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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Directors in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for technical directors in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 1,790 people work as technical directors in Maryland. This is expected to grow 18% to about 2,120 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for technical directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. In general, technical directors coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Technical directors earn about $31 hourly or $65,050 yearly on average in Maryland and about $30 hourly or $64,430 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television, people working as technical directors in Maryland earn the same. They earn the same as people working in the overall category of Theater, Film, and Television nationally. Jobs in this field include: record producer, master control operator , and operations director.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including nineteen within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a technical director. Given that the most common education level for technical directors is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a technical director if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Technical Director

In general, technical directors coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Technical directors act as liaisons between engineering and production departments. They also monitor broadcasts to insure that programs conform to station or network policies and regulations. Equally important, technical directors have to supervise and assign duties to staff working on technical control and production of radio and television programs. They are often called upon to operate apparatus to produce programs or broadcast live programs from remote locations. They are expected to train staff in use of equipment such as switchers and lights. Finally, technical directors test apparatus to insure proper operation.

Every day, technical directors are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for technical directors to talk with operations directors to formulate and maintain fair and attainable technical policies for programs. They are often called upon to schedule use of studio and editing facilities for producers and engineering and maintenance staff. They also switch between video sources in a studio or on multi-camera remotes, using equipment such as switchers, video slide projectors, and video effects generators. They are sometimes expected to direct technical aspects of newscasts and other productions, checking and switching between video sources, and taking responsibility for the on-air product, including camera shots and graphics. Somewhat less frequently, technical directors are also expected to follow instructions from production managers and directors during productions, such as commands for camera cuts and takes.

and prepare and execute video transitions and special effects such as fades and supers, using computers to manipulate pictures as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to train staff in use of equipment such as switchers and lights.

Like many other jobs, technical directors must be reliable and want to innovate to meet new challenges.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Actor. Play parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions for entertainment, information, or instruction. Interpret serious or comic role by speech, gesture, and body movement to entertain or inform audience. May dance and sing.
  • Artistic Director. Audition and interview performers to select most appropriate talent for parts in stage, television, or motion picture productions.
  • Audio Visual Technician. Set up or set up and operate audio and video equipment including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, recording equipment, connecting wires and cables, sound and mixing boards, and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions, presentations, and news conferences. May also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
  • Director. Interpret script, conduct rehearsals, and direct activities of cast and technical crew for stage, motion pictures, or radio programs.
  • Film or Videotape Editor. Edit motion picture soundtracks, film, and video.
  • Producer. Plan and coordinate various aspects of radio, television, or motion picture production, such as selecting script, coordinating writing, directing and editing, and arranging financing.
  • Program Director. Direct and coordinate activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs.
  • Sound Engineer. Operate machines and equipment to record, synchronize, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Director Training

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has 4 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree which graduated 96 students in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree.
  • Theatre/Theatre Arts Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 32 students in 2008.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and eight students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated nine students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated thirty-three students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has a bachelor's degree program in Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties which graduated four students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

Bowie State University - Bowie, MD

Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Rd, Bowie, MD 20715-9465. Bowie State University is a medium sized university located in Bowie, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,541 students and an admission rate of 85%. Bowie State University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

Towson University - Towson, MD

Towson University, 8000 York Rd, Towson, MD 21252-0001. Towson University is a large university located in Towson, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,111 students and an admission rate of 61%. Towson University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated twenty-eight and eight students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated one student in 2008.

McDaniel College - Westminster, MD

McDaniel College, 2 College Hill, Westminster, MD 21157. McDaniel College is a small college located in Westminster, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,896 students and an admission rate of 77%. McDaniel College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Stevenson University - Stevenson, MD

Stevenson University, 1525 Greenspring Valley Rd, Stevenson, MD 21153-0641. Stevenson University is a small university located in Stevenson, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,435 students and an admission rate of 62%. Stevenson University has a bachelor's degree program in Film/Cinema Studies which graduated twenty-seven students in 2008.

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College, 2901 Liberty Hts Ave, Baltimore, MD 21215-7893. Baltimore City Community College is a medium sized college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,884 students. Baltimore City Community College has a one to two year program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 2 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ten and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Directing and Theatrical Production, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA

The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Cinematography and Film/Video Production which graduated two and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts - Washington, DC

National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, 1556 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007. National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts is a small school located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 41 students and an admission rate of 87%. National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts has a one to two year and a two to four year program in Dramatic/Theatre Arts and Stagecraft, Other Specialties which graduated eight and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has 3 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Film/Cinema Studies, master's degree which graduated 25 students in 2008.
  • Cinematography and Film/Video Production, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and twenty-one students respectively in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated four students in 2008.

Morgan State University - Baltimore, MD

Morgan State University, 1700 East Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251-0001. Morgan State University is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,554 students and an admission rate of 34%. Morgan State University has 2 areas of study related to Technical Director. They are:

  • Radio and Television, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated ninety-five and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Goucher College - Baltimore, MD

Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Rd, Baltimore, MD 21204-2794. Goucher College is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,321 students and an admission rate of 66%. Goucher College has a bachelor's degree program in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated two students in 2008.

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LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.