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Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Sound Engineer

A student at a sound board.
Sound Engineer A.A.S. Degree

Program Description

Lamar State College Port Arthur’s Commercial Music Program prepares students for careers in the music industry. Students gain comprehensive training in the fundamental techniques of music production, recording, editing and mixing. With hands-on experience provided by industry professionals, students develop the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to work in the ever evolving professional recoding industry. Whether you’re an artist or producer looking to develop your engineering skills or your goal is to become a professional audio engineer, Lamar State College Port Arthur’s Commercial Music Program will provide you with the skills needed to succeed.

With small class sizes and a dedicated faculty, students in the Sound Engineering Program receive individualized instruction utilizing industry-standard equipment including, AVID, SSL, Focusrite, Universal Audio and more. Graduates of the Sound Engineering Program will possess a strong understanding of music theory, the arrangement and composition of music, audio recording techniques, music technology, analog and digital signal flow and gain staging, and the current state of the music industry.

Graduates of the Sound Engineering program at Lamar State College Port Arthur can look to find employment as a recording engineer, editor, mixing engineer, mastering engineer, beat maker, producer, sound designer, live sound engineer, broadcast engineer and music programmer.

Job Opportunities

Potential employment opportunities for students with a degree in Sound Engineering include studio recording, live sound, sound design for film and television, sound for web content, marketing, advertising, broadcasting, audio equipment technician, songwriting, music programming, music editing, music production, music business and artist development.

Job and Wages


Eddie Vandewalker
(409) 984-6520

Student Organizations

  • Audio Engineering Society Student Chapter (AES)
  • Electronic Music Foundation Student Chapter (EMF)


What will my average annual income look like as an audio engineer? 

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sound Engineers can expect to earn a mean hourly wage of $28 per hour and earn a mean annual salary of $58,670.  Working in the film, television and video game industry yields a higher mean annual salary of $75,180. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of Sound Engineering is predicted to have a 9% growth from 2012 – 2022. 

Will I be able to work on the type of music that I am interested in?

Students are able to focus on a specific area of commercial music while studying an array of popular forms of music from rock to rap and country to Cajun; students work and develop skills in a variety of genres.

Does Lamar State College Port Arthur have recording studios?

There are three professional recording studios that are available to all students enrolled in the Commercial Music Program. In addition to the recording studios, Lamar State College Port Arthur has both a Mac based music production/programming lab and a PC based music composition lab. 

What type of equipment will I be able to use at Lamar State College Port Arthur?

You will learn to use industry standard recording, editing and mixing equipment. You will have access to an array of microphones including Neumann, Royer, Mojave, Lawson, Bock, SoundDelux, AKG and Shure. Students work with industry standard digital audio workstations like Reason, Logic and Pro Tools/Pro Tools HD as well as an array of excellent microphone preamps and analog signal processors.  

How much studio time will I have access to?

Students are able to book up to nine hours of studio time per week and can book studio time up to two weeks in advance.

How long will it take to complete the degree?

It typically takes two years to complete an Associates of Arts and Science in Sound Recording. A Level 1 Certificate in Live Sound Design and Technology takes one year to complete.

Will my courses in a certificate program transfer to the degree?

If you begin with the certificate program, all the courses (with the exception of CETT 1303 DC Circuits, CETT 1305 AC Circuits and CETT 1325 Digital Fundamentals) will transfer to the degree program.

What types of courses are in the degree plan?

This degree requires courses in music theory, basic piano, live sound, audio electronics, acoustics, music production, music programming, studio recording and audio mixing and mastering.

Do you have job placement assistance?

Lamar State College-Port Arthur does provide job assistance.  The college has a job board that all students can access throughout their time at school.  Upon graduation, you can provide the job placement office with a current resume, and they will send it out to prospective employers. The faculty in the Commercial Music Department will work with you to make you aware of positions that match your skill sets.

Do you offer internships for this degree?

There are internship opportunities for all sound engineering students.  Typically during your final two semesters on campus, you will work as an intern at a local studio, performance venue or for a live sound company.  This internship experience can be placed on your resume as professional experience. Many internships have led to networking opportunities, part-time employment and full-time employment.

Student Testimonials

Below are testimonials from students in the Sound Engineering program.

“I have had a wonderful experience at Lamar State College Port Arthur. The teachers have really worked with me to personalize my demanding learning experience. The Commercial Music Department provides a small community for all of those involved with any field of music to share with others with common interests and make connections in the field to find work. I am very happy with the decision to attend Lamar State College Port Arthur and I intend to learn everything here that is offered to me.” Justin Gilbert Spring 2015

“I have always wanted to sing, produce, and record music. Attending Lamar State College Port Arthur has taught me lots of important information that I needed to know. I plan on using the information I learned at Lamar State College Port Arthur to help me with my career as an Audio engineer and producer. I highly suggest that anybody wanting to pursue a career in the music business or audio engineering field enroll at Lamar State College Port Arthur.” Justin J. White Spring 2015

“My overall experience at Lamar State College Port Arthur has been great. The teachers are reasonable and the classes are enjoyable even though some are hard. My experience in the Commercial Music Department has been one to remember.” Darrel Lewis Spring 2015

Recommended Program of Study
Course Number Title SCH
First Year
Fall Semester
MUSC 1327 Audio Engineering I 3
MUSI 1303 Fundamentals of Music 3
MUSI 1181 Piano Class I 1
MUSC 1325 Acoustics 3
SPCH 1315 Public Speaking 3
Spring Semester
MATH 1314 or
MATH 1332
College Algebra or
Contemporary Mathematics I
MUSC 2337 Audio Engineering II 3
MUSC 1211 Commercial Music Sight Singing and Ear Training I 2
MUSC 1213 Commercial Music Theory I 2
MUSC 1331 MIDI I 3
MUSI 1182 Piano Class II 1
Summer Semester
PHYS 1315/PHYS 1115 or
PHYS 1305/PHYS 1105
Physical Science I or
Elementary Physics I
Second Year
Fall Semester
MUSC 1196 Special Topics in Recording Arts Technology/Technician 1
MUSC 1405 Live Sound I 4
MUSC 2347 Audio Engineering III 3
MUSI 1310 American Music 3
PSYC 1300 Learning Framework 3
Spring Semester
MUSB 1305 Survey of the Music Business 3
MUSC 1423 Audio Electronics 4
MUSC 2403 Live Sound II 4
MUSC 2448 Audio Engineering IV 4
Total 60