Following this: Professional Sound Designers - Do you make a comfortable living?

Given that the field is somewhat risky in terms of work and employment, do you think that or know if listing "sound art" (or similar/related) as work experience can affect one's employability in more "real" fields or for other than artistic or media work in the case that one has to seek other jobs? It's probably not clear cut, but still.

In the case that it does affect, do you supply your work experience in other ways or have you learned other skills as well to avoid potential unemployment?

3 Answers 3


Well, if you're applying for a non-audio job, then don't waffle about audio too much in your application. But do make sure to talk about how your previous line of work (sound design, audio?) equipped you with considerable creative- as well as technical skills. Talk about how you learn new equipment and software quickly, your ability to navigate in complex creative processes, your coffee making skills - or whatever else you have learned while being a sound designer (except for sound design).

Very few outside pro sound can appreciate your audio skills. Almost everyone can appreciate a professional, technically adept person.

  • Actually I've found that it's not as clear cut. Yes I would say that if you have spent the past several years in creative field, then applying to engineering or something after that would seem odd. OTOH if you list "pro audio interests" as a hobby, then it might be viewed as a plus compared to some dull guy who only has "serious hobbies" or has no hobbies at all. After all the "hobby" or personal part of curriculum vitae is meant to give a picture about yourself as a person outside of work. And there it's healthy to have something more relaxed.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 6:01
  • A problem may be, as you put it, that not everyone understands the depth that goes into some types of production. It's not visible in the end product without good understanding of the process behind it. The novice audio person hears a "whole" ("good track" or "nice soundtrack"), where a more experienced would hear all the details within ("exceptionally good mix", "thoughtful, novel use of sound", "new musical ideas"). At pro grade it can be about a bit more than pushing a few buttons on a synthesizer.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 6:16

If you go for a sounddesign job, always back up with more casual work like dialogue editing. That helps me getting around.

  • I think this isn't what the OP means - I believe they mean all aspects of post sound (under the term "sound design") versus a more traditional-sense retail or desk job. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 23:56
  • @Stavrosound Exactly. The problem is that some people are very strict about their consideration of "work", which for some means very hard work and for others it's more closer to fun & play. And post sound tends to be more on the latter side, thus the whole question is about, whether someone has been discriminated because of an "artsy" background, when seeking or forced to seek other work.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 0:05
  • To clarify this: some people pursuing art fields are advised to "do it while young", because of the idea that "adult people still playing" is not very appealing (it suggests that you don't grow up), unless you happen to become truly respected in the field. Like "Star Wars" or "Aphex Twin" -grade.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Jul 20, 2021 at 6:13

In my experience, the term "sound design" in general tends to get lost on others outside of the industry. If I were looking for employment in other areas, I might lean towards more layman terms such as "sound engineering" or "audio editing" (maybe even "audio programming" depending on the role)

Perhaps I'm a little biased, but I think any experience in a field that combines creativity and technical ability such as sound design can only bolster your chances of getting a foot in the door of any job.

  • Unless the employer doesn't appreciate something that he/she perceives as being materially non-productive, technically rudimentary (e.g. there's no math/physics or knowledge of productive technology or real world skills), a hobby or "just having fun and not doing real work"? This is what I'm wondering. Unless of course the hirer recognizes your work, in which case it's probably all positive :)
    – mavavilj
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 19:23
  • Also sound recording & editing and soundtrack making etc. aren't very widely applicable skills per se, because they're inherently limited to the art and media fields with the exception of sound archiving.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 19:24
  • If an employer can't grasp the complexity and expertise required to work in sound engineering despite you being explicit in its role in day-to-day media, I would be asking myself whether this is someone I would want to be working for. I'm a little jaded by the non-sound design world of work; I guess you can pick up on that...
    – Will Tonna
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 10:27
  • More than "complexity" and "expertise" (note also that sound engineering is not en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineering), I would think it's about motivation and trust. Even highly skillful workers are discriminated in low-skill/normal jobs, because it's expected that they won't last in it and will seek out other things to do as soon as they get an opportunity. Would identifying as "a sound guy"/artist be the same thing? Also, people don't often get to pick what they want to work on, some jobs are simply mandatory for the modern society.
    – mavavilj
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 11:07
  • I guess it's a case of relevance then. If there's any transferable skills, then it's always worth a mention. I've worked in a few consumer-tech retail stores, so a grounding in A/V tech and general understanding of technical terms is always helpful.
    – Will Tonna
    Commented Sep 8, 2013 at 16:18

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