Broadcasting Jobs | Sound Engineering Technicians
Page updated 3/30/2015
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians held about 121,400 jobs in 2012. Their employment was distributed among the detailed occupations as follows:
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, some work outdoors in all types of conditions to broadcast news and other programming on location. Audio and video technicians also set up systems in offices, schools, government agencies, hospitals, and homes.
The industries that employed the most broadcast and sound engineering technicians in 2012 were as follows:
Technicians doing maintenance may climb poles or
antenna towers, and those setting up equipment do heavy
Technicians typically work full time. Some may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most stations are on the air 24 hours a day. Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work long hours to meet contract deadlines with movie studios.
Most broadcast and sound engineering technicians have an associate’s degree or vocational certification, although some are hired with only a high school diploma. Some formal training, gained through either work experience or education, is often required.
The median annual wage for broadcast and sound engineering technicians was $41,200 in May 2012. 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 $20,680, and the top 10 percent earned more than $79,170.
Median annual wages for broadcast and sound engineering technicians in May 2012 were as follows:
Technicians working in major cities typically earn more than those working in smaller locations. Technicians usually work full time. Some may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.
Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work long hours to meet contract deadlines with the movie studio.
Employment of broadcast and sound engineering technicians is expected to grow 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as businesses, schools, and radio and television stations demand new equipment to improve their audio and video capabilities.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically do the following:
These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians or operators or engineers. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast and sound technicians may do many jobs. At larger stations, they are likely to specialize more, although even their job assignments may change from day to day. They set up and operate audio and video equipment, although the kind of equipment they use may depend on the particular type of technician or industry.
Although some of the duties of broadcast and sound engineering
technicians are similar, there are some differences.
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, news conferences, as well as lectures, conferences, and presentations in businesses and universities.
Audio and video equipment technicians may also set up and operate custom
lighting systems. They frequently work directly with clients and must listen
to, understand, and provide solutions to problems in a simple and clear
manner. In addition, many audio and video equipment technicians are
self-employed and must spend time marketing their practice to prospective
Broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, the clarity, and the ranges of sounds and colors of radio or television broadcasts. They operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computers to program the equipment and to edit audio and video recordings.
Sound engineering technicians operate machines 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 tracks that were recorded separately to create a multilayered final product. Sound engineering technicians operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computers both to program the equipment and to edit audio recordings.
The following are examples of types of broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm