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Media

Broadcast engineer

Broadcast engineers make sure programmes are shown at the right times and are high quality.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

42 to 44 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

2.4%
Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Broadcast engineer jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • set up studio equipment
  • install multimedia hardware, software and digital broadcast technology systems
  • set up and operate links between studios and outside broadcast (OB) units
  • edit programmes live as they’re being transmitted or recorded
  • test and service equipment, including repairing faults

Working environment

You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers and you'll travel often.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • a training scheme
University

You'll need a degree to apply for a graduate training scheme. Useful subjects include:

  • broadcast engineering
  • broadcast technology
  • electronics
  • physics
  • computer science

Entry requirements

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
For more information
College

You may be able to get into broadcast engineering after doing a T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level
For more information
Apprenticeship

You could get started by doing an apprenticeship such as a:

  • broadcast and media systems technical operator advanced apprenticeship
  • broadcast and media systems engineer degree apprenticeship

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Work

You could start work as a production assistant and later apply for a place on an engineer training scheme.

Another option is to begin as a broadcast technician, for example after an apprenticeship. You'd then train more on the job to become an engineer.

Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it useful to get practical experience using broadcasting equipment because there is a lot of competition for places on training schemes.

You could get experience on a:

  • student film and TV production
  • community or hospital radio
  • work placement with a broadcaster

Other routes

If you already work for a broadcast company in another role, you might be able to start an engineering training scheme with the company you work for, like the BBC's degree apprenticeship.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can apply for professional registration with the Engineering Council.

You might increase your career opportunities if you register.

Further information

You can find out more about working in broadcasting from:BBC careers; 4 Careers; ITV Careers; Sky Careers

You can get information on working in media and creative careers from ScreenSkills and Discover Creative Careers.

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With experience, you could specialise in working with specific types of equipment, such as digital, cable or satellite.

Many engineers work freelance so networking and keeping up to date with changes in the industry is really important to win clients.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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