Broadcast Technician

What Does a Broadcast Technician Do?
Broadcast technicians are in charge of setting up, operating and overseeing the electrical equipment used in radio or television broadcasts. The technical equipment they construct and monitor is vital to the overall quality, aesthetics and presentation of broadcasts. Technicians also operate control panels to make broadcast maneuvers quickly, such as switching camera angles or going from film to live programming. They may work at television stations, radio stations or other industries, doing communications, sales and training programs. At small stations, broadcast technicians will perform a variety of duties, ranging from diagnostic testing and repairs on studio equipment, installation of equipment, as well as preparing and processing of equipment and materials. At larger stations or networks, broadcast technicians are more specialized and may work in specific areas, such as processing or maintenance. Some broadcast technicians get to put their creativity and technical knowledge to good use, by assisting in new equipment designs or upgrading current broadcast systems for broadcast engineering projects.

What Is the Employment and Salary Outlook for a Broadcast Technician?
The employment and salary outlook for broadcast technicians should remain stable, with an estimated job growth of 2 percent by 2018. Technological advancements will give broadcast technicians more resources to produce better quality radio and television programming. While technology improves the quality of work technicians do, it also increases their productivity and may cause employment growth to slow down. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, broadcast technicians jobs could be at risk due to the consolidation of stations and other cost-cutting tactics, like computer-controlling programming. Technicians will continue to be in demand as technology products and services expand, requiring the services of technicians. The salary outlook for broadcast technicians is greatly determined by the employment rate, job market and industry in which one works. According to the Bureau, broadcast technicians made an average salary of $32,900 in 2008.

How Can I Become a Broadcast Technician?
In order to become a broadcast technician, you’ll want to complete the necessary educational and training steps before entering the field. While some employers do not require applicants to have more than a high school diploma, applicants are strongly encouraged to earn at least some formal college education. Most broadcast technicians have an associate degree in broadcast technology, electronics, computer networking or related subject. An associate degree in one of these subjects will cover the technical design of equipment, electronics and maintenance of broadcast equipment. Once you have completed your two years of formal education, you will be more equipped and prepared to enter the field and apply your knowledge of broadcast technology. For more information on the broadcast technology field, visit The Society of Broadcast Engineers, where you can find job listings, industry resources and career advice.