Broadcast Engineer Job Description
Broadcast Engineer Job Description
Broadcast engineers work in a subfield of electrical engineering that deals with radio and television broadcasting. They are responsible for making sure that programs are broadcast at the highest quality level and on time. Their job includes the operation and maintenance of systems used in television, radio, and other broadcasting channels.
A strong knowledge of audio engineering, radio frequency (RF) engineering, information technology and computer engineering is a must, as broadcast engineering entails elements of all these fields. Depending on their specialty area, broadcast engineers must be familiar with A/V instrumentation measurement, studio acoustics, camera lenses, audio mixers, video compression, video capture, radio frequency satellite uplinking and downlinking, and occupational health and safety.
Strong teamwork skills are essential, as broadcast engineers usually work closely with radio and television producers, studio managers, and supporting technical staff. An aptitude for technology is paramount regardless of field of specialty, and a keen interest in new technologies is crucial for career development.
Broadcast engineers usually enter the field with degrees in electrical engineering, telecommunications engineering, computer engineering, electronic engineering, or broadcast technology. Candidates with degrees in other disciplines can enter the profession if they have strong A-levels in math or physics. Candidates with an HND or foundation degree can enter the field in trainee jobs.
Post-graduate degrees are not required for most broadcast engineering jobs, but can be an asset for career advancement. For entry-level jobs, employers can favour candidates who have gained some experience in student broadcasting or who have worked at local stations or production companies.
Broadcast engineers typically get training on the job through training courses and lectures. Some employers offer structured training programs, designed to lead to the status of chartered engineer (CEng). Professional status is awarded by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).
Engineers working in the field must stay up to date with the latest technologies, and are frequently required to take further training courses to become familiar with new equipment and broadcasting technologies.
Most broadcast engineers choose to specialize in a particular field of expertise, which requires further training and education, depending on the systems and technologies involved. After a significant amount of experience in the field, broadcast engineers can move on to senior roles. Promotion is typically based on merit and not academic qualifications. Senior broadcast engineering roles usually involve strategic planning or training teams of engineers and technical staff.
Broadcast engineers can be employed full time at a single station or work as freelancers and offer their services to more stations. Their main responsibilities include the maintenance of radio towers, broadcast automation systems for studios and automatic transmission systems for transmitter plants. If a station makes changes to its transmission facilities, a broadcast engineer will usually be tasked with addressing any issues concerning radio frequency interference.
Broadcast engineers can work in a studio and a on number of locations from which broadcasts are relayed back to the network or studio. They are typically responsible for setting up, testing, and maintaining broadcasting equipment and media, setting up audiovisual and transmission links, dealing with technical problems when they arise, repairing systems, and researching new systems, technologies and equipment used in broadcasting.