ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get a Job in a Recording Studio

Updated on June 30, 2015

Where to find studios

As technology has improved in the last couple decades, a lot of recording work has moved to independent (private) studios and home studios. However, recording studios do still exist. The three primary locations (in the US) for commercial recording studios are New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville, although recording studios can be found just about anywhere. This means there could be opportunities to learn more about recording (and possibly find employment) no matter where you live.

It's best to start near where you live. Search online and make a list of any studios in your area. Look at their websites to find out what kind of work they do and who the people are who work there.

Neve 8068 recording console
Neve 8068 recording console | Source

How to Apply

Studios typically don't advertise when they have a job opening, and a lot of hiring happens by word of mouth. Major studios are often inundated with resumes. Here are some things to do (or not do) when looking for studio work.


  • Send a resume and wait for them to call
  • Cold-call asking about employment opportunities
  • Send resumes outside your local area (if you're moving, wait til you are physically there)
  • Embellish your experience on your resume
  • Send your music, demo, or beats to a producer or studio unsolicited
  • Ask for an interview or job
  • Try to prove that you know what you're doing


  • Have a polished resume ready for when it's needed
  • Find someone who can give you a recommendation to a studio, and have them pass along your resume for you
  • Search your network on LinkedIn for people who work at the studios you're interested in. If you have a second or third connection, ask the people you know for an introduction
  • Try other social media like Facebook to make connections
  • When contacting people you don't know, mention who recommended you. Ask if they will meet you or talk to you on the phone
  • Be honest - say that you're interested in where they work and would like to know more. If you're exploring audio as a career (but don't know a lot about it), ask to talk to them for advice.
  • At the meeting (or call), show interest by asking questions. Find out how that person got into the industry. Ask if they have any suggestions how to find work in your area. Ask if they can recommend anyone else in your area that you could talk to or meet, as well.
  • Thank them for their time and help.

You may find that after a meeting (or call), someone may offer to help you out by passing along your resume, or connecting you with another friend or colleague. It can take some effort, but one of those relationships will eventually lead to an interview.

Neumann U-87, a popular studio microphone
Neumann U-87, a popular studio microphone | Source

Entry level jobs

Typically, the first job you will have at a studio is intern, PA (client services), or runner. These jobs typically do not require prior experience (or formal education), but each studio has their own preferences.

Internships are unpaid but may allow for more access. You may be able to sit in on sessions (in addition your regular duties). A runner is expected to have a car to do errands (like getting lunch or special requests for an artist or client). A PA will likely be on-site most of the time handling client services. It's sort of like concierge at a hotel (answering phones, helping with requests).

The way to move up is to show a willingness to do whatever you are asked, to take initiative to learn new things (especially the technical side of the studio), work well with others, and have a great attitude.

Assistant engineer

The next step up is assisting. Your job duties may include setting up mics, patch bays, consoles, and operating computer software (such as Pro Tools, the industry standard). You will be working with an engineer who will be in charge and give direction about what they need. During the session, you are expected to help that engineer - particularly if they are required to be in the control room but need something taken care of elsewhere.

As an assistant, you are expected to have a level of technical knowledge of the facility, as well as etiquette with clients. This is why a lot of studios will bring you on as an intern or hire you as a runner/PA first. Not only are you learning the studio's technical needs, but managers and engineers can see how you interact with people. In sessions, the assistant is helping the artist with any needs they may have, which is why it's good to have prior client services experience. Assisting is a very important job in the studio, and one that takes on-the-job training to prepare for.


Education/Audio schools

There are audio degrees at a lot of colleges (as well as short-term audio programs) designed to teach you how to work in a studio. While these programs can help learn the fundamentals of audio (and sound recording), having a degree does not guarantee employment (or priority over people without a degree). However, there are advantages to having a degree: the skills learned in a degree can open up opportunities beyond studio work. This is important because not all studio jobs are full-time.

When evaluating an audio program, it's important to look a number of factors (not just the coursework, facilities, and professors). It's crucial to ask how much studio time you will get. Some programs will only be hours a week, which is very little when trying to learn a hands-on craft. Ask what the majority of alumni are doing for work - especially recent graduates. Some schools present a handful of successful alumni while the majority of graduates aren't in the field, or are struggling to find work.

It's also important to weigh the cost of the degree (and student loans) to the wages earned in the field. Studio pay is generally low the first few years out of school (especially if you have to intern for 6 months to a year). Some graduates are forced out of the field merely because of the cost of living (and loans) while trying to learn on the job.

Other opportunities

Not all studios work under a hierarchy. Small studios may just have one engineer, an assistant, and a manager/booking person. Some recording engineers run the entire business themselves. There might be more hands-on opportunities and experience when you aren't with a large studio.

There's also other areas of audio that are just as prestigious and offer long-term career paths. While studio work is fun (and not like any other job), the lifestyle is not for everyone. It can be extremely rigorous work and hours. It takes time and patience to work up to engineer, but there is a lot to learn in the meantime.

What level of experience do you have?

What level of experience do you have with audio?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Nhung Nguyen profile image

      Nhung Nguyen 

      3 years ago from Vietnam

      Very useful post !

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      3 years ago from New Zealand

      Welcome to HubPages

      This is a very useful article for someone looking for a job in a recording studio, I know nothing about it, but I can see you do.

      Looking forward to more of your writing.

      Have a nice day.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)