Career Detail

Sound Engineering Technicians and Radio Operators
Operate, and maintain a wide variety of electrical and electronic equipment used in almost any radio or television broadcast, concert, play, musical recording, television show, or movie.
The Job
Audio and video equipment technicians set up and operate audio and video equipment, including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment.Broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and the range of sounds and colors of radio or television broadcasts.
Work Environment
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators generally work indoors in pleasant surroundings.
College Majors
college training in broadcast technology, electronics, or computer networking.
Minimum Qualifications
Both broadcast and sound engineering technicians usually receive some kind of formal training prior to beginning work. Audio and video technicians usually learn the skills they need through a year or more of on-the-job training, but some have formal education after high school.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Must have manual dexterity and an aptitude for working with electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems and equipment.
Quick Facts
  • Job applicants will face keen competition for jobs in major metropolitan areas, where pay generally is higher; prospects are expected to be better in small cities and towns.
  • Technical school, community college, or college training in broadcast technology, electronics, or computer networking provides the best preparation.
  • About 30 percent of these workers are in broadcasting, mainly in radio and television stations, and 17 percent work in the motion picture, video, and sound recording industries.
  • Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common.
Compensation and Outlook
Television stations usually pay higher salaries than radio stations, commercial broadcasting usually pays more than non-commercial broadcasting, and stations in large markets pay more than those in small markets.
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