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Freelance Audio Engineer Rates

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Any business or organization looking to hire audio engineers will need to consider their project budget and the typical rates they might expect to pay a skilled freelancer–but a lot depends on the audio engineer responsibilities they want an engineer to undertake.

There are also several factors that influence the freelance rates an audio engineer may charge, such as areas of expertise, qualifications, knowledge, and reputation, as well as pricing boosts linked to expedited turnarounds. With thousands of audio engineers for hire on Guru, we’ll explain the average hourly and project rates a freelance professional might charge and how to get a good idea of the budget you’ll need for your audio engineering job.

Average Costs of Hiring a Freelance Audio Engineer

Across the U.S., the average hourly cost of hiring an independent audio engineer is around $26.50 per hour. However, as we’ve indicated, the average hourly charge is just one piece of the puzzle! Less experienced audio engineers can charge significantly lower rates (even around $10 per hour), but the trade-off is that they may not have the equipment you require, so it’s essential to create a detailed job brief.

If you’re looking to hire an audio engineer with their own studio or mixing and editing equipment, you might pay between $35 and $75 per hour. In some cases, and for larger or ongoing projects, negotiating a day rate can be more cost-effective.

Other audio engineers have packaged services, such as $150 for two hours, with a specific amount of editing, production, or professional support available or a predefined maximum length of audio file they can mix, master, and polish within that time slot. Businesses that hire a professional audio engineer for a whole day spend roughly $300 to $900, depending on whether the work can be completed remotely, the number of hours required, and the necessary skill level.

Paying a Freelance Audio Engineer: Per Hour, Day, or Project?

There are several ways to structure your pricing agreement with a freelancer:

  • Hourly rates work best when hiring a freelance professional on an ad hoc or one-off basis, or the scope of your audio engineering task is short.
  • Daily fees are a better option if you have a more complex job that will take one or more days, as the cost per hour is normally slightly lower. However, you will need to verify what each day comprises in terms of hours and productivity.
  • Project charges are ideal for long and ongoing jobs or when you have a more significant brief and would like an audio engineer to take on a project that you expect to take more than one week.

Companies also hire freelance audio engineers on a recurring basis, such as for one or two days a month, and assign jobs and tasks periodically to fit within their allocated time. The right decision depends on your expectations, budget, and requirements, but it is often wise to have a look through freelancer profiles, where many audio engineers stipulate a minimum per project or have packaged services that offer great value for money.

How Do I Compare the Costs of Hiring Audio Engineers?

Guru provides varied ways for employers and businesses to find the professionals they need at a competitive cost. One of the easiest solutions is to create a job description or project outline and post your requirement free of charge. You can summarize the project, set a maximum budget, and invite qualified freelancers to come back to you with their proposals.

Another way forward is to browse the thousands of audio specialists available through the Guru platform and contact individual freelancers who you think are a brilliant match for your project, requesting quotations so you can compare costs side by side. However, it is worth reiterating that cost isn’t the only consideration and a highly skilled audio engineer with years of expertise in your industry or sector will likely be able to complete your work more quickly and to a higher level of quality.

In some cases where time is an important element, it may be beneficial to hire a capable engineer who can achieve your required outcomes, particularly where you have a tight deadline to meet.

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