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Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, it could either be a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate’s degree.Education
Audio and video equipment technicians, as well as sound engineering technicians, typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or certificate, whereas broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. However, in some cases workers in any of these occupations may need only a high school diploma to be eligible for entry-level positions.
Postsecondary nondegree programs for audio and video equipment technicians and sound engineering technicians may take several months to a year to complete. The programs include hands-on experience with the equipment used in many entry-level positions.
Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. In addition to courses in math and science, coursework for prospective broadcast technicians should emphasize practical skills such as video editing and production management.
Prospective broadcast and sound engineering technicians should complete high school courses in math, physics, and electronics. They must have excellent computer skills to be successful.Training
Because technology is constantly improving, technicians often enroll in continuing education courses and they receive on-the-job training to become skilled in new equipment and hardware. On-the-job training includes topics such as setting up cables or automation systems, testing electrical equipment, learning the codes and standards of the industry, and following safety procedures.
Training for new hires can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the types of products and services the employer provides. Although some apprenticeship programs do exist, more frequently a new technician will accompany a more experienced technician to get the training and skills necessary for advancement.Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations
Although not required by most employers, earning voluntary certification will offer advantages in getting a job as a broadcast or sound engineering technician. Certification tells employers that the technician meets certain industry standards and has kept up to date with new technologies.
For example, the Society of Broadcast Engineers offers eight broadcast engineering certifications, two operator certifications, and two broadcast networking certifications. All of them require passing an exam. Similarly, InfoComm International offers an audiovisual Certified Technology Specialist credential.Other Experience
Practical experience working in a high school or college audiovisual department also can help prepare someone to be an audio and video equipment technician.Advancement
Although many broadcast and sound engineering technicians work first in small markets or at small stations in big markets, after they gain the necessary experience and skills they often transfer to larger, better paying radio or television stations. Few large stations hire someone without previous experience, and they value more specialized skills.
Experienced workers with strong technical skills can become supervisory technicians or chief engineers. To become chief engineer at large television stations, technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.Important Qualities
Communication skills. Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.
Computer skills. Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.
Manual dexterity. Some technicians set up audio and visual equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.
Problem-solving skills. Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Audio Engineer
Top Careers After Audio Engineer
Hispanic or Latino11.5%
Black or African American0.6%
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Full Sail University25.5%
Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences10.6%
Berklee College of Music6.8%
Institute of Audio Research6.8%
Columbia College Chicago6.0%
Middle Tennessee State University5.0%
Los Angeles Recording School3.8%
New York University3.0%
Savannah College of Art and Design2.8%
New England Institute of Art2.8%
Institute of Production and Recording2.5%
Art Institute of Atlanta2.5%
Appalachian State University2.3%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale2.3%
Los Angeles Film School - Hollywood2.0%
Art Institute of Seattle2.0%
University of Phoenix2.0%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||May 28, 2012||$155,000|
|Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 20, 2012||$155,000|
|Senior Audio Engineer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||May 30, 2011||$145,000|
|Senior Audio Engineer||Microsoft Corporation||Redmond, WA||Jun 19, 2016||$140,000|
|Staff Audio Engineer||Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation||San Francisco, CA||Mar 24, 2014||$126,006 -
|Lead Audio Engineer-Infotainment||Tesla Motors, Inc.||Palo Alto, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$125,000 -
|Core Audio Engineer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 04, 2014||$120,000 -
|Baseband Audio Engineer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Oct 01, 2011||$115,000|
|Audio Engineer||A&M Audio Associates, Inc.||Mount Vernon, NY||Sep 15, 2009||$114,785|
|Lead Audio Engineer, IOS Devices||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Aug 27, 2013||$110,000 -
|Core Audio Engineer||Apple Inc.||Cupertino, CA||Oct 01, 2009||$95,000|
|Audio Engineer||Sound Devices LLC||Madison, WI||Jan 25, 2011||$88,000|
|Consultant-Audio-Visual Engineering||Pride Technologies LLC||New York, NY||Oct 01, 2010||$75,000|
|Audio Engineer||Gosemi Engineering, Inc.||Austin, TX||Dec 09, 2016||$69,706|
|Audio Engineer||Crystal Dynamics, Inc.||Redwood City, CA||Dec 15, 2010||$65,000|
|Broadcast Audio Engineer||Mediacore Solution, Inc.||Los Angeles, CA||Aug 03, 2012||$63,086|
|Manager-Audio Engineering||Audible Inc.||Newark, NJ||Mar 30, 2010||$62,000|
|Audio Engineer||Monkeyland Audio, Inc.||Glendale, CA||Sep 16, 2016||$61,963|
|Audio Engineer||Monkeyland Audio Inc.||Glendale, CA||Sep 24, 2015||$61,316|
|Audio Engineer||The Univision Network Limited Partnership||Miami, FL||Oct 01, 2012||$50,000|
|Audio Engineer||Maryland Sound International Holding Company LLC||Baltimore, MD||Aug 15, 2010||$48,794|
|Lecturer In Audio Engineering||Eastern Washington University||Cheney, WA||Jun 16, 2016||$45,000|
|Lecturer In Audio Engineering||Eastern Washington University||Cheney, WA||Sep 16, 2015||$45,000|
|Audio Engineer||John Ou Productions||New York, NY||Aug 01, 2009||$44,000|
|Audio Engineer||Gosemi Engineering Inc.||Austin, TX||Sep 14, 2016||$42,744|
|Audio Engineer||Urban Planet Media & Entertainment||Durham, NC||Apr 01, 2013||$42,000|
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