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TV and Radio Broadcast Operator Training and Jobs


Schools and Degrees

Broadcast operators should get training from a community or training college, or a technical school that offers special courses in electronics, engineering and broadcast technology. An associates degree can be of great help in securing a job as a broadcast operator. Courses in electronics, physics and mathematics at the high school level can also come in handy.

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Training and Education

Employees often obtain an associate degree before starting. The percentage of TV and radio broadcast operators with college degrees is 35%. Workers with some college (less than a bachelor's degree) represent about 44% of the total. Some employees, about 21%, had a high-school education.


Job Overview

Broadcast Operators set up, control and maintain the different electronic and electrical equipment that are used in television and radio broadcasts and musical recordings or concerts.


Job Requirements

It is not necessary for broadcast operators to have professional licenses. However, certification by the Society of Broadcast Engineers testifies to the amount of expertise and competency a broadcast operator has. To obtain this certification, broadcast operators need to pass an exam and have proof of prior experience.

It is important for broadcast operators to learn the job from those experienced in the profession. Those starting out in this profession often begin work at small stations and then move on to large ones. Broadcast operators need to attend courses and seminars to keep up with the latest technology and trends. These seminars are often sponsored by the employers.

Proficiency with electronic equipment is needed to be in this profession. Experience of working in a college radio or television station is also useful. In addition, one needs to have knowledge in digital recording, broadcasting and editing in order to make it as a successful broadcast operator. Manual skills (dexterity?) and a capacity to work with electrical and electronic equipments are also necessary.


Nature of Work

Broadcast Operators maintain and set up broadcasting equipment and control technical elements like volume, brightness, contrast and sound quality of all the broadcasts. Broadcasting operators also regulate the panels, which choose the origin of the material to be broadcast. They may change from one studio or camera to another, or from a live programming to a recorded one. They also choose between broadcasting a local program and showing a program from the network. This doesn’t seem right – seems like a decision made by someone else. In small broadcasting stations, broadcast operators look after many other activities. Their jobs in big stations may become a little more focused. Also, in large stations their work assignments alter from day to day.

Broadcast operators usually work indoors in comfortable surroundings. At big stations, broadcast operators usually work for about forty hours a week. Many times they have to work overtime to meet deadlines. Since broadcasting activity is usually on for twenty-four hours a day, working on evenings and holidays is quite common. Broadcast operators also have on-call job duties at times.


Area Job Conditions

Popular locations for TV and radio broadcast operators include Tallahassee (Florida), Missoula (Montana), and Little Rock (Arkansas). Fewer are found in Providence (Rhode Island), Oakland (California), and Newark (New Jersey).

Workers looking for high salaries should look at Oakland (California), Trenton (New Jersey), and Lansing (Michigan), and should avoid Brownsville (Texas), Lubbock (Texas), and Joplin (Missouri).


Part-Time and Self Employment

Part-time TV and radio broadcast operators are 13% of all surveyed. Some workers, about 12%, work for themselves.


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TV and Radio Broadcast Operators by Metropolitan Area (city and its surroundings)

In the table below, a Job Density near 0% means the area has an average number of people in this occupation, for its population. A higher or lower Job Density (e.g., +22% or -45%) tells you there are that many more or fewer workers of that type there than in the average US metro area. So, the higher the number, the more common the occupation.

Alabama

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Birmingham $36,000 120 +15%
Mobile $41,000 30 -17%
Montgomery $33,000 60 +81%

Alaska

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Anchorage $37,000 110 +223%

Arizona

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Phoenix $37,000 250 -33%
Tucson $33,000 80 +12%

Arkansas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Little Rock $31,000 200 +176%

California

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Fresno $45,000 150 +125%
Los Angeles $50,000 2,360 +173%
Oakland $51,000 70 -67%
Riverside $34,000 110 -57%
Sacramento $44,000 320 +74%
Salinas 60 +84%
San Diego $40,000 290 +4%
San Francisco $51,000 370 +75%
Santa Ana $35,000 170 -45%

Colorado

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Colorado Springs $37,000 70 +34%
Denver $46,000 400 +50%

Connecticut

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bridgeport $37,000 60 -33%
Hartford $30,000 370 +204%
New Haven $35,000 30 -47%

Delaware

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Wilmington $47,000 40 -41%

District of Columbia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Washington $61,000 840 +62%

Florida

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Cape Coral $29,000 90 +127%
Fort Lauderdale $28,000 160 +8%
Gainesville $32,000 40 +65%
Jacksonville $26,000 160 +26%
Miami $34,000 550 +164%
Orlando $40,000 240 +11%
Pensacola $41,000 30 0%
Tallahassee $29,000 100 +205%
Tampa $35,000 300 +23%
West Palm Beach $31,000 130 +19%

Georgia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albany $24,000 40 +242%
Atlanta $35,000 570 +16%
Augusta 30 -29%
Columbus $26,000 30 +37%
Macon $25,000 50 +182%

Hawaii

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Honolulu $31,000 90 -3%

Illinois

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Champaign $41,000 50 +147%
Chicago $47,000 810 +1%
Peoria $34,000 90 +159%

Indiana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Evansville $38,000 70 +100%
Fort Wayne $29,000 90 +114%
Gary $27,000 50 -11%
Indianapolis $33,000 240 +26%
South Bend $29,000 50 +93%

Iowa

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Cedar Rapids $35,000 70 +149%
Davenport $45,000 40 +5%
Des Moines $42,000 100 +45%

Kansas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Wichita $29,000 30 -50%

Kentucky

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Bowling Green $49,000 40 +283%
Lexington $36,000 100 +101%
Louisville $40,000 110 -15%

Louisiana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Lafayette $24,000 40 +38%
New Orleans $36,000 70 -37%

Maine

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Portland $37,000 70 +70%

Maryland

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Baltimore $48,000 370 +32%
Bethesda $48,000 130 +6%

Massachusetts

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Boston $50,000 400 +8%
Springfield $31,000 50 -20%

Michigan

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Ann Arbor $35,000 30 -12%
Detroit $29,000 50 -65%
Grand Rapids $31,000 100 +26%
Lansing $46,000 80 +96%
Warren $37,000 200 -13%

Minnesota

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Duluth $39,000 80 +206%
Minneapolis $43,000 390 +3%

Mississippi

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Jackson $27,000 50 -5%

Missouri

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Jefferson City $28,000 60 +320%
Joplin $24,000 40 +161%
Kansas City $38,000 250 +16%
Springfield $28,000 60 +53%
St Louis $31,000 230 -19%

Montana

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Billings $41,000 50 +205%

Nebraska

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Omaha $41,000 160 +61%

Nevada

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Las Vegas $31,000 160 -11%
Reno $29,000 70 +78%

New Jersey

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Edison $39,000 60 -73%
Newark $36,000 40 -81%
Trenton $60,000 30 -36%

New Mexico

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albuquerque $27,000 150 +85%

New York

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Albany $38,000 100 +5%
Buffalo $45,000 100 -15%
Nassau $47,000 480 +78%
New York $47,000 3,000 +170%
Rochester $33,000 110 +3%
Syracuse $29,000 60 -8%

North Carolina

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Charlotte $42,000 170 -7%
Greensboro $30,000 80 +7%
Raleigh $28,000 170 +55%

North Dakota

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Fargo $45,000 60 +145%

Ohio

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Cincinnati $40,000 200 -7%
Cleveland $34,000 200 -8%
Columbus $39,000 190 -3%
Dayton $42,000 80 -1%

Oklahoma

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Oklahoma City $29,000 230 +88%
Tulsa $32,000 70 -23%

Oregon

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Eugene 40 +41%
Portland $45,000 160 -27%

Pennsylvania

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Harrisburg $37,000 40 -40%
Philadelphia $40,000 290 -29%
Pittsburgh $34,000 130 -47%
Scranton $35,000 60 +10%
York $25,000 50 +38%

Rhode Island

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Providence $39,000 70 -41%

South Carolina

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Charleston $31,000 70 +16%
Columbia $32,000 90 +22%

Tennessee

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Chattanooga $30,000 50 +6%
Knoxville $33,000 90 +29%
Memphis $28,000 100 -24%
Nashville $37,000 200 +27%

Texas

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Amarillo $37,000 40 +89%
Austin $42,000 150 -10%
Beaumont $25,000 50 +52%
Brownsville $38,000 40 +52%
Corpus Christi $40,000 60 +64%
Dallas $47,000 220 -51%
El Paso $30,000 50 -12%
Fort Worth $45,000 290 +58%
Houston $45,000 200 -64%
Odessa $25,000 40 +275%
San Antonio $40,000 170 -9%
Tyler $32,000 50 +182%

Utah

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Salt Lake City $31,000 270 +109%

Vermont

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Burlington $38,000 40 +80%

Virginia

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Richmond $32,000 120 -8%

Washington

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Seattle $39,000 260 -13%
Spokane $38,000 90 +113%

Wisconsin

City and Area Median Salary Employees Job Density
Green Bay $32,000 70 +104%
Madison $40,000 60 -16%
Milwaukee $40,000 140 -21%
*FOOTNOTES: Job Facts salary and numbers data is based on US Department of Labor Statistics data for 2011. Other data on page may be from earlier years. Typical salary is given as median salary, where 50% in the job make more and 50% less. Salary range is Job Hunt's estimates of typical starting salary as being at the 10th percentile of reported pay and typical top end salary, for the most senior workers, as being at the 90th. Job openings is an estimate of new jobs every year due to growth plus those leaving the field. Where NA is given data is not available. Suggested studies is based on Job Hunt research, suggesting a minimum degree level that is judged to offer the best opportunities for entry-level employment. This Broadcast Technicians schools and career page was originally researched by CityTownInfo.com.