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Ask Joe: Should I Get A Pro Tools Certification?

The first in our "Ask Joe" series from Home Studio Corner, he tackles the weighty subject of recording certification.
This article is provided by Home Studio Corner.

I love answering questions from people about recording, but unfortunately it’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to do so.

However, I received a question the other day which really motivated me to share my reply with you.

I hope to answer more in the coming weeks, the answers to which can be found here on ProSoundWeb.

If you have a question you’d like me to cover, click here.

Today’s question comes from Angela, who writes:

Hey Joe,

My mom can’t find a reason to sign my school loans for IPR.

I want to get my Pro Tools Certification and my 2-year degree.

How much on average does a person with those qualifications make

– Angela 

Thanks Angela, this is a great question! In fact, I’ll also touch on this topic (and many, many others) in a soon-to-be-posted article here on ProSoundWeb entitled “Do I Have to Go to College to Learn to Be a Recording Engineer?”

However, I’ll tackle this specific question for now.

For many aspiring engineers, going to college for engineering might not be a viable option (which I know has been debated on PSW before, especially in the comments) . Some might opt for a Pro Tools Certification course (like those from Berklee Music) however those can still cost quite a bit of money, depending on the school and your personal financial situation.

So, is it worth it? Well, I’m not a Pro Tools-Certified engineer, but I have some thoughts on the matter.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

What are your goals?
This may seem obvious, but if you don’t know your specific goals as an engineer, it’s rather difficult to answer the question of “Should I get a Pro Tools Certification?”

After all, there’s a chance that while your career goals might require you to be extremely proficient in Pro Tools, a certification may be altogether unnecessary

Is recording a hobby or a career?
Another fairly obvious question, but if you intend to make a living from recording, Pro Tools Certification ins going to make much more sense than if you are a hobbyist.

Now, that’s not to say hobbyists can’t achieve a Pro Tools Certification, on the contrary, however it may not the best fiscal decision.

Do you want to work for yourself or someone else?
If you intend to work for a major (scratch that: any) recording studio, TV station, movie studio, etc., then having a Pro Tools Certification may well give you a certain edge over the 800 other engineers who applying for the gig.

Personally, I would ask around. Call a few studios (or any place you would want to work), and just ask them, “Do you require/prefer that applicants have a Pro Tools Certification?” If they say yes (or if they sound like they want to say yes), then there’s your answer.

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