Schools and Education
- Most broadcast engineer positions require an associate's degree from an accredited school.
- Some internships may be available to high school graduates and GED certificate holders and may lead to full-time employment in smaller radio and television stations.
- A bachelor's degree in broadcast engineering or a related field can provide a competitive edge in the employment marketplace.
What you study:
Two-year associate's degree positions typically provide hands-on training in computerized editing, digitizing and recording techniques. Coursework may include any or all of the following subjects:
- Electrical engineering
- Electronics design and repair
- Physical science
- Radio frequencies and bandwidth basics
- Digital data structures
On-the-job training may be provided to augment the classroom experience in some broadcast engineering programs.
What courses you'll take
Below are examples of courses that you'll likely take as a student pursuing a career in broadcast engineering.
|Fundamentals of Audio Technology||Components of equipment used in an audio studio, including microphones, tape machines, consoles and computers; software programs used in audio editing and mastering; principles of acoustics (the study of sound), waveform analysis (study of the shapes of audio signals) and signal flow (the path an audio signal takes from source to output); using and troubleshooting audio components.||Familiarize students with equipment used in audio production.|
|Film and Television Production||Theory and techniques of creating professional film and television content, including operation of cameras, lighting setup, microphone placement and shot composition; workflow principles and terminology common in the film and television industries; roles of each member on a production team.||Prepare students to organize and shoot video projects.|
|Digital Post-Production||Processes involved in converting filmed and taped content into digital formats; techniques of non-linear editing (editing that uses digital files, rather than destructible media such as film and tape), including synching sound, correcting color, adding transitions and maintaining rhythm; current styles and trends in video and audio editing.||Train students to perform professional video and audio editing.|
|Broadcast Technology||Types of broadcast systems in use today, including analog radio (AM/FM), digital radio, analog television, cable and satellite television, Internet video, and video on mobile devices; copyright and other rights of ownership, distribution and monetization; political and legislative issues applicable to mass-media broadcasting; legal and ethical concerns in the field.||Provide foundational knowledge on broadcast platforms.|
|Live Video and Audio Production||Organization and planning of live television; aesthetics (artistic principles) and industry-standard practices in a multi-camera recording studio; transitioning and cutting video in real-time; mixing, mastering and recording live sound; logistics and troubleshooting during live recordings; streaming and other distribution methods.||Ready students to serve in a technical capacity on live productions.|
A short intro of the broadcasting engineer occupation. Produced for the US Dept of Labor.
Certifications and Licensing
Although licensing is not required to obtain a job as a broadcast engineering, voluntary certification programs are available from a variety of sources. Two of the most prestigious are the Society of Broadcast Engineers and InfoComm International; these certification bodies provide examination-based certificates that include the following:
- Certified Broadcast Networking Technician
- Certified Broadcast Networking Engineer
- Certified Broadcast Technologist
- Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer
- Certified Broadcast Television Engineer
- Certified Technology Specialist
Each of these certifications can be helpful in obtaining a position of responsibility with a radio or television station or other broadcast engineering company.
Full-time versus part-time:
Most broadcast engineering positions are full-time and require set hours of attendance. Shift work is commonplace in the broadcasting industry, and overtime, it may be required due to staffing shortages or increased demand for locally produced audiovisual content.
Broadcast engineers work in the fast-paced radio, television and recording industries to produce high quality video and audio productions for public broadcast or private distribution. These websites can provide additional information for those considering a career in broadcast engineering.
- U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook -- This government website provides comprehensive market data on jobs, salaries, educational requirements and other aspects of the broadcast engineering career field. The information provided on this website can allow aspiring broadcast engineers to make a more informed decision regarding their planned career path.
- National Association of Broadcasters -- The accepted authority in the broadcasting world, NAB provides advocacy services for broadcast engineers and provides current information on trends within the industry. NAB is also instrumental in providing educational opportunities and sponsoring conventions that allow broadcast professionals to connect and network more effectively.
- Society of Broadcast Engineers -- The SBE boasts over 5,500 members and is a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing the broadcast engineering field and providing educational and employment opportunities for its membership. SBE also offers certification services for members and non-members in a number of different broadcast engineering specialty fields.
- Broadcast Education Association -- Dedicated to the advancement of education throughout the broadcasting industry, BEA offers a wide range of programs and services designed for students and teachers in this modern technological field. BEA also offers scholarships and continuing education opportunities for students pursuing a degree program at a BEA member institution.
- InfoComm International Audiovisual -- Since its founding in 1939, InfoComm has been dedicated to promoting the audiovisual industry. An ANSI accredited standards organization, InfoComm also provides information on continuing education opportunities and offers certification options for professional broadcast engineers.
- U.S. Federal Communications Commission -- The FCC website provides information on the licensing process for radio and television broadcast stations and offers a wide range of data on the current state of broadcast communications within the U.S.
Salaries by City
See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column -- for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.
|State||City / Region||Typical Salary||Salary Range||Job Count||% of All Jobs|
|AL||Birmingham - Hoover||$30,060||110||0.02%|
|AR||Little Rock - North Little Rock - Conway||$41,040||60||0.02%|
|AZ||Phoenix - Mesa - Glendale||$37,300||260||0.02%|
|CA||Bakersfield - Delano||$29,820||30||0.01%|
|CA||Los Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale (Metro Area)||$45,200||4,160||0.11%|
|CA||Oakland - Fremont - Hayward (Metro Area)||$42,380||140||0.01%|
|CA||Riverside - San Bernardino - Ontario||$39,430||50||0.00%|
|CA||Sacramento - Arden - Arcade - Roseville||$47,400||250||0.03%|
|CA||San Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos||$52,000||200||0.02%|
|CA||San Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City (Metro Area)||$43,670||390||0.04%|
|CA||San Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara||$63,000||220||0.02%|
|CA||Santa Ana - Anaheim - Irvine (Metro Area)||$26,080||80||0.01%|
|CA||Santa Barbara - Santa Maria - Goleta||$35,410||N/A||N/A|
|CO||Denver - Aurora - Broomfield||$48,270||340||0.03%|
|CT||Bridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk||$27,640||70||0.02%|
|CT||Hartford - West Hartford - East Hartford||$42,770||340||0.06%|
|DC||Washington - Arlington - Alexandria (Metro Area)||$56,740||750||0.03%|
|FL||Cape Coral - Fort Myers||$38,000||90||0.04%|
|FL||Fort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach - Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)||$23,870||110||0.02%|
|FL||Miami - Miami Beach - Kendall (Metro Area)||$32,330||510||0.05%|
|FL||Orlando - Kissimmee - Sanford||$38,070||270||0.03%|
|FL||Panama City - Lynn Haven - Panama City Beach||$22,370||30||0.04%|
|FL||Pensacola - Ferry Pass - Brent||$30,750||30||0.02%|
|FL||Tampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater||$40,480||190||0.02%|
|FL||West Palm Beach - Boca Raton - Boynton Beach (Metro Area)||$30,440||100||0.02%|
|GA||Atlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta||$36,130||460||0.02%|
|IA||Davenport - Moline - Rock Island||$26,020||N/A||N/A|
|IA||Des Moines - West Des Moines||$29,820||120||0.04%|
|ID||Boise City - Nampa||$19,040||40||0.01%|
|IL||Chicago - Joliet - Naperville (Metro Area)||$44,190||820||0.02%|
|IN||Indianapolis - Carmel||$22,650||160||0.02%|
|IN||South Bend - Mishawaka||$30,000||60||0.05%|
|KY||Lexington - Fayette||$28,520||110||0.04%|
|KY||Louisville - Jefferson County||$27,840||120||0.02%|
|LA||New Orleans - Metairie - Kenner||$32,670||50||0.01%|
|LA||Shreveport - Bossier City||$32,380||40||0.02%|
|MA||Boston - Cambridge - Quincy (Metro Area)||$55,680||610||0.04%|
|MD||Baltimore - Towson||$64,110||290||0.02%|
|MD||Bethesda - Rockville - Frederick (Metro Area)||$42,960||140||0.02%|
|ME||Portland - South Portland - Biddeford||$34,120||40||0.02%|
|MI||Detroit - Livonia - Dearborn (Metro Area)||$25,570||90||0.01%|
|MI||Grand Rapids - Wyoming||$34,810||30||0.01%|
|MI||Lansing - East Lansing||$52,030||50||0.02%|
|MI||Warren - Troy - Farmington Hills (Metro Area)||$32,400||300||0.03%|
|MN||Minneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington||$35,460||320||0.02%|
|NC||Charlotte - Gastonia - Rock Hill||$34,390||190||0.02%|
|NC||Durham - Chapel Hill||$33,640||30||0.01%|
|NC||Greensboro - High Point||$23,300||50||0.01%|
|NC||Raleigh - Cary||$28,660||90||0.02%|
|NE||Omaha - Council Bluffs||$24,350||100||0.02%|
|NH||Nashua (Metro Area)||$77,580||60||0.04%|
|NJ||Edison - New Brunswick (Metro Area)||$36,220||N/A||N/A|
|NV||Las Vegas - Paradise||$31,980||150||0.02%|
|NV||Reno - Sparks||$24,920||90||0.05%|
|NY||Albany - Schenectady - Troy||$32,100||120||0.03%|
|NY||Buffalo - Niagara Falls||$23,920||220||0.04%|
|NY||Nassau - Suffolk (Metro Area)||$46,490||580||0.05%|
|NY||New York - White Plains - Wayne (Metro Area)||$52,440||3,360||0.07%|
|OH||Cincinnati - Middletown||$33,790||180||0.02%|
|OH||Cleveland - Elyria - Mentor||$47,340||230||0.02%|
|OH||Youngstown - Warren - Boardman||$27,700||50||0.02%|
|OR||Portland - Vancouver - Hillsboro||$38,760||190||0.02%|
|PA||Harrisburg - Carlisle||$33,910||40||0.01%|
|PA||Philadelphia (Metro Area)||$31,580||280||0.02%|
|PA||Scranton - Wilkes - Barre||$23,960||60||0.02%|
|PR||San Juan - Caguas - Guaynabo||$25,840||170||0.02%|
|RI||Providence - Fall River - Warwick||$24,660||50||0.01%|
|SC||Charleston - North Charleston - Summerville||$28,380||50||0.02%|
|SC||Greenville - Mauldin - Easley||$28,480||60||0.02%|
|TN||Kingsport - Bristol - Bristol||N/A||50||0.04%|
|TN||Nashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro - Franklin||$37,420||210||0.03%|
|TX||Austin - Round Rock - San Marcos||$39,640||120||0.01%|
|TX||Beaumont - Port Arthur||$19,280||50||0.03%|
|TX||Dallas - Plano - Irving (Metro Area)||$40,280||260||0.01%|
|TX||Fort Worth - Arlington (Metro Area)||$34,830||N/A||N/A|
|TX||Houston - Sugar Land - Baytown||$29,510||380||0.01%|
|TX||Killeen - Temple - Fort Hood||$18,960||N/A||N/A|
|TX||San Antonio - New Braunfels||$21,910||260||0.03%|
|UT||Salt Lake City||$21,590||240||0.04%|
|VA||Virginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News||N/A||580||0.08%|
|VT||Burlington - South Burlington||$38,150||40||0.03%|
|WA||Seattle - Bellevue - Everett (Metro Area)||$29,970||360||0.03%|
|WI||Oshkosh - Neenah||N/A||30||0.03%|
|WV||Huntington - Ashland||$18,820||N/A||N/A|