Audio Industry Forecast: The Next Ten Years

The audio industry will bring many jobs, including opportunities in virtual reality.

Reading the news, you may be tempted to think that the next decade will bring nothing but doom and gloom. Think again, because there is a bright future ahead, at least for the audio industry.


Good news: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8% increase in employment for audio engineers through 2028. (The number jumps to 12% for those who also have training in visual equipment.) And there will be opportunities in almost every sector of the economy in the near future: education, health care, business, entertainment, and more. The jobs may involve maintaining or upgrading older systems, or installing and operating new technology. Either way, it seems safe to expect a lot of opportunities for audio technicians. Keep reading and you’ll see why.

Future Technology

So many innovations are coming to the audio industry that it’s hard to know where to start. Many of the coolest will be in consumer electronics, such as focused audio, a technology that “steers” audio into your ears, even when you’re moving around — meaning no more headphones or earbuds! Also new technologies are creating a revolution in the design of consumer audio products — check out these gorgeous wi-fi speakers — and with the advent of 3D printing, it’s only going to get cooler. We’ll also see a lot of technology providing immersive audio experiences whether you’re at a concert, or gaming, or on the sofa listening to music. In other words, VR will be immersive for sight and sound.

We’ll see a lot of forward movement specifically for audio engineers as well. They’ll have increasing control over PA equipment from their smartphones, freeing them from having to run back and forth from the console. Computer-based audio modelling is making it much easier to design audio systems in auditoriums or concert halls. Whether it’s for consumers or professionals, innovation means good things for the audio industry, and more jobs.

Future Entertainment

It may be tempting to think of radio as a dead medium, but think again: over 90% of Americans still listen to radio in their cars. That’s regular terrestrial stations, many of which are still going strong, and satellite radio as well. The radio industry will see growth for a numbers of reasons: because it’s inexpensive, because people still love to listen to the news and talk, and it’s fun — even in our streaming age, consumers still enjoy not knowing what song is coming next.

We’ll likely see more podcasts in the coming decade. Listeners love them because they’re so portable and bingeable, and there is no shortage of quality podcasts. Content creators love podcasts because they are inexpensive to produce, and they’re a great way of reaching an audience, whether niche or wide.

Finally, don’t forget audiobooks. While growth may be slowing in the audiobook market, they’re not going away — they will likely become just another viable way of “reading,” alongside e-books and print.

Did We Mention Jobs?

What do all these new (and newish) forms of tech and entertainment have in common? They all need audio technicians in the near future. Which means that with the right training, people with good ears will heave great prospects!

Did learning about the future of the audio industry interest you? The audio production and engineering program  at the Institute of Production and Recording is a degree program designed to train producer engineers who are entrepreneurs, musically and technically creative, and proficient in modern recording technology and technique. Throughout the program, students are involved in hands-on exercises and real-world studio projects that enable them to apply their knowledge and refine their skills.

Contact us today to learn more about the audio production and engineering program and starting a rewarding career in the music industry.