Multimedia Sound Workers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are interested in becoming a sound worker, you should take computer science and math, including algebra and geometry. You should also take history, English, and other college prep classes. Of course, take as many music classes as possible and learn how to play one or more musical instruments, especially the piano, synthesizer, and keyboard.

Postsecondary Training

In the past, most sound designers learned their trade through on-the-job training. Today, many sound designers are earning bachelor's degrees in music, sound design, or audio engineering, and this will probably become more necessary as technologies become more complex. Typical programs focus on computer and music studies, including music history, music theory, composition, sound design, and audio engineering.

If you are interested in becoming a composer or musician, you can continue your education in any of numerous colleges and universities or special music schools or conservatories that offer bachelor's and higher degrees. Your course of study will include music history, music criticism, music theory, harmony, counterpoint, rhythm, melody, and ear training. In most major music schools, courses in composition are offered along with orchestration and arranging. Courses are also taught covering voice and the major musical instruments, including keyboard, guitar, and, more recently, synthesizer. Most schools now cover computer techniques as applied to music as well.

Other Education or Training

The International Game Developers Association offers webinars for new members on a variety of game-related topics, as well as workshops at industry events. The Audio Engineering Society offers continuing education opportunities at its conferences and conventions, which are held around the world. Contact these organizations for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for multimedia sound workers.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience creating audio for video games will be useful; an internship as a sound design assistant will also be helpful.

Sound designers need to be able to use the latest technologies to record, edit, and "sweeten" their work. Workers in this field are continuously updating their skills, learning how to use new tools or techniques to create the sounds they want. Composers and musicians need to have a passion for music, an interest in computer and video games, and a high degree of dedication, self-discipline, and drive. All sound workers should also have strong communication skills to be able to work with a diverse group of game industry professionals and have flexibility to work with a variety of musical genres.