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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 Broadcast Engineer
Top Careers After Broadcast Engineer
Hispanic or Latino9.3%
Black or African American0.6%
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Full Sail University11.1%
Community College of the Air Force8.9%
University of Phoenix8.9%
Eastern Michigan University6.7%
University of Missouri - Columbia5.6%
New York University4.4%
University of Central Missouri4.4%
University of Maryland - College Park4.4%
Columbia College Chicago4.4%
New Mexico State University4.4%
University of Illinois at Springfield4.4%
University of Southern Maine3.3%
Appalachian State University3.3%
Mitchell Technical Institute3.3%
Siena Heights University3.3%
University of Kansas3.3%
Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences3.3%
Southern Illinois University Carbondale3.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Staff Engineer 3, Broadcast ENG||Directv LLC||El Segundo, CA||Apr 24, 2015||$101,756 -
|Staff Engineer 3, Broadcast Engineer||Directv LLC||El Segundo, CA||Sep 30, 2016||$101,010|
|Senior Broadcast Engineer||Globecomm Systems, Inc.||Hauppauge, NY||Aug 08, 2014||$100,635|
|Senior Broadcast Engineer||Globecomm Systems, Inc.||Hauppauge, NY||Sep 09, 2011||$97,219|
|Senior Broadcast Engineer||Globecomm Systems, Inc.||Hauppauge, NY||Sep 08, 2011||$97,219|
|Staff ENG 3, Broadcast ENG||Directv LLC||El Segundo, CA||Nov 08, 2014||$90,012|
|Staff Engineer 3, Broadcast Engineering||Directv, Inc.||El Segundo, CA||Nov 07, 2011||$90,012|
|Broadcast Engineer||SVP, Inc.||CA||Dec 21, 2009||$90,000|
|Staff ENG 3, Broadcast Engineer||Directv LLC||El Segundo, CA||Oct 25, 2014||$84,799 -
|Chief Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Oct 15, 2014||$80,000|
|Broadcast Engineer||Bloomberg, LP||New York, NY||Jan 08, 2016||$77,500|
|Chief Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Nov 08, 2013||$76,440 -
|Chief Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Jun 30, 2015||$74,897 -
|Engineer, Broadcast||Dolby Laboratories, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Sep 10, 2014||$73,923 -
|Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Nov 30, 2014||$73,791 -
|Chief Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Dec 19, 2011||$72,700 -
|Chief Broadcast Engineer||WTVZ, Inc.||Norfolk, VA||Jul 05, 2011||$72,700 -
|Broadcast Engineer||KSWB-TV Fox 5, A Division of Tribune Television Company||San Diego, CA||Jan 01, 2016||$67,817|
|Broadcast Engineer||KSWB LLC||San Diego, CA||Jan 01, 2016||$67,817|
|Broadcast Engineer||KSWB LLC||San Diego, CA||Dec 31, 2016||$67,817|
|Broadcast Engineer||ORAD, Inc.||Jersey City, NJ||Oct 01, 2012||$67,500|
|Broadcast Engineer Consultant||BEI Electronics LLC DBA Broadcast Electronics||Quincy, IL||Jan 10, 2016||$62,500|
|Broadcast Engineer Consultant||BEI Electronics LLC||Quincy, IL||Oct 01, 2013||$62,500|
|Broadcast Engineer Consultant||BEI Electronics LLC||Quincy, IL||Oct 01, 2010||$62,500|
|Broadcast Engineer III||Nbcuniversal Media, LLC||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 21, 2013||$62,171 -
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