Career path on how to become an ace television and film Sound Engineer

What is the job scope for sound engineers in India? How much salary does a sound engineer earn in Bollywood films? This article gives an insight into these and various aspects of a career in sound engineering. Learn about the various aspects of sound engineering and the suggested career path to becoming a sound engineer in the Indian film industry.

Those who have an ear for sound and those who love the harmony and tune of a musical note can opt for a career in sound engineering. There is enormous scope for this unique career associated with radio, television, films and digital online platforms.

Aspects of sound engineering

A sound engineer's role is part of both the production and post-production stages. While during production you will be involved with the tasks from the foundation stage to the recording stage, at the post-production stage will require you to give it refinement and finesse.

Various tasks of a sound engineer are:
  1. Capture sound

  2. Reproduce sound

  3. Recording

  4. Copying

  5. Mixing

  6. Dubbing

  7. Syncing

For certain projects, different sound engineers may be assigned the above various tasks, with all working in smooth tandem to delight the listeners with the final output.

Career path to becoming a sound engineer

You can initially begin as an assistant to a sound engineer. Look for such opportunities at live gigs or in the world of advertising. Check out advertisements of upcoming cultural programs and music events. You can always approach the organizers and enquire about possible requirements for sound engineers. Once your C.V. gets a shot in the arm with experience, you can look for better-paying opportunities with a television channel or a music production house. It is essential to upgrade your skills in the latest technology of sound and recording equipment.

It is a good idea to showcase your sound engineering talent by uploading videos on social media platforms and look out for contests too online. Somebody in the film or television industry may just get impressed and land you a lucrative job! Don't forget to spread the word around with some savvy networking.

The salary would depend on the field you are entering – television, radio, advertising, films – but generally, the start of your earnings will be in the approximate range of Rs.3lakhs to Rs.5lakhs. In the film industry, you can earn upward of Rs.15lakh.

First, of course, you need a sound academic background and here's what you require -

Educational qualification requirements

You need to pursue a Degree or Diploma program in sound engineering. Eligibility for these courses is generally a Class12 (10+2) pass qualification with physics as a subject at the 12th level (some courses require mathematics and chemistry as well.)

Where to start your learning curve

When pursuing a course in sound engineering, you will be learning right from the basics of understanding sound frequencies to the functions of a sound engineer during the post-production stage. You will be gaining in-depth knowledge about live sound recordings and its studio-based reinforcements, how to create special effects for a sound, mixing and editing, as well as other similar technical aspects. Additionally, you will learn to use sound equipment and recording tools. You can also check out courses specific to sound editing only.

List of Institutes in India offering Sound Engineering courses

Five reputed institutes where you can begin your career as a sound engineer are:
  1. Film and Television Institute of India, Pune: Courses offered are:
    • Post Graduate Diploma in Sound Recording and Sound Design (3 years) – 10 seats. Eligibility: Bachelor's Degree, with Physics as a subject at Senior Secondary (10+2) level.

    • Post Graduate Certificate Course in Sound Recording and TV Engineering (1 year) – 12 seats. Eligibility: Bachelor's Degree, with Physics as a subject at Senior Secondary (10+2) level


  2. Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata: The institute offers a Sound Recording & Designing course as one of the six specializations offered for the 3-year (full time), Postgraduate program in Cinema.

  3. MGR Government Film and Television Institute, Chennai: There are 14 seats for the four year Bachelor of Visual Arts (Audiography) course. Eligibility: 12th Pass with Physics and Chemistry or you should have done a vocational course with radio/television or domestic electronic equipment as special subjects or have a Diploma in Electrical & Electronics Engineering or Diploma in Electronics & Communications Engineering.
    Website: GFTI Chennai

  4. Government Film and Television Institute, Bangalore: You can purse a Diploma in Sound and Recording. Eligibility: 10+2 pass with science & mathematics or equivalent.

  5. Asian Academy of Film & Televsion, Noida: Courses offered are:
    • B.Sc. (Cinema) + Diploma in Sound Recording – This is a three year dual certification program, with sound recording as one of the specializations. Other specializations are: Acting / Direction / Post Production / Cinematography.

    • M.Sc. (Cinema) + PG Diploma in Sound Recording – This is a two year program with with sound recording as one of the specializations. Other specializations are: Acting / Direction / Post Production / Cinematography.

    • Video Editing & Sound Recording – This is a short term 3 months course.

    You can also check out their post production courses.

  6. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai: Courses offered are:
    • Sound Recording and Design specialisation is part of the 3 years' B.Sc./B.A. in the film making course, as well as for the Advanced Diploma program in Film making of 2 years.

    • You can take up a short-term course on the Fundamentals of Digital Audio Workstation, which is for 8 weeks (40 hours totally)


So are you going to be an award winning sound engineer, perhaps for epic movies like Baahubali? Wishing you success for it!

Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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