The Highest Paying Jobs in the Music Industry

Many people believe there is only one type of success in the music industry. “Are you trying to ‘make it big?’” they ask aspiring audio professionals, not realizing the question is as silly as asking an accountant if their goal is to be Warren Buffet. The music industry has many layers and earning a respectable living without being Dr. Dre or Taylor Swift is not an unrealistic goal.

At F.I.R.S.T. Institute, our Career Development department has helped thousands of aspiring audio professionals find their bearings in this $50 billion industry. To help you get started on the path to creative and professional success, we’ve compiled this list of the highest-paying jobs in the music industry.

Average annual pay is derived from and reflects U.S. national averages.

1. ADR Engineer | Average Annual Pay: $132,945

Automated Dialogue Replacement, or ADR, is the process of re-recording dialogue in live-action film and television productions and recording dialogue in animation and video games.

2. FOH Engineer | Average Annual Pay: $86,490

The front-of-house, or FOH, engineer controls the mix during a live event. They use a variety of effects and processors as well as make decisions about the volume and frequency of every instrument on stage.

3. Game Audio Designer | Average Annual Pay: $82,218

Game audio designers create the sonic world within a video game. They record, edit, and mix all the sounds players experience during gameplay. When done well, this process significantly affects the perceived quality of a game.

4. Broadcast Engineer | Average Annual Pay: $80,156

Broadcast engineers work with audio transmitted over radio, cable, satellite, and the internet. They must combine knowledge of audio principles with the standards and practices of the broadcasting world.

5. Monitoring Engineer | Average Annual Pay: $77,000

Not just audiences expect a great mix at a concert or event. Musicians, speakers, and actors also require an excellent mix to deliver optimal performance. This is the responsibility of the monitoring engineer, who specializes in mixing the audio sent directly to the talent.

6. Acoustic Consultant | Average Annual Pay: $77,000

Every space has unique acoustic properties that play a massive role in the quality of sound produced within it. Acoustic consultants use their expertise in acoustic science to help venues, studios, and businesses realize the sonic potential of the spaces they inhabit.

7. Location Sound Mixer | Average Annual Pay: $69,941

The location sound mixer oversees the audio crew on a film or television production.

8. Lighting Designer | Average Annual Pay: $65,717

The lighting designer must combine a deep understanding of music with exceptional visual sensibilities. Lighting designers oversee the lighting for concerts, musicals, plays, art installations, and more.

9. Stage Manager | Average Annual Pay: $53,998

The stage manager is responsible for managing the setup and breakdown of live production and ensuring that all sets, props, and equipment function as intended during a performance.

F.I.R.S.T. Institute is a premier digital media school headquartered in Orlando, Florida. F.I.R.S.T offers hands-on experience for students in both online and on-campus options.

To learn more, visit

ADVERTISEMENT. Orlando Weekly news staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Please note, this report is written for informational purposes only.


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