Recording engineers operate and maintain sound recording equipment. They may also work special effects equipment. These engineers install, test, repair, set up and operate the electronic equipment used to record and transmit radio signals. They regulate the signal strength, clarity and range of sounds and colors of recordings or broadcasts. They also operate control panels to select the material’s source.

Sound/recording engineers must have manual dexterity and an aptitude for working with electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems and equipment. Beginners learn skills on the job from experienced technicians and supervisors.

The best way to prepare for a sound/recording engineer job is to obtain technical school, community college or college training in broadcast technology, engineering or electronics. Certification by the Society of Broadcast Engineers is a mark of competence and experience. Prospective engineers should take high school courses in math, physics and electronics. Building electronic equipment from hobby kits and operating a “ham,” or amateur radio, are good experience, as is working in college radio stations.

People seeking beginning jobs are expected to face strong competition in major metropolitan areas. Prospects for entry-level positions are generally better in small cities and towns. The overall employment of broadcast and sound technicians is expected to grow about 9 percent through 2008.

• In the 1870s, British professor James Clerk Maxwell mathematically proved electric waves could be sent through the air.
• When on tour, U2 uses a sound system that weighs 30 tons.
• Tourists to Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion can listen to an audio tour in English, Spanish, Japanese, German, Italian, Dutch, French or Portuguese.