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Become A Master Control Operator

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Working As A Master Control Operator

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • $65,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Master Control Operator Do

A Master Control Operator executes and supervises the quality and accuracy of the transmission of radio and television programs. They also record and document various video feeds.

How To Become A Master Control Operator

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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Master Control Operator Typical Career Paths

Master Control Operator Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    73.6%
  • Female

    25.1%
  • Unknown

    1.4%

Ethnicity

  • White

    79.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    12.3%
  • Asian

    6.0%
  • Unknown

    1.4%
  • Black or African American

    0.5%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    72.6%
  • French

    6.0%
  • German

    4.3%
  • Carrier

    3.4%
  • Portuguese

    2.6%
  • Russian

    1.7%
  • Polish

    1.7%
  • Chinese

    0.9%
  • Vietnamese

    0.9%
  • Cantonese

    0.9%
  • Japanese

    0.9%
  • Hindi

    0.9%
  • Mandarin

    0.9%
  • Urdu

    0.9%
  • Korean

    0.9%
  • Italian

    0.9%
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Master Control Operator

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Master Control Operator Education

Master Control Operator

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Top Skills for A Master Control Operator

On-AirProductVideotapeEquipmentMasterControlEquipmentAudioBoardFCCAutomationSystemIngestLiveEventsTroubleshootTelevisionStationProgramLogsStudioCameraTransmitterReadingsTransmitTelevisionProgramsControlRoomLiveShotsTelevisionBroadcastEquipmentFloorLouthDiscrepancyReports

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Top Master Control Operator Skills

  1. On-Air Product
  2. Videotape Equipment
  3. Master Control Equipment
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Monitored broadcasts for quality and accuracy of on-air product.
  • Loaded videotape equipment with videotapes containing program or station breaks or I pressed button on switching equipment to access videotape equipment.
  • Operated and monitored the Master Control equipment effectively for two area broadcast stations.
  • Performed editing, audio board and computer graphic work to prepare commercials and shows for air.
  • Maintained station logs to ensure FCC technical requirements.

Top Master Control Operator Employers

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