Studio technicians are the people who work behind the scenes to make sure that shows are broadcast both on radio and television. They are the people who operate the electrical equipment that makes it all happen. They are divided into two categories known as audio and video equipment technicians and broadcast technicians.
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Audio and video equipment technicians operate microphones, mixing consoles, sound systems, video screens, video monitors, recording equipment, lighting systems and projectors for various events such as concerts, sports events and news conferences. Studio broadcast technicians, on the other hand, work the equipment that adjusts the strength and clarity of the sound and the colours of the video broadcasts. They are the people who switch broadcasting from one camera to another, live broadcasting to film or tape, or network programming to local programming.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians generally work inside in a studio or control room environment where conditions are temperature controlled and pleasant. The exceptions to this are when programs are located outdoors, such as when covering news or sporting events. Most technicians will work a 40-hour week with occasional overtime when deadlines must be met. Evening and weekend work is also common and many may be on call 24 hours a day to help with any technical problems that may arise.
Broadcast and sound engineering technicians should at least have some form of training in their field if they want to be considered for a job within the industry. Audio and video equipment technicians should look into technical training programs that specialise in that field. These normally take up to a year to finish. Those who stand a better chance of landing a job have an associate degree or a bachelor's degree, although these aren't strictly necessary for entry-level job positions. Broadcast technicians will normally require a bachelor's degree in broadcast technology or something related due to the very competitive nature of the industry.
In 2008 there were 55,000 audio and video equipment technicians and 39,000 broadcast technicians in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sector is set to grow as fast as the national average for all jobs in the U.S. up to 2018. The competition for entry-level jobs will be fierce due to the number of people attracted to the glamour of working in both radio and television.
The average salary of audio and video equipment technicians in 2008 was £24,732 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The highest 10 per cent took home more than £42,919 a year, while the lowest 10 per cent took home less than £13,975 a year. Broadcast technicians took home and average of £21,385 a year in 2008.
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