take it, and your future, as far as you want, you need an education that’s focused on developing your talents and putting you on the path toward the creative career that stirs your imagination.
6565 Sunset Blvd. Suite 100 Los Angeles, CA 90028 United States Tel: 323-466-6323
SAE has two locations in California, one in Hollywood and the other in San Francisco. The only program they offer is their Audio Technology Program Diploma. It is a nine month course if you go full time, or 18 months if you attend part time.
Enrolled students receive an Apple Laptop that includes ProTools LE system, Waves certification Bundle, NI Komplete, Logic Studio, and Ultrasone Headphones. The program itself covers a plethora of material from Basic sound theory to mastering and remixing. [*]
8306 Wilshire Bld. Beverly Hills, CA 90046 United States Tel: 800- 295- 4433
Recording Connection of Hollywood is one of the top schools in the state and features mentors such as Jay-Z, U2, Kendrick Lamar, and Justin Timberlake.
The school offers several different programs to help you pursue your dream career. Their programs include audio engineering, music producing, electronic music production, hip hop/beat making, touring DJ, Pop and R&B;, Rock & Roll, Country music production, Live sound engineering, music business, post production audio, and advanced programs.
6752 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028 United States Tel: 800-255-7529
Musicians Institute is located in Hollywood, and offers Performance, alternative, industry, and degree programs. Their programs include Bachelor of Music, Associate of Arts, Certificate, Non-Certificate, Audio engineering, Independent Artist Program, Music Business, Guitar Craft, and many more.
Some of their degree programs are geared toward specific styles of music so it is important to do your research before choosing a program. MI offers hands on training with professionals that actually work in the music industry. [*]
This list was made up of the best “on-campus” audio production schools in California. If you decide for any reason that you would prefer to learn from home, there are plenty of online courses available
Music in Southern California
In Southern California (Los Angeles & San Diego) you will find the center of the music universe. (As far as commercial companies go) Most of the biggest “labels” in the country reside there and this means music studios are abundant.
Additionally, Southern California is home to many live performance venues, meaning more audio jobs. Lastly, the average salary for California audio engineers is pretty high. Only a few other states (ie. New York, Massachusetts) average higher paydays.
However, all these positives come with a few negatives. The cost of living in California is very high and competition can be tough for beginners. So get a good education, and be ready to work. The schools listed above are all good options to get started.
California offers beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, snow covered mountains during the winter, and the largest entertainment industry in the world all located in one place. There is plenty to love.
But if you decide to enroll in school in CA, be ready to work. There are a lot of people who want to produce music for a living, so you need to stay focused. Get yourself educated, and find a way to stand out.
If you have any questions for any of these schools, just hit the “request info” button and fill out your info. They can help you out.
Good luck and stay hungry!