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Career and Education Opportunities for Broadcast Technicians in San Francisco, California

For those living in the San Francisco, California area, there are many career and education opportunities for broadcast technicians. There are currently 4,800 jobs for broadcast technicians in California and this is projected to grow by 17% to 5,600 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for broadcast technicians are expected to grow by about 1.8%. In general, broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs.

A person working as a broadcast technician can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,630 per year on average in California and about $15 per hour or $32,900 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for broadcast technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Media Technical in California and not quite as good as general Media Technical category earnings nationally. People working as broadcast technicians can fill a number of jobs, such as: production manager, studio operation engineer, and color technician.

There are eighty-six schools of higher education in the San Francisco area, including one within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can get a degree to start your career as a broadcast technician. Broadcast technicians usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn to be a broadcast technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Broadcast Technician

Broadcast Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs. They also control audio equipment to regulate volume level and quality of sound during radio and television broadcasts.

Broadcast technicians report equipment problems, insure that repairs are made, and make emergency repairs to equipment when needed and possible. They also monitor strength and reliability of incoming and outgoing signals, and adjust equipment as needed to maintain quality broadcasts. Equally important, broadcast technicians have to observe monitors and talk with station personnel to establish audio and video levels and to ascertain that programs are airing. They are often called upon to control audio apparatus to regulate the volume and sound quality during radio and television broadcasts. They are expected to regulate the fidelity and contrast of video transmissions, using video console control panels. Finally, broadcast technicians record sound onto tape or film for radio or television, checking its quality and making adjustments where needed.

Every day, broadcast technicians are expected to be able to distinguish between colors. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for broadcast technicians to decide on sources from which programming will be received, or through which programming will be transmitted. They are often called upon to instruct trainees in how to use television production equipment, how to film events, and how to copy and edit graphics or sound onto videotape. They also maintain programming logs, as required by station management and the Federal Communications Commission. They are sometimes expected to substitute programs in cases where signals fail. Somewhat less frequently, broadcast technicians are also expected to assemble and operate portable field transmission equipment outside the studio.

They also have to be able to ready reports outlining past and future programs, including content And finally, they sometimes have to schedule programming, or read television programming logs to establish which programs are to be recorded or aired.

Like many other jobs, broadcast technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Francisco include:

  • Camera Operator. Operate television, video, or motion picture camera to photograph images or scenes for various purposes, such as TV broadcasts, advertising, or motion pictures.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Photographer. Photograph persons, subjects, or other commercial products. May develop negatives and produce finished prints.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Broadcast Technician Training

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts - Emeryville, CA

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts, 6601 Shellmond St, Emeryville, CA 94608. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 251 students and an admission rate of 80%. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts has a bachelor's degree program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated 162 students in 2008.


RF Line Sweeping: RF Line Sweeping, or FDR, Frequency Domain Reflectometry, certification by the Electronics Technicians Association, Internationa, has two assessments: The 16 category knowledge written multiple-choice examination, and the practical hands-on physical abilities and skills demonstration documented during a formal training course.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Associate Certified Electronics Technician: Knowledge areas include: Electrical Theory, Electronic Components, Soldering-Desoldering & Tools, Block Diagrams - Schematics - Wiring Diagrams, Cabling, Power Supplies, test Equipment & Measurements, Safety Precautions, Mathematics & Formulas, Radio Communication Technology, Electronic Circuits: Series & Parallel, Amplifiers, Interfacing of Electronics Products, Digital Concepts & Circuitry, Computer Electronics, Computer Applications, Audio & Video Systems, Optical Electronics, Telecommunications Basics, Technician Work Procedures.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Technology Specialist-Installation: A Certified Technology Specialist Installation (CTS-I) installs and maintains audiovisual systems by following specifications,.

For more information, see the InfoComm International website.

Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist: This certification is designed for persons who wish to demonstrate a basic familiarity with networking hardware as utilized in business and audio/video applications in broadcast facilities.

For more information, see the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. website.

Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer : The candidate for Certified Broadcast Radio Engineer must have five (5) years of suitable experience in broadcast engineering or related technology and must achieve a passing grade on the proficiency examination.

For more information, see the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. website.

Certifed AM Directional Specialist: The SBE Program of Certification designed the AM Directional Specialist Certification to help evaluate an individual's ability to perform the necessary tasks to keep facilities operating properly.

For more information, see the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.