If you want to become a broadcast technician, you can begin the preparation in high school, taking courses in algebra, electronics, and physics. Following high school graduation, you can obtain further electronics training in technical schools or community colleges. A bachelor’s degree in engineering is normally required for supervisory or executive roles. Technicians who work with certain types of equipment must acquire a general radiotelephone operator license through successfully completing a series of tests. Aside from the educational requirements, certain aptitude and personality traits are also advantageous.
Characteristics of anyone who wants to become a broadcast technician include having a preference for technical activities and enjoying working with machines. You should be able to adjust to different types of operating conditions and be capable of quickly attending to many details. As sometimes many are involved in the production of a radio or television program, you should be able to function as part of a team. Other characteristics involve being able to detect differences in shapes and shading, and being capable of precise, accurate work.
The work role of those who become a broadcast technician is to operate and maintain the equipment involved in transmitting radio and television programs. Employees involved in radio broadcasts usually are engaged in three types of duties. Transmitter technicians operate the transmitting equipment, keeping logs, and complying with rules of the national overseeing body. Control technicians facilitate the smooth execution of a radio program, through such tasks as signaling to announcers when to begin or stop talking. Maintenance technicians are responsible for the set up, maintenance, and repair of equipment.
Sometimes small radio stations will have only one broadcast tech performing all of the duties, while large stations will have several employees specializing in each of the three technician areas. Although these workers who have become a broadcast technician will specialize in one area, they frequently rotate their duties so that they are engaged in all three areas at one time or another. A chief radio technician will oversee the work of the other technicians.
As television programs are auditory as well as visual, television stations require additional varieties of broadcast technicians that are not needed in the area of radio. Lighting technicians are responsible for the studio lighting, while boom operators oversee the large microphones, positioning them in strategic locations. Camera operators are involved in video recordings. Video control technicians and audio control technicians work closely with the director, making modifications to achieve optimal vision and sound quality. Color control technicians, video recording technicians, and audio recording technicians are also involved in television broadcasting.