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How to Become a Sound Editor and How to Land Gigs
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates that the broadcast field, including sound editing, will see much faster growth than others. The Bureau placed the job outlook at 21% growth through 2030. This presents plenty of opportunities for those interested in editing sound.
In 2022, the employment landscape looks very different. In some industries, it’s more lucrative to land freelancing gigs. Some employers will hire freelancers on a per-project basis. The move shifts taxes onto the freelancers. However, pay goes up, especially if you have in-demand skills and expertise.
About Sound Editing as a Career
Editing sound is a field that provides more than one career path. You might start in freelance sound editing but you can move into executive producing and digital content managing in five years. Another option is parlaying your skills into a Director of Audio Visual Services in six years.
If sound editing interests you, we outline how to become a sound editor. Then, we give you tips on how to land sound editing gigs. You can start a freelance audio business with minimal investment.
Editing sound as a career has a low barrier of entry. Thanks to technology, online education platforms, and social media, you can teach yourself. If you want to move up the ranks as an employee at an established company, you’ll need a degree or proven experience. We look at four elements that help individuals become sound editors.
Have a Passion for It
Many Americans work in the same career for 40 years before they retire. Therefore, it helps to have a passion for it. Moreover, the most successful entrepreneurs have a passion for their business. It builds a natural curiosity for the craft and creates a drive to become better at it. Although many opportunities will become available in the next few years, freelancers must keep their dance cards full.
Learn on Your Time
Freelancers must keep up with the market, especially the skills that employers want. It helps to be among the first professionals to offer new skills too. Entrepreneurs benefit from remaining curious and self-motivated. This means learning on your time. Remember that learning from others is easier than ever. Search online for the skills that you want to expand on and you’ll find at least one video tutorial.
Invest in the Tools
To start editing sound, you do require the right tools. The good news is that you don’t need to invest in the most expensive equipment right away.
Sound editors require a:
- Laptop or desktop computer;
- Internet connection;
As you become more familiar with the field, you’ll understand the tools that professionals use. Once you start landing gigs, you can start investing in that equipment.
Now you’re ready to practice. Practicing your skills is how you’ll perfect your craft. Moreover, it’s how you’ll find more efficient ways to complete editing tasks. When you accept contracts, clients will place expectations on you. Your job is to deliver high-quality work, on time. With practice under your belt, you’ll gain the confidence to deliver and build a portfolio.
Since it’s possible to learn sound editing online, it’s also possible to find editing sound gigs online.
The easiest way to find your first sound editing gig is to go online. Create accounts on the most reliable freelancing platforms such as:
Each profile becomes searchable on the search engines and they index them. These platforms have opportunities for veterans; they also have opportunities for beginners.
Once you pick up some experience, start networking. Join professional groups for sound editors online and offline. Search for a mentor who can give you more tips. If you gain their trust, they can also point you toward available gigs. Networking also prevents freelancers from feeling isolated.
Market Your Services
In addition to networking, market your services online and offline. Start by creating social media accounts where you can post your work. Then, create a website. Link the website, social media, and freelance platforms account together so clients can find you more easily. The final piece of a simple marketing plan is to create business cards that have your contact information.
Becoming a sound editor starts with passion and curiosity for the field. You can teach yourself the art by watching online tutorials and practicing on videos that you create. Once you can show that you bring skills to the table, clients will have more confidence when they hire you for gigs.