How Do I Become a Broadcast Engineer?
Broadcast engineering is a competitive field, but if you have an aptitude for electronics and have always wanted to work in broadcasting, this career might be right for you. Read here to learn more about becoming a broadcast engineer. Schools offering Data Communication Systems Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Types of Training Programs in Broadcast Engineering are Available?
Many schools offer associate's degree programs in broadcast engineering, though some also provide training in a professional certificate program. Courses cover fundamentals of electronics, AM and FM transmission systems, analog and digital signals and elements of computer networking. Many programs introduce you to both radio and television production techniques.
Alternately, you could earn a degree in the related discipline of electrical engineering. Certificate programs, as well as associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs qualify you for varying levels of employment in the field of engineering. While graduate studies may offer career advancement opportunities, you'll usually meet educational requirements with an undergraduate degree or certificate.
What Certifications Are Available?
The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBT) offers eight certifications for broadcast engineers. The Certified Broadcast Technologist credential requires only a passing score on the certification test, though the specialized engineering credentials generally require that you have a sufficient combination of education and experience. SBT engineering certifications include specializations in audio or video engineering, as well as varying levels of radio and television engineering based on experience.
What Will My Job Duties Be?
As a broadcast engineer, you'll install, maintain, repair and operate audio and video broadcasting equipment for radio and television stations or cable service providers. Handling equipment entails monitoring and logging signals, adjusting a signal's frequency or strength and regulating image or sound quality. In some instances, you might also assist with the planning and design of broadcast and non-broadcast support systems.
What Could I Earn?
In 2011, broadcast technicians reported average salary information to Payscale.com, stating their earnings ranged between $32,050-$55,065. Technicians with less than five years' experience earned $25,195-$39,663, while those with 5-9 years in the field showed salary increases of 37% to more than double the earnings of entry-level workers. The website reported that the highest paid professionals worked in television. Large cities provide you with the most opportunities and the highest paying jobs in both radio and television, though competition might be higher.
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