Broadcast engineer

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would set up and operate the equipment to make sure TV and radio broadcasts go out to viewers and listeners at the right time.

You’d make sure that they can enjoy the programmes without any technical faults or interruptions and fix problems quickly if something goes wrong.

You might work on studio and outside broadcasts (OBs), post-production operations, and new media such as interactive TV and webcasts.

You might be directly involved in broadcasting programmes or you might focus on servicing the equipment.

You would:

  • Set up studio equipment for transmission and editing
  • Design and set up audio and video circuits
  • Install multimedia hardware, software and other digital broadcast technology systems
  • Set up and operate links between studios and OB units
  • Do vision mixing, which means editing programmes live as they are being transmitted or recorded
  • Test and service equipment
  • Find and repair technical faults as quickly as possible, with minimum loss of service

You would work as part of a team that can also include producers, studio managers and presenters.

Working with electrical equipment, you’d need to have a good awareness of health and safety in the workplace.

Working conditions

Hours

You would normally work around 40 hours a week. Shift work is common, including weekends and nights. You may need to work extra hours at short notice, particularly for news programmes.

Environment

You could work in recording studios, studio galleries, control rooms and maintenance workshops, and on outside broadcasts (OBs) in all weather conditions and locations.

Travel

Location work and outside broadcasts (OBs)could involve working away from home around the UK and possibly abroad.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Working as part of a team
  • Working with your hands
  • Repairing and fixing
  • Using computers
  • Being physically fit
  • Finding solutions to problems

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

Most entrants normally start as a trainee broadcast engineer and for this you usually need a Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7), Higher National Diploma (SCQF level 8) or degree (SCQF level 9/10) in electrical, electronic or broadcast engineering though other science, design technologies and ICT subjects may be considered.

You might also apply to an in-house engineering training scheme from other roles within a broadcasting company; you might start work as a runner for a broadcasting company and then apply for in-house engineering training.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science subjects
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering and ICT

You will also need

Entry to this career is highly competitive so you will need experience in working with electronic equipment and using broadcast technologies.

You will need to register with the Engineering Council as a professional engineer once you have relevant qualifications and experience.

You should have normal hearing and colour vision.