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Career and Education Opportunities for Technical Directors in Madison, Wisconsin

There are many career and education opportunities for technical directors in the Madison, Wisconsin area. There are currently 1,150 jobs for technical directors in Wisconsin and this is projected to grow 5% to about 1,210 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for technical directors, which sees this job pool growing by about 9.8% over the next eight years. Technical directors generally coordinate activities of technical departments, such as taping, editing, and maintenance, to produce radio or television programs.

Income for technical directors is about $22 per hour or $46,470 annually on average in Wisconsin. Nationally, their income is about $30 per hour or $64,430 per year. Technical directors earn the same as people working in the category of Theater, Film, and Television generally in Wisconsin and the same as people in the Theater, Film, and Television category nationally. Jobs in this field include: operations manager, broadcast engineer, and station manager.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can study to be a technical director, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Madison area. Given that the most common education level for technical directors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Madison 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Technical Director Training

University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI

University of Wisconsin-Madison, 500 Lincoln Dr, Madison, WI 53706-1380. University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large university located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 41,581 students and an admission rate of 63%. University of Wisconsin-Madison has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts which graduated five, six, and three students respectively in 2008.


Program Management Professional: Project Management Institute's newest credential is specifically developed to acknowledge the qualifications of the professional who leads the coordinated management of multiple projects and ensures the ultimate success of a program.

For more information, see the Project Management Institute website.


Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.