A radio broadcast engineer is in charge of all things technical when it comes to the station. They are spread over a number of aspects and are crucial to programmes being broadcast on time and in high quality. Here’s all you need to know about the role of a broadcast engineer.
The role of a broadcast engineer is transferable across radio, television, podcasts and many other similar channels. They’re the point of call for operating, maintaining, updating and repairing hardware and systems related to these industries.
They work alongside others including producers, studio managers and presenters. As well as this, they will also work with staff involved in the technical aspects of the station.
Broadcast engineers work with the ever-expanding modes of distribution. They will be expected to work in a wide range of locations and situations. Studio work is a given, but so is outside broadcasts which may be pre-recorded or live and relayed back to a studio.
The day-to-day work of the broadcast engineer will vary depending on location and the station, but there are a number of tasks that are common for the role. Maintaining specialist equipment for broadcast and satellite transmission, interactive media and even video is expected of the engineer.
The broadcast engineer will be required to set up and operate equipment during outside broadcasts as well as setting up transmission links.
They will need to be able to set up and monitor audio links between units in different locations as well as installing and testing new facilities and equipment. Engineers will need to set up and operate editing facilities in post-production suites.
Analysing and fixing technical faults on systems and indeed equipment are vital aspects of the engineer’s role. They need to make sure that the broadcast does not fail and that they can easily identify and implement solutions or alternatives if it does fail.
The nature of the industry is that the technology is ever-changing and engineers need to be familiar with these changes. They must be able to easily adapt to the latest releases and how they can be used to improve the broadcast.
Engineers are crucial to the smooth running of broadcasts and hence, must be able to repair software, hardware and other technology systems. They must show an example to the staff on how to properly handle health and safety when it comes to using the various technologies.
Finally, broadcast engineers work closely alongside producers, directors and other colleagues to interpret and implement their vision for broadcasts.
Radio broadcast engineers will usually have a degree in broadcasting, engineering or a similar field. It’s essential to have hands-on experience in any capacity, so volunteering where you can is a great idea if you wish to become one.
It’s important to be able to demonstrate an understanding of personal computers, servers, IT systems and networks in order to secure a job in the field.