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Career Profile: Broadcast Technicians

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.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 28,400 people employed as broadcast technicians in the United States. The median annual salary is $43,600. Entry level employees earn approximately $21,570 per year and senior employees earn approximately $83,620 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Install broadcast equipment, troubleshoot equipment problems, and perform maintenance or minor repairs, using hand tools.
  • Substitute programs in cases where signals fail.
  • Make commercial dubs.
  • Set up and operate portable field transmission equipment outside the studio.
  • Give technical directions to other personnel during filming.
  • Prepare reports outlining past and future programs, including content.
  • Produce graphics for broadcasts.
  • Discuss production requirements with clients.
  • Produce educational and training films and videotapes by performing activities, such as selecting equipment and preparing scripts.
  • Control audio equipment to regulate volume and sound quality during radio and television broadcasts.
  • Design and modify equipment to employer specifications.
  • Record sound onto tape or film for radio or television, checking its quality and making adjustments where necessary.
  • Determine the number, type, and approximate location of microphones needed for best sound recording or transmission quality, and position them appropriately.
  • Organize recording sessions and prepare areas, such as radio booths and television stations, for recording.
  • Schedule programming or read television programming logs to determine which programs are to be recorded or aired.
  • Edit broadcast material electronically, using computers.
  • Develop employee work schedules.
  • Instruct trainees in use of television production equipment, filming of events, and copying and editing graphics or sound onto videotape.
  • Align antennae with receiving dishes to obtain the clearest signal for transmission of broadcasts from field locations.
  • Regulate the fidelity, brightness, and contrast of video transmissions, using video console control panels.
  • Select sources from which programming will be received or through which programming will be transmitted.
  • Report equipment problems, ensure that repairs are made, and make emergency repairs to equipment when necessary and possible.
  • Monitor and log transmitter readings.
  • Maintain programming logs as required by station management and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Monitor strength, clarity, and reliability of incoming and outgoing signals, and adjust equipment as necessary to maintain quality broadcasts.
  • Observe monitors and converse with station personnel to determine audio and video levels and to ascertain that programs are airing.
  • Preview scheduled programs to ensure that signals are functioning and programs are ready for transmission.
  • Play and record broadcast programs, using automation systems.
  • Set up, operate, and maintain broadcast station computers and networks.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
28,400
Annual Openings:
3,300
Increase in Openings by 2030:
11%
Annual Salary Range:
$21,570 - $83,620
Education Requirements:
Associate's degree