Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

 

Summary

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for media programs.

 

What they do

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

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. 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. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast and sound engineering technicians may have more responsibilities. At larger stations, they may do more specialized work, although their job assignments may vary from day to day.

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians share many responsibilities, but their duties may vary with their specific area of focus. The following are examples of types of broadcast and sound engineering technicians:

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 postsecondary intuitions.

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

Broadcast technicians, also known as broadcast engineers, 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, either in studios or on location in the field, to broadcast radio or television programs. Broadcast technicians also use computer programs to edit audio and video recordings.

Sound engineering technicians, also known as audio engineers or sound mixers, 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 audio tracks that were recorded separately to create a multilayered final product.

 

Work Environment

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, they may work outdoors in all types of weather in order to broadcast news and other programming on location. Audio and video technicians also set up systems in offices, arenas, hotels, schools, hospitals, and homes.

Technicians doing maintenance may climb poles or antenna towers. Those setting up equipment may do heavy lifting.

 

How to become a Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technician

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, they may need either a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate’s degree.

Audio and video equipment technicians, as well as sound engineering technicians, typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or certificate. Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. 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.

 

Pay

The median annual wage for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was $45,510 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,930, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $86,890.

 

Job Outlook

Overall employment of broadcast and sound engineering technicians is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Employment of audio and visual equipment technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. More audio and video technicians should be needed to set up new, technologically advanced equipment or upgrade and maintain old, complex systems for a variety of organizations.

More companies are increasing their audio and video budgets so they can use video conferencing to reduce travel costs and communicate worldwide with other offices and clients. In addition, an increase in the use of digital signs across a wide variety of industries, such as schools, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, and retail stores should lead to higher demand for audio and video equipment technicians.

 

Similar Job Titles

Audio Engineer, Board Operator, Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast Maintenance Engineer, Broadcast Operations Engineer, Broadcast Technician, Control Operator, Maintenance Engineer, Production Assistant, Production Engineer, Audio Engineer, Audio Operator, Mastering Engineer, Mixer, Mixing Engineer, Recording Engineer, Sound Editor, Sound Engineer, Sound Technician, Studio Engineer, Audio-Visual Production Specialist, Dub Room Engineer, Film Sound Engineer

 

Related Occupations

Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialist; Technical Director/Manager; Audio and Video Equipment Technician; Broadcast Technician; Film and Video Editor; Camera Operator, Television, Video and Motion Picture; Computer Operator; Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installer and Repairer

More Information

The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field.  Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas.  As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.

 

Magazines and Publications

Broadcast Beat

Audio Technology

Sound on Sound

Recording Magazine

 

Video embed source code:

Sound Engineering Technician:

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Broadcast Engineering Technician:

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Video Transcript

Sound Engineering Technician:

While the stars of popular media may get a lot of the recognition, their appearances are made possible —and optimized— by the work of broadcast and sound engineering technicians. They operate the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies. Audio and video equipment technicians handle equipment such as video screens, video monitors, microphones, and mixing boards. They record meetings, sports events, concerts, and conferences. Broadcast technicians set up and operate equipment that regulates the clarity, signal strength, sound, and color of the broadcasts. They use software to edit audio and video recordings. Sound engineering technicians run equipment that records and mixes music, voices, and sound effects. They work in recording studios, performance venues, and film and stage productions. Audio and video technicians typically work in studios, although some work on location for events or to broadcast news. They also set up systems in schools, hospitals, homes… or other locations. Technicians generally work full time, but schedules may include additional hours for live events or to keep up with production schedules. Radio and TV stations are typically on the air 24/7, so technicians’ hours may run around the clock. Broadcast technicians generally need an associate’s degree, while audio and video equipment technicians, and sound engineering technicians typically need a certificate or related training.

Broadcast Engineering Technician:

While the stars of popular media may get a lot of the recognition, their appearances are made possible —and optimized— by the work of broadcast and sound engineering technicians. They operate the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies. Audio and video equipment technicians handle equipment such as video screens, video monitors, microphones, and mixing boards. They record meetings, sports events, concerts, and conferences. Broadcast technicians set up and operate equipment that regulates the clarity, signal strength, sound, and color of the broadcasts. They use software to edit audio and video recordings. Sound engineering technicians run equipment that records and mixes music, voices, and sound effects. They work in recording studios, performance venues, and film and stage productions. Audio and video technicians typically work in studios, although some work on location for events or to broadcast news. They also set up systems in schools, hospitals, homes… or other locations. Technicians generally work full time, but schedules may include additional hours for live events or to keep up with production schedules. Radio and TV stations are typically on the air 24/7, so technicians’ hours may run around the clock. Broadcast technicians generally need an associate’s degree, while audio and video equipment technicians, and sound engineering technicians typically need a certificate or related training.

 

Content retrieved from US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH https://www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop https://www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online https://www.onetonline.org