Career and Job Search Guide

Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians and Radio Operators

Broadcast engineering technicians and radio operating specialists operate and maintain equipment used for music, television, radio, and theatrical productions. Because there are numerous broadcast and production mediums, many opportunities exist for specialists.

Audio and video equipment technicians prepare audio and video technology to be used in recordings and productions. Equipment technicians set up can include speakers, screens, video monitors, wires, microphones, and mixing board technology to be used at public gatherings or other events. Some are trained and experienced with preparing lighting technology for use.

Broadcast technicians prepare for use and operate equipment necessary for radio and television productions and run control panels that permit them to select transmission sources. This technology permits technicians to toggle between different cameras, production studios, or programming sources.

Sound engineering technicians run equipment used to record, mix, and alter sound used for television, radio, and other public performances or events. Radio operators run and maintain equipment used to transmit and collect radio signals. They also conduct repairs with a variety of sophisticated and basic tools. They spend a lot of time ensuring communication technology is properly maintained.

Digital technology has altered the jobs of sound and broadcast technician professionals. Recording, sound, and editing functions are now usually performed using computer software. Moreover, the majority of television and radio studios store data in computer storage systems rather than on tapes. Most broadcasting studios have their production equipment connected to computers. Because of this technological change, technicians must learn how to operate production and control software and link to networks.

Technicians employed be small stations have an assortment of job responsibilities. More technicians specialize at larger media companies, but their responsibilities can change on a daily basis. As a result, it is not uncommon to refer to these professionals as technicians, operators, or engineers. Broadcast professionals may work with transmission, adjustment, and recording equipment.

Technicians also have production responsibilities. Recording engineers maintain and run equipment used for recording video and sounds and operate technology that creates special effects. Sound mixers create sounds to be used in TV shows and movies. When a production is finished, these professionals place sounds in a production, which is also known as dubbing. Field technicians are responsible for equipment used to record video and sounds away from a studio. Many television studios hire technicians to work completely in news productions since technology is constantly evolving.