Communications technology professionals often work as audio-visual equipment technicians, technical writers or reporters and correspondents. They usually have a bachelor's degree in an area related to writing, editing or communication. Job outlooks are fairly good, except for the job prospects for reporters.
A communications technologies degree program may provide training in communications theory, law and production. While courses in rhetoric and public speaking may help students to hone their interpersonal skills, technical classes in audio-visual technologies may help others to enter a field in production or broadcasting. Additional coursework may include digital media production, radio broadcasting and digital communications.
|Careers||Audio-Visual Equipment Technician||Technical Writer||Reporters and Correspondents|
|Education Requirements||Some postsecondary education may be required||Bachelor's degree in writing, editing, or journalism typically required||Bachelor's degree in journalism or communications typically required|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||12%||10%||-8%|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$41,440||$70,240||$36,360|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Graduates of communications technologies programs are prepared for work in fields ranging from public relations to media buyer. Additionally, students may use their skills to pursue careers in digital media, broadcasting, writing or technology. Below are a few career options and their responsibilities along with employment outlook and salary information.
Audio-Visual Equipment Technician
Audio-visual equipment technicians set up, operate and maintain audio-visual (AV) equipment for use in a variety of situations, from business presentations to concerts and sporting events. This equipment may include lighting, projectors, video systems, microphones and recording instruments. Some AV technicians are employed by specific venues, such as convention centers, while others are self-employed or work for AV companies.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported, as of May 2015, that AV equipment technicians earned a median annual salary of $41,440 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that the number of jobs in this area was expected to grow 12% from 2014-2024.
Some communications technologies degree programs offer more writing, editing and journalism courses, which may lead to a technical writing career. Technical writers rely on their communication and research skills in order to effectively present information in clear terms. These professionals may work in fields such as healthcare, engineering or internal communications, and be responsible for conveying complex information, found in manuals or technical guides, in a more accessible manner.
As of May 2015, the BLS reported that technical writers earned a median annual salary of $70,240. Jobs for technical writers are expected to grow 10% from 2014-2024, a rate roughly on par with the national average for all jobs.
TV reporters research potential stories, collect information and write scripts to inform their audiences on local, domestic and international news. These professionals may be focused on a specific sector in the economy, such as the automobile or fashion industry. They may also cover broader fields, such as politics or healthcare. In order to gather information, TV reporters may need to travel and interview people involved in the story. They may also work with news writers and editors to make sure that stories are accurate and grammatically correct.
The job outlook for reporters, however, isn't very strong. The BLS predicted an employment decline of 8% from 2014-2024, largely due to many news organizations consolidating and downsizing because of the declining ratings of TV news shows. As of May 2015, the reporter and correspondent median annual salary was $36,360.
TV reporters are the only professionals in the communication technologies arena that are experiencing a decrease in job growth. Audio-visual equipment technicians and technical writers are expected to experience above-average job growth through 2024. Communication technologies professionals typically hold a bachelor's degree.