Sound Engineering Technicians Job Description video

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A key player on any radio or TV show is the one you can't see or hear -- the broadcast technician who keeps the show on the air. Also called operators or engineers, they're the workers who install, operate and maintain the electronic equipment used in broadcasting and cable. Even in major markets, the chief engineer at a radio station is often the sole technical expert on site, managing equipment ranging from the transmitter tower to the thermostat in the air studio. Most announcers run their own boards so the radio engineer can perform the technical functions during a fairly typical 40-hour workweek. But weekend, overnight and holiday work is not unusual when emergency repairs are needed. Because of the additional visual dimension, television operations employ many more technicians than do radio stations. The jobs in TV tend to be more specialized at higher salaries. Technicians may also work in motion picture production and recording studios or at live concerts. Some technicians are part of the control room staff during live broadcasts, operating control panels or giving technical directions. Others brave the elements as field technicians. Indoors or out, the hours can be erratic. Formal training in broadcast technology, engineering or electronics is the best way to learn this trade. Employed broadcast technicians also need to keep updating their skills to keep up with advancements in technology, such as HDTV and digital transmission.

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