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Broadcast engineers make sure that television and radio programmes are shown at the right times and to the highest quality. Their key tasks include:
working on studio or outside broadcasts, installing multimedia hardware, software and other digital broadcast technology systems, vision mixing (editing programmes live as they are being transmitted or recorded) finding and repairing technical faults as quickly as possible, with minimum loss of service, designing and setting up audio and video circuits
How to become a broadcast engineer
Broadcast engineers usually launch their careers on entrant training schemes, such as the BBC's Trainee Technologist Scheme, after gaining an HNC, HND or degree in electrical, electronic or broadcast engineering.
Some companies accept applicants with A levels or a BTEC National Diploma in science or design technology.
Competition for places on training schemes is strong and so practical experience using broadcast technology is very important. This can be gained through student film and TV productions and local and national broadcasters such as community or hospital radio.
Skills and Knowledge required
Employers look for the following in potential trainees:
- Good practical and technical skills
- Knowledge of electrical and electronic equipment
- Awareness of health and safety in the workplace
- The ability to find and repair faults
- Good communication and team working skills
- Flexibility and willingness to work long or unsocial hours when necessary
- Stamina and fitness
Trainees start on a salary of around £18,000 a year, rising to between £30,000 and £40,000, a year, with experience.
Broadcast engineers normally work 40 hours a week in shifts, plus extra hours at very short notice, especially if they work on news programmes.