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Career and Education Opportunities for Broadcast Technicians in Seattle, Washington

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for broadcast technicians in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 770 jobs for broadcast technicians in Washington and this is projected to grow 5% to about 810 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for broadcast technicians, which 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.

The income of a broadcast technician is about $16 hourly or $33,770 per year on average in Washington. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 per hour or $32,900 yearly on average. Broadcast technicians earn less than people working in the category of Media Technical generally in Washington and less than people in the Media Technical category nationally. Broadcast technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: operations manager, television operator, and field engineer.

There are sixty-five schools of higher education in the Seattle area, including six within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can get a degree to start your career as a broadcast technician. Given that the most common education level for broadcast technicians is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Seattle include:

  • 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.
  • 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

Seattle Community College-Central Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-Central Campus, 1701 Broadway Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. Seattle Community College-Central Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,402 students. Seattle Community College-Central Campus has an associate's degree program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated seventeen students in 2008.

Clover Park Technical College - Lakewood, WA

Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Blvd SW, Lakewood, WA 98499-4004. Clover Park Technical College is a medium sized college located in Lakewood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,781 students. Clover Park Technical College has an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated two students in 2008.

Seattle Community College-North Campus - Seattle, WA

Seattle Community College-North Campus, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103-3599. Seattle Community College-North Campus is a medium sized college located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,159 students. Seattle Community College-North Campus has a one to two year program in Communications Technology/Technician which graduated one student in 2008.

Highline Community College - Des Moines, WA

Highline Community College, 2400 S 240th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-9800. Highline Community College is a medium sized college located in Des Moines, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,267 students. Highline Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated two and nine students respectively in 2008.

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Radio and Television Broadcasting Technology/Technician which graduated two and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has a less than one year program in Audiovisual Communications Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated five 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.