Career Profile: Broadcast Technicians
When people read the news, act out a story, or narrate a documentary, they need others to take care of the filming, sound, and other technical aspects of the process. Broadcast technicians work with electronic equipment to produce programs for people to listen to or watch. If you want to be part of making information and entertainment available to people, the job of broadcast technician might be right for you.
Good stories or music on the radio or television are not very useful unless people can see and hear them. On radio, the sound is especially important since listeners have nothing to see. For television, both lighting and sound are essential. Broadcast technicians work with the equipment necessary for the actors, reporters, and other people who make television and radio so that they can concentrate on the content instead of the technical aspects of broadcasting.
Often, technicians must listen or watch carefully and make small adjustments to the light and volume controls. For example, some people have louder voices than others, and these adjustments can help to make the sound more pleasant for listeners. Filming indoors might also require lighting adjustments that are unnecessary outdoors. Often, the director of the program will make the decisions about what kinds of lighting or sound to have, but the broadcast technician should be able to follow directions but also to make changes when necessary.
Generally, the minimum education for a broadcast technician is a certificate or diploma from a technical college, but some people might want to get a three- or four-year degree in broadcasting or related fields. In high school, courses in broadcasting or computers are helpful, but English and even theatre could also be useful.
Jobs are more likely to be available in large cities, but even small towns might also have openings for broadcast technicians. Wages start at $17 per hour and can rise to $42.50, depending partly on experience but also on the place. A radio station in a small town, for example, is likely to pay less than a broadcaster in a large city.
Working as a broadcast technician is not very physically difficult, but it can be busy and stressful, especially if something goes wrong with equipment during a broadcast. People in this career need to be very well prepared before a show but also be ready to react quickly if a light breaks or a microphone stops working. Being able to work with people is important, but often workers in this job also need to be independent enough to get the necessary equipment together and check it for any problems.
Depending on the type of job, people in this field might have to work outdoors, recording special events such as weddings or graduations. The hours can be long when a project needs to be finished, but some broadcast technicians can find jobs with regular hours. Technological skills are important, and flexibility can be very helpful. The work can be repetitive if a scene needs to be redone, and people in this field should have a certain amount of patience.
Working as a broadcast technician can be good for people who enjoy being behind the scenes of radio or television. If you enjoy technology and making information and entertainment available to people, this job could be a good choice.
Careers.org. “Occupation Profile for Broadcast Technicians.” http://www.careers.org/occupations/27-4012.00/broadcast-technicians.
Job Bank. “Broadcast Technician in Canada.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/summary-occupation/16280/ca.
Job Bank. “Broadcast Technician in Canada: Job Opportunities over the Next 3 Years.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/outlook-occupation/16280/ca
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Work BC. “Broadcast Technicians.” https://www.workbc.ca/career-profiles/broadcast-technicians.