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Working As a Media Technician

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

  • $36,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Media 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 A Media 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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Media Technician Career Paths

Media Technician
Technician Team Leader Assistant Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Project Manager
Product Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Team Leader Owner
Co-Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Systems Administrator Consultant
Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Instructor Consultant Owner
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Instructor Consultant General Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Instructor Adjunct Professor Owner
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Editor Communications Manager
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Editor Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Videographer/Editor Editor Founder
Founder And Chief Executive Officer
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Technical Analyst Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Lead Technician Technical Manager
Technical Director
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Engineer Program Manager
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Account Executive Vice President, Business Development
President And Founder
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Analyst Co-Founder
Owner And Founder
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Editor Managing Editor Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Editor Senior Editor Assistant Director
Assistant Director Of Operations
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Media Technician?

Average Yearly Salary
$36,000
Show Salaries
$28,000
Min 10%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$36,000
Median 50%
$46,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Novartis
Highest Paying City
Newport, RI
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Media Technician make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Media Technician in the United States is $36,333 per year or $17 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $46,000.

Real Media Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager, E-Media Tech DEV Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 09, 2016 $164,369
Media Technician Alumni Association of The School of Medicine of Lo Loma Linda, CA Jan 15, 2014 $52,175 -
$62,610
Multi-Media Instructional Technologist Governors State University University Park, IL Nov 12, 2009 $50,085
Media and Technical Staff Open Door Presbyterian Church Herndon, VA Jan 13, 2016 $49,296
Media Technologist/Coordinator California State University, Northridge Los Angeles, CA Aug 24, 2015 $45,000

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Top Skills for A Media Technician

  1. Video Production
  2. Technical Support
  3. Computer System
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed video production services creating several videos using Adobe Production Premium 5.
  • Provided technical support in a 24/7/365/year environment Skills Used Customer support Technical investigation Problem solving Working Independently
  • Managed student financial transactions for computer systems access, and oversaw company purchase card expenditures for office supplies and administrative merchandise.
  • Operate projector, video and audio equipment.
  • Directed technical support and audio visual/computer equipment setup for academic, administrative, and public events.

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Top 10 Best States for Media Technicians

  1. Iowa
  2. Alaska
  3. North Dakota
  4. South Dakota
  5. New Jersey
  6. Nevada
  7. Connecticut
  8. Maine
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Kansas
  • (194 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)

Media Technician Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,325 Media Technician resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Media Technician Resume

View Resume Examples

Media Technician Demographics

Gender

Male

61.5%

Female

28.0%

Unknown

10.5%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.7%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Chinese

7.5%

Japanese

6.7%

French

5.8%

Mandarin

4.2%

Korean

4.2%

German

4.2%

Arabic

3.3%

Vietnamese

1.7%

Russian

1.7%

Cantonese

1.7%

Carrier

1.7%

Italian

1.7%

Telugu

0.8%

Samoan

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Wolof

0.8%

Turkish

0.8%

Tamil

0.8%
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Media Technician Education

Schools

Full Sail University

8.9%

University of Phoenix

8.9%

San Jose State University

8.4%

University of Washington

6.1%

University of North Texas

5.6%

Columbia College Chicago

5.6%

Central Washington University

5.6%

New York University

5.1%

Valdosta State University

4.7%

Brigham Young University

4.2%

Wheaton College (Illinois)

4.2%

Northeastern University

4.2%

Michigan State University

3.7%

University of Maryland - University College

3.7%

Evergreen State College

3.7%

San Diego State University

3.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.7%

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.3%

William Paterson University of New Jersey

3.3%
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Majors

Communication

17.4%

Business

12.8%

Photography

10.9%

Computer Science

6.9%

Information Technology

5.0%

Graphic Design

4.2%

Fine Arts

3.8%

Digital Media

3.7%

Psychology

3.6%

Electrical Engineering

3.5%

Journalism

3.3%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Biology

3.0%

Criminal Justice

3.0%

Music

2.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.7%

Computer Networking

2.5%

Entertainment Business

2.4%

Education

2.3%

English

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.5%

Other

19.5%

Masters

12.5%

Associate

11.3%

Certificate

4.1%

Diploma

1.0%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Updated May 19, 2020