Broadcast Engineer

Female broadcast engineer working to adjust sound levels at audio mixer and computer with rows of monitors at live performance

What you need to know


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

These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians, operators, or engineers.

What is this career like?

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, some work outdoors in all types of conditions 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.

Some of the things broadcast, sound and video engineering technicians might do:

  • 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
What skills are needed?
  • Communication skills: Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.
  • Computer skills: Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.
  • Manual dexterity: Some technicians set up audio and visual equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.
  • Problem-solving skills: Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.
What is the pay?

The average pay for broadcast, sound, and video technicians in the United States ranges from $25,890 to $89,080 as of May 2020.

The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.

What is the career outlook?

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

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.

An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in broadcast technology, broadcast production, computer networking, or a related field also will improve job prospects for applicants.

What education is required?

Audio and video equipment technicians, as well as sound engineering technicians, typically need a postsecondary non-degree award or certificate, whereas broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Postsecondary non-degree 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.

Discover some of the courses you will take pursuing a degree in Music Production and Engineering.