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Become An Equipment Technician

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Working As An Equipment Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $54,969

    Average Salary

What Does An Equipment Technician Do

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.

Duties

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, video, lighting, and broadcast equipment to ensure consistent quality
  • Set up and take down equipment for events and live performances
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording equipment or computers, sometimes using complex software
  • Synchronize sounds and dialogue with action taking place on television or in movie productions
  • Convert video and audio records to digital formats for editing on computers
  • Install audio, video, and lighting equipment in hotels, offices, and schools
  • Report any problems that arise with complex equipment and make routine repairs
  • Keep records of recordings and equipment used

These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians, operators, or engineers. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast and sound technicians may do many jobs. At larger stations, they are likely to do more specialized work, although their job assignments may vary from day to day. They set up and operate audio and video equipment, and the kind of equipment they use may depend on the particular type of technician or industry.

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians share many of the same responsibilities, but their duties may vary with their specific area of focus.

Audio and video equipment technicians set up and operate audio and video equipment. They also connect wires and cables and set up and operate sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment.

Audio and video equipment technicians work with microphones, speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment. The equipment they operate is used for meetings, concerts, sports events, conventions, and news conferences. In addition, they may operate equipment at conferences and at presentations for businesses and universities.

Audio and video equipment technicians may also set up and operate custom lighting systems. They frequently work directly with clients and must provide solutions to problems in a simple, clear manner.

Broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and ranges of sounds and colors for radio or television broadcasts. They operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computer programs to edit audio and video recordings.

Sound engineering technicians operate computers and equipment that record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. They record audio performances or events and may combine tracks that were recorded separately to create a multilayered final product. Sound engineering technicians operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computers to program the equipment and edit audio recordings.

The following are examples of types of broadcast and sound engineering technicians:

Recording engineers operate and maintain video- and sound-recording equipment. These engineers work with computers, computer networks, and software to produce special effects for radio, television, or movies.

Sound mixers, or rerecording mixers, produce soundtracks for movies or television programs. They rerecord songs or compositions that already have been commercially released. After filming or recording is complete, these workers often dub the final product by adding or removing sounds.

Field technicians set up and operate portable equipment outside the studio—for example, for television news coverage. Because this coverage requires so much electronic equipment and the technology is changing so rapidly, many technicians are assigned exclusively to news coverage teams.

Chief engineers, transmission engineers, and broadcast field supervisors oversee other technicians and maintain broadcasting equipment.

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How To Become An Equipment Technician

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.

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Equipment Technician Jobs

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Equipment Technician Career Paths

Equipment Technician
Equipment Engineer Project Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Correction Officer Lieutenant Executive Officer
Assistant Director Of Operations
5 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Chief Operating Officer
Director, Special Projects
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Maintenance Technician Chief Engineer
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Field Service Technician Maintenance Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Technician Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Process Technician Service Technician Field Technician
Field Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Process Technician Production Supervisor Operation Supervisor
Fleet Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Technician Engineering Technician Production Supervisor
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Driver Dispatcher
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician
Service Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Engineering Technician Project Engineer Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Engineer Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Equipment Technician?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Plant Technician 3.3 years
Service Technician 3.2 years
Equipment Worker 3.0 years
Technician 2.6 years
Top Employers Before
Technician 11.3%
Mechanic 5.5%
Cashier 3.1%
Supervisor 2.7%
Driver 2.5%
Owner 2.4%
Top Employers After
Technician 10.7%
Mechanic 4.2%
Owner 3.7%
Manager 3.0%
Driver 2.8%
Supervisor 2.6%

Do you work as an Equipment Technician?

Equipment Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

87.3%

Female

10.9%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.9%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.5%

French

7.5%

Carrier

4.1%

Chinese

4.1%

Mandarin

3.4%

German

3.4%

Portuguese

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Japanese

2.0%

Korean

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Italian

1.4%

Swahili

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Cree

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Croatian

0.7%

Albanian

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%
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Equipment Technician Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

16.9%

University of Phoenix

16.6%

Universal Technical Institute

5.8%

ECPI University

5.2%

Ashford University

5.0%

Texas State Technical College - Waco

4.1%

Boise State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Austin Community College

3.8%

Strayer University

3.8%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.5%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

3.2%

Park University

3.2%

Houston Community College

3.2%

Central Texas College

3.2%

Colorado Technical University

3.2%

ITT Technical Institute-Albuquerque

2.9%

Central New Mexico Community College

2.9%

Northeastern University

2.9%

Onondaga Community College

2.6%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

21.2%

Business

15.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

12.4%

Automotive Technology

8.9%

Computer Science

4.0%

General Studies

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering

3.4%

Criminal Justice

3.2%

Information Technology

3.1%

Industrial Technology

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Aviation

2.6%

Photography

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Computer Networking

2.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Nursing

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Communication

1.9%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

34.4%

Bachelors

26.0%

Associate

24.4%

Certificate

7.3%

Masters

4.9%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Equipment Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Equipment Technician IGE Glass Technologies, Inc. Jupiter, FL Aug 06, 2016 $74,942
Agriculture Equipment Technician Design Machinery S.M. Fabricator Wellman, TX Sep 11, 2014 $60,523
Radiology Equipment Technician Digit Systems International, LLC Atlanta, GA Sep 15, 2016 $51,834
Equipment Technician Landmark Implement, Inc. NE Aug 12, 2013 $44,349
Water Equipment Technician Yesone Corporation DBA Wateria Whittier, CA Aug 20, 2008 $37,670
Medical Equipment Technician GDC Medical Electronics Plainview, NY Sep 12, 2008 $37,566

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Top Skills for An Equipment Technician

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  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Safety Procedures
  3. Durable Medical Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conduct preventative maintenance inspection and perform required preventative maintenance actions for a wide variety of equipment.
  • Complete knowledge and Understanding of safety procedures trained and certified in Safe land, H2S and Respirator fit test.
  • Identify necessary repairs needed for home and hospital durable medical equipment to safety regulations and to function properly.
  • Operate liquid oxygen cryogenic containers.
  • Contacted customers prior to delivery to confirm and coordinate delivery times.

How Would You Rate Working As an Equipment Technician?

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