Broadcast engineers make sure television, radio and online programmes are broadcast at the right times and are high quality.
Salary range: £20,000 to £50,000
How to become a broadcast engineer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- an in-house training scheme
You’ll need a degree to apply for a graduate training scheme with a broadcaster. Useful subjects include:
- broadcast engineering
- broadcast technology
- computer science
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can get started by doing a broadcast and media systems technical operator advanced apprenticeship or a broadcast and media systems engineer degree apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
- 2 or more A levels, or equivalent, including maths and science, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
You could start work with a broadcaster as a production assistant and later apply for a place on an in-house engineer training scheme.
You could also begin as a broadcast technician, for example after an apprenticeship, then do further training on the job to become an engineer.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful to get practical experience using broadcast technology equipment, as competition for places on training schemes is strong. You could get this through:
- student film and TV productions
- community or hospital radio
- a placement with a broadcaster
You can start on an in-house engineering training scheme like the BBC’s degree apprenticeship.
You can apply for the BBC Broadcast Engineering Graduate Scheme, if you have an honours degree or equivalent in electronics, physics, maths, computer science or a related subject.
Professional and industry bodies
You can apply for professional registration with the Engineering Council for Information and Communications Technology Technician or Chartered Engineer status. Registration can improve your career prospects.
You can get information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
- the ability to work well with others
- broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- to be flexible and open to change
- knowledge of maths
- knowledge of media production and communication
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your duties could include:
- setting up studio equipment for transmission and editing
- designing and setting up audio and video circuits
- installing multimedia hardware, software and digital broadcast technology systems
- setting up and operating links between studios and outside broadcast (OB) units
- editing programmes live as they’re being transmitted or recorded
- testing and servicing equipment
- finding and repairing technical faults
You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio or in a workshop.
Your working environment may be you’ll travel often and outdoors in all weathers.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into management.
You could also work freelance.