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Career and Education Opportunities for Broadcast Technicians in Alexandria, Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for broadcast technicians in the Alexandria, Virginia area. The national trend for broadcast technicians sees this job pool growing by about 1.8% over the next eight years. Broadcast technicians generally set up, operate, and maintain the electronic equipment used to transmit radio and television programs.

Broadcast technicians earn approximately $12 per hour or $26,880 yearly on average in Virginia. Nationally they average about $15 hourly or $32,900 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Media Technical, people working as broadcast technicians in Virginia earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Media Technical nationally. Broadcast technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: radio technician, control engineer, and sound person.

There are eighty-four schools of higher education in the Alexandria area, including five within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree to start your career as a broadcast technician. The most common level of education for broadcast technicians is a high school diploma or GED. 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 Alexandria 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.
  • 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: Broadcast Technician Training

Northern Virginia Community College - Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College, 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, VA 22003-3796. Northern Virginia Community College is a large college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,870 students. Northern Virginia Community College has a one to two year program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has 2 areas of study related to Broadcast Technician. They are:

  • Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician, one to two year which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties, one to two year which graduated 16 students in 2008.

Strayer University - Washington, DC

Strayer University, 1133 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005. Strayer University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 41,565 students. Strayer University has a master's degree program in Communications Technology/Technician which graduated thirty-three students 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 Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties.

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 Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated seventy-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.