Broadcast Technicians

Set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to acquire, edit, and transmit audio and video for radio or television programs. Control and adjust incoming and outgoing broadcast signals to regulate sound volume, signal strength, and signal clarity. Operate satellite, microwave, or other transmitter equipment to broadcast radio or television programs.

Sample of reported job titles: Audio Engineer, Board Operator, Broadcast Engineer, Broadcast Maintenance Engineer, Broadcast Operations Engineer, Broadcast Technician, Control Operator, Production Engineer

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • Report equipment problems, ensure that repairs are made, and make emergency repairs to equipment when necessary and possible.
  • Monitor and log transmitter readings.
  • Maintain programming logs as required by station management and the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Monitor strength, clarity, and reliability of incoming and outgoing signals, and adjust equipment as necessary to maintain quality broadcasts.
  • Observe monitors and converse with station personnel to determine audio and video levels and to ascertain that programs are airing.
  • Preview scheduled programs to ensure that signals are functioning and programs are ready for transmission.
  • Play and record broadcast programs, using automation systems.
  • Set up, operate, and maintain broadcast station computers and networks.
  • Select sources from which programming will be received or through which programming will be transmitted.
  • Install broadcast equipment, troubleshoot equipment problems, and perform maintenance or minor repairs, using hand tools.
  • Substitute programs in cases where signals fail.
  • Control audio equipment to regulate volume and sound quality during radio and television broadcasts.
  • Design and modify equipment to employer specifications.
  • Record sound onto tape or film for radio or television, checking its quality and making adjustments where necessary.
  • Schedule programming or read television programming logs to determine which programs are to be recorded or aired.
  • Edit broadcast material electronically, using computers.
  • Develop employee work schedules.
  • Instruct trainees in use of television production equipment, filming of events, and copying and editing graphics or sound onto videotape.
  • Align antennae with receiving dishes to obtain the clearest signal for transmission of broadcasts from field locations.
  • Regulate the fidelity, brightness, and contrast of video transmissions, using video console control panels.
  • Make commercial dubs.
  • Determine the number, type, and approximate location of microphones needed for best sound recording or transmission quality, and position them appropriately.
  • Organize recording sessions and prepare areas, such as radio booths and television stations, for recording.
  • Set up and operate portable field transmission equipment outside the studio.
  • Give technical directions to other personnel during filming.
  • Prepare reports outlining past and future programs, including content.
  • Produce graphics for broadcasts.
  • Discuss production requirements with clients.
  • Produce educational and training films and videotapes by performing activities, such as selecting equipment and preparing scripts.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 98% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 61% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Contact With Others — 51% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 43% responded “Important results.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 81% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Time Pressure — 38% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 45% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 36% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 34% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 30% responded “Every day.”
  • Letters and Memos — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Consequence of Error — 35% responded “Very serious.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 32% responded “Fairly important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 58% responded “40 hours.”
  • Physical Proximity — 48% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Very important.”

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
State licenses
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operations Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Telecommunications — Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 43%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required
  • 27%
     
    responded: Some college, no degree requiredmore info
  • 17%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

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Interests

Interest code: RCI
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$21.51 hourly, $44,740 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
28,400 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Faster than average (10% to 15%)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
3,300
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

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Sources of Additional Information

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