Broadcast engineer
Technical Specialists

Broadcast engineers develop, maintain, repair and operate equipment used across television, radio and new media. They are also known as radio/TV engineers.

Work Activities

Broadcast engineers ensure that the equipment is of the highest broadcast quality to make radio, TV and online programmes. They may be studio/office based, supporting live/recorded TV and radio and post-production operations or be on location. Their responsibilities include:

  • Designing and installing audio and visual circuits, hardware and software and broadcast systems
  • Establishing audio and visual links between different units or for outside broadcasts
  • Responding to technical faults and repairing them quickly
  • Servicing and testing equipment
  • Maintaining radio transmitters
  • Supporting other departments including news, broadcast and production
  • Working on satellite operations, digital and analogue technologies
  • Working in research departments to create and develop new ideas to meet the requirements of colleagues and customers.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for broadcast engineers

Broadcast engineers need:

  • Thorough knowledge of broadcasting technology
  • An understanding of analogue and digital electronic systems
  • Excellent IT skills
  • A creative approach to problem solving
  • Quick thinker and ability to use initiative
  • To be calm under pressure
  • Good time management skills and ability to prioritise
  • Good teamworking skills
  • A flexible approach and ability to improvise
  • To be able to explain technical subjects in a non-technical way
  • Knowledge of health and safety.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of broadcast engineers

  • BBC, ITV, Channel 4, STV, Five and S4C
  • Independent radio stations across the UK
  • Satellite, cable and digital broadcasters
  • Outside broadcast companies
  • Independent production companies

Job vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications and specialist engineering recruitment agencies.

Qualifications

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career as a broadcast engineer for both university graduates and school leavers.

Most have a degree, foundation degree or HND in electrical/electronic/ sound/broadcast engineering. Other degrees including Physics and Computer Science are also a way into this career. For entry to a relevant degree course the usual requirement is 3 A levels, normally to include Maths, and a Science or Technology subject, often Physics. GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C or above are also required along with a good mix of other subjects, including English.

In Scotland HNC/HND entry requires 1-2 Highers and good National 5s. Degree courses require 4-5 Highers including Maths and Physics or a technological subject. Check each institution carefully. There may be Modern Apprenticeships.

Other qualifications such as BTEC level 3 National or the International Baccalaureate Diploma are often accepted. Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to one A level. Always make sure you check individual university, college or employer entry qualifications carefully, as specific requirements may differ.

You can also get into broadcast engineering through higher/degree level apprenticeships. Large broadcasting organisations such as the BBC, advertise vacancies and training schemes on their website.

Having work experience in a broadcast or related setting (sound operator at your local theatre/hospital radio) is also a good way of showing your interest and commitment to this career.

Search for...

Degree Explorer

The Degree Explorer helps you plan for your future! Match your interests to UK university courses and explore each recommendation to find out what suits you.

Get started

Register today

Sign up to access to use your dashboard and receive extra advice in your inbox

Sign up