dcsimg

Broadcast Technicians picture    Broadcast Technicians image

Broadcast Technicians are responsible for setting up, operating, and taking care of a wide variety of broadcasting equipment used for television shows, radio broadcasts, or movies. The equipment can be used for live production or for recording the broadcast. Most broadcast technicians work at radio and television studios, where they take charge of the equipment used for broadcasting or recording radio or TV shows. Others work on movie sets. The type of equipment they use includes microphones, cameras, consoles, computers, and tape recorders.

Broadcast technicians who work for small television or radio stations are generally versatile and perform a variety of duties, whereas those employed by large stations tend to specialize. There are a number of specialties in this field, including the following:

  • Transmitter Operators: They operate transmitters according to regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), while monitoring and logging outgoing signals.
  • Maintenance Technicians: They specialize in the maintenance of electronic broadcasting equipment, including equipment adjustment, service, and repair.
  • Audio Control Engineers: They regulate the sound quality of broadcasts.
  • Video Control Engineers: They coordinate the visual fidelity of broadcasts by regulating things such as brightness, color, contrast, and picture size.
  • Recording Engineers: They operate and maintain recording equipment, including special effect consoles and sound mixers.
  • Field Technicians: They set up and operate broadcasting remote portable transmission equipment outside the studio. Many of these technicians work on news broadcasts.
  • Video Recording Operators: They use and maintain video tape equipment to transcribe live programs. To an increasing extent, stations are now using computers to record, edit, and store material electronically.
  • Projectionists: They operate film and slide projection equipment.

Responsibilities

Before initiating a broadcast, technicians conduct tests to ensure that signals work properly. During the broadcasting of TV or radio shows, broadcast technicians focus on controlling the quality of the sound and/or picture. To do this, they operate control panels that cause camera angles to be switched, sound volumes to be raised or lowered, and special effects to be inserted. When broadcasting news programs, technicians operate controls that shift from studio coverage to on-the-scene reporting. They also use controls that allow switching between local sources and satellite feeds in order to blend national and local coverage within a broadcast. When making any of these switches, technicians typically rely on cues from program directors that alert them to when the switch should happen. Communication with co-workers during filming and broadcasting is normally accomplished through the use of hand signals and headsets.

When recording programs, technicians first map out which cameras, microphones, and equipment should be used for the particular show being recorded. They then review the script so that they know in advance when to make switches involving cameras and other equipment. They also plan the insertion of commercial breaks. Field technicians prepare for broadcasts of news events by driving vans to the event site, where they discuss equipment placement with reporters and camera operators. They then set up the equipment in a manner which maximizes the clarity of signals recorded or transmitted back to the studio.

Broadcast technicians are also responsible for installing new equipment to keep pace with changes in technology. As an example, many stations have recently changed from analog to digital signals. Broadcast technicians also maintain logs of all programs aired or recorded and later file the programming logs with the FCC. Additional duties that are often performed by broadcast technicians include the following:

  • Preview and schedule programming
  • Plan and run recording sessions
  • Design or modify equipment to meet specific program needs
  • Direct technical personnel during filming
  • Write reports describing past and future programming
  • Train others to use equipment

Job Characteristics

Most broadcast technicians work indoors in comfortable surroundings; however, some of them do much of their work outdoors in all types of weather. Depending on the specific job, technicians may undergo a lot of physical activity or may be mostly sedentary. Those who do maintenance may need to climb poles or antenna towers, while those who set up equipment may need to do heavy lifting. While most broadcast technicians work a 40-hour work week, many of them often work overtime or weekends to meet broadcast deadlines. Evening, night, and weekend shifts are common in the profession due to the fact that many stations are on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As is the case with many professions, the job has both its good points and bad. Broadcast technicians often get a feeling of accomplishment by being able to see the immediate results of their work. The job allows technicians to be creative in an occupation where the results of their work are viewed by many. There is a good deal of autonomy, as technicians often make decisions without consulting with a supervisor. On the other hand, there is often pressure to meet deadlines and this can sometimes be mentally and physically exhausting. There is also pressure associated with the job's demand for accuracy, where errors can negatively impact the quality of the broadcast.

Important skills needed in this profession include an ability to communication well, both orally and in writing; manual dexterity; attention to detail; and reasoning and problem solving skills. Technicians also need to be skilled in information technology due to the widespread use of digital recording, editing, and broadcasting. Not surprisingly, a very important trait for a good broadcasting technician is an aptitude for working with electronic and mechanical systems.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS), employment of broadcast technicians is projected to grow roughly as fast as the average profession over the next decade. There will be a considerable amount of job growth in the movie and cable TV industries as cable companies continually expand the number of channels they carry. Growth in the radio and TV broadcasting industry will be slower, owing to the emergence of labor-saving technology such as remotely controlled transmitters and computer-controlled programming. Another factor slowing job growth in radio and television is the consolidation of station ownership, which results in more stations being manned by fewer technicians.

Technicians who can install and operate digital transmitters are currently in high demand as television stations are converting from analog to digital broadcasting in compliance with a law that mandates the phasing out of analog signals by February 2009. Although there is no comparable law regulating the radio industry, many radio stations are beginning to broadcast digital signals as well.

Competition for jobs is expected to be most intense in major metropolitan areas, where stations tend to seek highly experienced personnel to fill a limited number of available openings. Job prospects for entry-level positions in smaller cities and towns, however, should generally remain strong.

Broadcast Technician Schools, Certification, and Licensing

Although there are no set-in-stone educational requirements for broadcast technicians, the best way to enter the profession is to have at least a high school education (or GED equivalent) plus some level of job-related postsecondary coursework from a technical school or college. An associate degree in broadcast technology, electronics, computer networking, or a related field is highly recommended. Those still in high school who are contemplating a career in this field should consider courses in electronics, computers, math, physics, and theater arts.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 eliminated a previous FCC requirement that broadcast technicians be licensed. Consequently, there are no current licensing or certification requirements in any state. However, voluntary certification by the Society of Broadcast Engineers is a widely-respected credential which is likely to enhance employment prospects. There are several levels of certification awarded to experienced technicians who are able to pass an examination. Specifically, the Certified Radio Operator and the Certified Television Operator designations effectively fill the void left by the elimination of the FCC license. Once employed, many technicians learn their skills on the job from more experienced technicians. Also, many employers pay tuition and expenses for courses or seminars to help their technicians keep current with developments in the field.

Resources

Major Employers

Approximately 12% of broadcast technicians are self-employed. The rest are mostly employed by radio stations, television stations, and motion picture and video production companies. Generally speaking, there are more jobs at television stations than radio stations, but jobs at both sites can be found in nearly all cities. Radio jobs can also be found in many small towns. The most prestigious TV/radio jobs in this field are concentrated in the big cities that originate many network and news programs, i.e., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Jobs in movie production are concentrated in Los Angeles and New York City.

Schools for Broadcast Technicians are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Broadcast Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Broadcast Technicians jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 120 $42,690
Hoover 120 $42,690
Montgomery 60 $29,720
Mobile 50 $30,160
Huntsville 30 $28,930
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 60 $35,410
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 290 $43,520
Mesa 290 $43,520
Phoenix 290 $43,520
Tucson 70 $38,830
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 40 $40,070
North Little Rock 40 $40,070
Little Rock 40 $40,070
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 2390 $54,650
Los Angeles 2390 $54,650
Anaheim 2390 $54,650
San Francisco 480 $51,700
Hayward 480 $51,700
Oakland 480 $51,700
Carlsbad 250 $31,250
San Diego 250 $31,250
Sacramento 220 $43,860
Arcade 220 $43,860
Roseville 220 $43,860
Arden 220 $43,860
Fresno 120 $50,770
San Jose 70 $27,190
Sunnyvale 70 $27,190
Santa Clara 70 $27,190
Ontario 70 $53,600
Riverside 70 $53,600
San Bernardino 70 $53,600
Salinas 30 $34,070
Bakersfield N/A $28,280
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 550 $46,020
Aurora 550 $46,020
Denver 550 $46,020
Colorado Springs 40 $34,210
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 360 $41,980
West Hartford 360 $41,980
Hartford 360 $41,980
New Haven N/A $36,870
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 730 $38,870
West Palm Beach 730 $38,870
Miami 730 $38,870
St. Petersburg 330 $38,440
Clearwater 330 $38,440
Tampa 330 $38,440
Kissimmee 270 $45,550
Orlando 270 $45,550
Sanford 270 $45,550
Jacksonville 90 $39,030
Ferry Pass 70 $20,330
Brent 70 $20,330
Pensacola 70 $20,330
Tallahassee 70 $34,690
Cape Coral 70 $36,150
Fort Myers 70 $36,150
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 670 $42,680
Sandy Springs 670 $42,680
Atlanta 670 $42,680
Savannah 30 $32,500
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 90 $34,520
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 40 $25,040
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 120 $35,910
Carmel 120 $35,910
Indianapolis 120 $35,910
Fort Wayne 50 $24,560
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 150 $40,810
Des Moines 150 $40,810
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 80 $32,780
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 50 $41,030
Lexington 50 $41,030
Bowling Green 40 $27,900
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 80 $26,820
New Orleans 80 $26,820
Bossier City 40 $28,790
Shreveport 40 $28,790
Lafayette 30 $24,150
Baton Rouge 30 $41,460
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 80 $37,120
Portland 80 $37,120
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 240 $37,900
Columbia 240 $37,900
Baltimore 240 $37,900
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 280 $41,870
Warren 280 $41,870
Detroit 280 $41,870
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 50 $31,930
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 40 $19,400
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln N/A $42,370
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 70 $36,960
Henderson 70 $36,960
Las Vegas 70 $36,960
Reno 50 $36,900
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester N/A $17,810
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 60 $30,390
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Syracuse 160 $28,850
Rochester 150 $25,310
Albany 120 $33,360
Troy 120 $33,360
Schenectady 120 $33,360
Binghamton 40 $20,650
Cheektowaga N/A $31,780
Buffalo N/A $31,780
Niagara Falls N/A $31,780
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 150 N/A
High Point 60 $30,790
Greensboro 60 $30,790
Salem 50 $19,590
Winston 50 $19,590
Chapel Hill 50 $43,630
Durham 50 $43,630
Wilmington 40 $42,770
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 250 $34,210
Cleveland 250 $34,210
Columbus 160 $31,200
Dayton 50 $32,560
Toledo 40 $35,280
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 70 $20,920
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Medford 60 $23,990
Eugene 30 $28,860
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 190 $29,710
Harrisburg 100 $34,920
Carlisle 100 $34,920
Hazleton 40 $30,100
Barre 40 $30,100
Scranton 40 $30,100
Wilkes 40 $30,100
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 130 $28,490
Carolina 130 $28,490
San Juan 130 $28,490
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 380 $31,770
Greenville 50 $30,430
Anderson 50 $30,430
Mauldin 50 $30,430
Charleston 50 $30,970
North Charleston 50 $30,970
Spartanburg 50 $34,430
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 50 $31,170
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Franklin 120 $44,100
Murfreesboro 120 $44,100
Davidson 120 $44,100
Nashville 120 $44,100
Knoxville 100 $33,200
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sugar Land 430 $27,770
The Woodlands 430 $27,770
Houston 430 $27,770
Dallas 420 $33,390
Arlington 420 $33,390
Fort Worth 420 $33,390
Austin 170 $29,350
Round Rock 170 $29,350
New Braunfels 150 $31,110
San Antonio 150 $31,110
Lubbock 70 $24,460
El Paso 70 $29,320
Waco 50 $21,380
Port Arthur 40 $38,090
Beaumont 40 $38,090
Odessa 30 $21,790
Amarillo N/A $21,020
McAllen N/A $23,970
Edinburg N/A $23,970
Mission N/A $23,970
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 120 $37,940
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $36,470
Burlington 40 $36,470
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 90 $40,460
Roanoke N/A $19,280
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Seattle 320 $24,530
Bellevue 320 $24,530
Tacoma 320 $24,530
Spokane Valley 110 $34,130
Spokane 110 $34,130
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 510 $58,160
Waukesha 510 $58,160
Milwaukee 510 $58,160
Madison 150 $44,830
Green Bay 90 $36,200
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 150 $36,290
Casper 30 $23,660

Most Popular Industries for :
Broadcast Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Media And Broadcasting 25,680 77% $30,150
Education 2,020 6% $40,350
Movie And Music 1,590 4% $47,520
Telecommunications 1,440 4% $41,160
Government 1,020 3% $45,140
Professional And Technical Services 660 1% $39,570
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • Digital Cinematography, Bachelor of Science
  • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
  • Audio Production Bachelors (Online)
  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
  • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
  • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
Programs
  • Audio Production (BS)
  • Audio Production (AS)
  • Video Production (AS)
  • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
  • Dedicated career services team that helps students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas
  • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
  • Program Coordinators focus on improving program content and ensure that students have the resources they need
  • Over 50 locations nationwide
camnpus icon
North Hollywood
Visit School Site
Programs
  • Associate of Science, Recording Arts
  • Bachelor of Science, Film
  • Associate of Science, Music Production
  • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
  • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
  • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
  • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
camnpus icon
Los Angeles
Request Info
Programs
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts and Design with a concentration in Visual Design

Our objective is to prepare you for a life-long, successful career in Media Arts, Business or Information Technology. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible foundation that will serve you in your first job as well as throughout your career.

camnpus icon
Monrovia
Request Info
Programs
  • Master of Arts Strategic Communication

Change the World with American University

Be a part of something bigger than yourself. At American University, we strive to help you develop your professional interests and indulge in your passion for making a difference. Our online degree programs allow you to gain the advanced skills for active leadership in a variety of fields.

Set Yourself Apart at American University

At American University, our smart, passionate and engaged students and faculty focus their knowledge to create meaningful change. Our strengths in international service and public affairs inspire our sense of social responsibility and a dedication to cultural and intellectual diversity. We're defined by our global perspective, practical idealism and a dedication to public service.

Programs
  • Master's of Education in Learning Design & Technology

Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history, an environment of intellectual curiosity and discovery, and a supportive, student-centered approach to learning. Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math. Our goal is to educate and develop men and women of personal integrity and scholarly excellence.

Programs
  • Bachelors in Communication
  • Demonstrate effective written communication and analytical skills.
  • Apply management skills in decision-making and analysis of the organizational structure.
  • Examine ethical behaviors and legal implications of an organization in social, environmental and corporate environs.
  • Evaluate the role of a manager in the global economy.
  • Develop critical thinking skills for analysis in strategic planning and innovation.
Programs
  • Multimedia and Design
  • Multimedia
  • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
  • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
  • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
  • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
  • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
  • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
  • Military friendly school.
camnpus icon
Los Angeles
Request Info
Programs
  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
  • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
  • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), with programmatic accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2010.

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Programs
  • Graphic Arts (AAS)
  • Graphic Arts (BS)
  • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
  • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
  • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
  • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).

Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

camnpus icon
San Marcos
Request Info
CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Broadcast Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104