Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Career, Salary and Education Information

What They Do: Broadcast, sound, and video technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for media programs.

Work Environment: Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, and recording studios. They may also work in hotels, arenas, offices, or schools.

How to Become One: Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, educational requirements may vary.

Salary: The median annual wage for broadcast, sound, and video technicians is $49,050.

Job Outlook: Overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 21 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of broadcast, sound, and video technicians with similar occupations.

Following is everything you need to know about a career as a broadcast, sound, or video technician with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:

Top 2 Broadcast Technician Jobs

  • On-Site AV Technician - NEP - Dublin, County Dublin

    Experience within the broadcast industry would be advantageous. The AV technician will be responsible for supporting our client on all things AV including liveā€¦

  • Business 2nd Line & Enterprise Executive - FMI - Dublin, County Dublin

    Handle incoming phone calls and emails from Virgin Media Business cable and Wifi customers, first line technical and care teams and field operations techniciansā€¦

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What Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians Do[About this section] [To Top]

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.

Duties of Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically do the following:

  • Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, video, sound, lighting, and broadcast equipment to ensure consistent quality
  • Set up and take down equipment for events and live performances
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording equipment or computers, sometimes using complex software
  • Synchronize sounds and dialogue with action taking place on television or in movie productions
  • Convert video and audio records to digital formats for editing on computers
  • Install audio, video, and lighting equipment in hotels, offices, and schools
  • Report any problems that arise with complex equipment and make routine repairs
  • Keep records of recordings and equipment used

These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians, operators, or engineers. They set up and operate audio and video equipment, and the kind of equipment they use may depend on the particular type of technician or industry. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast, sound, and video technicians may have more responsibilities. At larger stations, they may do more specialized work, although their job assignments may vary from day to day.

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians share many responsibilities, but their duties may vary with their specific area of focus. The following are examples of types of broadcast, sound, and video technicians:

Audio and video technicians, also known as audio-visual technicians, set up, maintain, and dismantle audio and video equipment. They also connect wires and cables and set up and operate sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment.

Audio and video technicians work with microphones, speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment. The equipment they operate is used for live or recorded events such as meetings, concerts, sporting events, podcasts, and news conferences.

Broadcast technicians, also known as broadcast engineers, set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and ranges of sounds and colors for radio or television broadcasts. They operate transmitters, either in studios or on location in the field, to broadcast radio or television programs. Broadcast technicians also use computer programs to edit audio and video recordings.

Lighting technicians set up, maintain, and dismantle light fixtures, lighting controls, and associated electrical and rigging equipment used for photography, television, film, video, and live productions. They also may focus or operate light fixtures and attach color filters or other lighting accessories.

Sound engineering technicians, also known as audio engineers or sound mixers, assemble and operate sound equipment. They use this equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects for theater, video, film, television, podcasts, sporting events, and other productions.

Work Environment for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians hold about 138,700 jobs. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up broadcast, sound, and video technicians is distributed as follows:

Audio and video technicians 73,900
Broadcast technicians 28,400
Lighting technicians and media and communication equipment workers, all other 23,300
Sound engineering technicians 13,100

The largest employers of broadcast, sound, and video technicians are as follows:

Radio and television broadcasting 20%
Motion picture and sound recording industries 13%
Real estate and rental and leasing 9%
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 7%
Self-employed workers 7%

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, they may work outdoors in all types of weather in order to broadcast news and other programming on location. Audio and video technicians also set up systems in offices, arenas, hotels, schools, hospitals, and homes.

Technicians doing maintenance may climb poles or antenna towers. Those setting up equipment may do heavy lifting.

Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technician Work Schedules

Technicians usually work full time. They may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.

Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work additional hours to meet contract deadlines with the movie studio.

How to Become a Broadcast, Sound, or Video Technician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians near you!

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically need postsecondary education, although some are hired with a high school diploma.

Education for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Educational requirements for audio and video, lighting, and sound engineering technicians vary from a high school diploma to a college degree, depending on the position. Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Prospective broadcast, sound, and video technicians should complete high school classes in math, physics, and electronics. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have skills related to audio and video equipment and related technologies.

Postsecondary programs for audio and video, lighting, and sound engineering technicians may take several months to years to complete. These programs, which may lead to either a nondegree award or a college degree, often provide hands-on experience with the equipment used in many entry-level positions.

Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. In addition to courses in math and science, coursework for prospective broadcast technicians should emphasize practical skills such as video editing and production management.

Although typically not required, a bachelor's degree in fine and performing arts or a related field, such as communications technology, may be helpful.

Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technician Training

Because technology is constantly improving, technicians often enroll in continuing education courses and receive on-the-job training to become skilled in new equipment and hardware. On-the-job training includes setting up cables or automation systems, testing electrical equipment, learning the codes and standards of the industry, and following safety procedures.

Newly hired workers may be trained in a variety of ways, depending on the types of products and services the employer provides. In addition, new workers’ level of education may also dictate how much training they need.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Although it is not required by most employers, voluntary certification may offer advantages in getting a job as a broadcast or sound engineering technician. Certification tells employers that the technician meets certain industry standards and has kept up to date with new technologies.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers operator level, engineering level, broadcast networking, and specialist certifications. Most of these certifications require passing an exam.

The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association offers the general Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential as well as the design CTS and installation CTS. All three credentials require passing an exam and are valid for 3 years.

Other Experience for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Gaining practical experience in a high school or college audiovisual department also helps to prepare for work as an audio and video equipment technician.

Advancement for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Although many broadcast, sound, and video technicians work first in small markets or at small stations in big markets, they often transfer to larger, better paying radio or television stations after gaining experience and skills. Few large stations hire someone without previous experience, and they value specialized skills.

Experienced workers with strong technical skills may become supervisory broadcast technicians or chief broadcast engineers. To become chief broadcast engineer at large television stations, technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.

Important Qualities for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Communication skills. Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.

Computer skills. Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.

Manual dexterity. Some technicians set up audio and video equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.

Problem-solving skills. Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.

Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for broadcast, sound, and video technicians is $49,050. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,620.

Median annual wages for broadcast, sound, and video technicians are as follows:

Lighting technicians and media and communication equipment workers, all other $61,890
Sound engineering technicians $60,500
Audio and video equipment technicians $48,820
Broadcast technicians $44,740

The median annual wages for broadcast, sound, and video technicians in the top industries in which they work are as follows:

Motion picture and sound recording industries $60,540
Real estate and rental and leasing $49,300
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries $48,790
Radio and television broadcasting $37,750

Technicians working in major cities typically earn more than those working in smaller markets.

Technicians usually work full time. They may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.

Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work additional hours to meet contract deadlines with the movie studio.

Job Outlook for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 21 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 18,000 openings for broadcast, sound, and video technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment of Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians

Much of the projected employment growth for these occupations is due to recovery from the COVID-19 recession that began in 2020 and is likely to occur early in the decade. Growth will vary by occupation.

More companies are increasing their audio and video budgets so they can use video conferencing to reduce travel costs and communicate worldwide with other offices and clients. In addition, an increase in the use of digital signs across a variety of industries, such as hospitals, hotels, and retail stores, should lead to higher demand for audio and video technicians. In schools and universities, more audio and video technicians may be needed to install and maintain interactive whiteboards and wireless projectors so teachers can give multimedia presentations and record lectures.

Broadcast technicians will be in demand to set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs.

Lighting technicians will continue to be needed to work with lighting and associated equipment used in photography and film and other productions. However, because lighting technicians and all other media and communication equipment workers is a small occupation, the fast growth is expected to result in only about 3,800 new jobs over the decade.

The sound recording and motion picture industries will continue to need sound engineering technicians to improve the sound quality of shows and movies. However, because sound engineering technicians is a small occupation, the fast growth is expected to result in only about 2,300 new jobs over the decade.

Employment projections data for Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians, 2020-30
Occupational Title Employment, 2020 Projected Employment, 2030 Change, 2020-30
Percent Numeric
Broadcast, sound, and video technicians 138,700 167,300 21 28,600
  Audio and video technicians 73,900 93,300 26 19,400
  Broadcast technicians 28,400 31,600 11 3,200
  Sound engineering technicians 13,100 15,400 17 2,300
  Lighting technicians and media and communication equipment workers, all other 23,300 27,100 16 3,800


A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.


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