Broadcast Technicians

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Also known as:
Audio Engineer, Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast Maintenance Engineer, Broadcast Operations Engineer, Radio Station Audio Engineer, Radio/Television Technician, Remote Broadcast Engineer, Telecasting Engineer, Television Audio Engineer

ABOUT BROADCAST TECHNICIAN CAREERS
Video transcript

A key player on any radio or TV show is the one you can't see or hear - the broadcast technician who keeps the show on the air. Also called operators or engineers, they're the workers who install, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used in broadcasting and cable. Even in major markets, the chief engineer at a radio station is often the sole technical expert on-site, managing equipment ranging from the transmitter tower to the thermostat in the air studio.

Most announcers run their own boards, so the radio engineer can perform the technical functions during a fairly typical 40-hour workweek. But weekend, overnight, and holiday work is not unusual when emergency repairs are needed. Because of the additional visual dimension, television operators employ many more technicians than do radio stations. The jobs in TV tend to be more specialized at higher salaries.

Technicians may also work in motion-picture production and recording studios or at live concerts. Some technicians are part of the control-room staff during live broadcasts, operating control panels or giving technical directions. Others brave the elements as field technicians. Indoors or out, the hours can be erratic.

Formal training in broadcast technology, engineering, or electronics is the best way to learn this trade. Employed broadcast technicians also need to keep updating their skills to keep up with advancements in technology, such as HDTV and digital transmission.

SNAPSHOT
Set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to acquire, edit, and transmit audio and video for radio or television programs. Control and adjust incoming and outgoing broadcast signals to regulate sound volume, signal strength, and signal clarity. Operate satellite, microwave, or other transmitter equipment to broadcast radio or television programs.
Leadership
MED
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
MED
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Substitute programs in cases where signals fail.

Play and record broadcast programs using automation systems.

Monitor and log transmitter readings.

Control audio equipment to regulate the volume and sound quality during radio and television broadcasts.

Preview scheduled programs to ensure that signals are functioning and programs are ready for transmission.

Observe monitors and converse with station personnel to determine audio and video levels and to ascertain that programs are airing.

Maintain programming logs as required by station management and the Federal Communications Commission.

Report equipment problems, ensure that repairs are made, and make emergency repairs to equipment when necessary and possible.

Set up, operate, and maintain broadcast station computers and networks.

Monitor strength, clarity, and reliability of incoming and outgoing signals and adjust equipment as necessary to maintain quality broadcasts.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.