Broadcast Technology Degree, Certificate and Training Program Info

Broadcast technology involves working in a television or radio station handling the equipment that transmits programming to an audience. Graduates are prepared to operate and maintain video and audio control panels, cameras, and sound equipment.

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Essential Information

Certificate programs are completed in 1-semester or 2-year options, depending on the focus of the program, and they may be completed as independent options or as part of associate degree programs. Associate degree programs are 2-year programs, which offer more depth and opportunities than certificate programs, such as experience in the operation of a network and editing. Bachelor's degree programs are 4-year programs offering more advanced coursework than an associate degree program, such as supervisory curriculum.

A high school diploma or equivalent is required for admission to certificate and undergraduate programs. Extra-curricular participation in a high school media program is beneficial to students in becoming familiar with the basics of broadcasting procedures. Students later work as interns at a local radio or television station.


Certificate in Broadcast Technology

Certificate programs in broadcast technology are specific to one form of broadcast, like television, radio, production, journalism, communications, or digital media. Students enroll either to gain entry-level employment, or to further specialize existing work or educational experience.

Fundamental concepts relevant to the field of broadcast are covered, such as electrical and audio technology, or focus more on specific subjects like management, writing, or performance for broadcast organizations. Some course topics include:

  • Broadcast speech and equipment repair
  • Audio recording
  • Production techniques
  • Studio operation
  • Network security
  • Digital editing

Associate Degree in Broadcast Technology

In the competitive field of broadcast technology, career opportunities are improved by earning an associate degree. The degree involves hands-on training with school broadcasting and radio. In addition to working with audio and video equipment, students learn fundamentals of editing and network operations. Due to the real-world nature of the degree, students are prepared for immediate employment in entry-level positions working for a radio or television station.

Coursework focuses on theories and application of knowledge related to camera angles, color, lighting, sound, and handling master control panels. Topics include:

  • Television production
  • Video recording and editing
  • Camera work
  • Electronic media
  • Studio operations

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Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Technology

Through a bachelor's degree program in broadcast technology, students gain in-depth experience on the function of radio and video equipment, both in the classroom and with university television and radio stations. Completing a program prepares students for careers working in instrument function and in supervisory roles. Students will gain experience in production and post-production of audio and video media.

For the bachelor's degree, hands-on experience partners with classroom studies. Some course topics include:

  • Station management
  • Communications
  • Video production
  • Law in the media
  • History of broadcasting
  • Media for a mass audience

Popular Career Options

A certificate in broadcast technology can qualify graduates to work in a wide range of media careers. Responsibilities could include switching between camera angles during live programming, sequencing shows to and from commercial programming, and camera work in the field for news broadcasting or documentaries. Graduates may find work as:

  • Studio equipment technicians
  • Camera operators
  • Control panel technicians.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

As on-the-job training is an integral part of the broadcasting technology career, most students with a bachelor's degree will begin in similar roles to those who possess an associate degree. However, those with a bachelor's degree may have greater opportunities for advancement, including positions as television production directors, operations supervisors and media equipment managers. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for broadcast technicians is expected to decline 6% in the decade of 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS states that the broadcast technology industry is expected to be highly competitive, particularly in large cities due to the higher pay. The average income in 2015 for broadcast technicians was $44,050.

The many levels of study in broadcast technology mean that students are able to prepare for a wide variety of careers in the field, from entry-level technical work to supervisory and production roles.

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