What you need to know
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.
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 a broadcast and sound engineering technician 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
- 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.
The average pay for broadcast and sound engineering technicians in the United States ranges from $23,900 to $84,250 as of May 2018.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Overall employment of broadcast and sound engineering technicians is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
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.
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.