Chief Station Engineer: Job Description, Duties and Outlook
Learn about a career as a chief station engineer. Research the job description, job duties, and employment outlook to make an informed decision about starting a career in the broadcasting industry.
Chief Station Engineer Job Description
Professionals in this field manage engineers and other technicians at broadcasting stations. Chief station engineers make sure that broadcasting equipment works correctly and that all workers are on schedule for their designated duties. Chief station engineers may specialize in one broadcasting field, such as radio or television. Others may work at multi-media broadcasting stations. Due to the tight deadlines and around-the-clock broadcasting schedules, chief station engineers usually work overtime and may experience high levels of job-related stress.
Chief Station Engineer Job Duties
In May 2012, employers listing job postings for chief station engineers on CareerBuilder.com stated that job candidates would be expected to complete managerial tasks, such as organizing meetings, making schedules, planning budgets and evaluating employees. Many of these same employers also expected chief station engineers to supervise technician teams during live broadcasts, video transmissions and post-production. Other duties may include scheduling regular equipment maintenance appointments, overseeing equipment installations and implementing FCC compliance standards.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some major job duties associated with this career field include communicating, problem-solving and making technical repairs (www.bls.gov). Chief station engineers have to give workers instructions, but they also have to listen to coworkers and communicate any potential problems to upper management. While most problem-solving does involve fixing or altering equipment, problem-solving can also include other tasks, such as fixing scheduling conflicts or settling disputes between coworkers.
Chief Station Engineer Employment Outlook
Between 2010 and 2020, the BLS predicted that open positions for broadcast and sound engineering technicians - which includes chief station engineers - was expected to increase by ten percent. Although the BLS anticipated a job opportunity increase, the BLS also pointed out that many broadcasting stations were being bought out by larger conglomerates, which has a significant effect on job growth rates.
Interested applicants may experience major competition for jobs, according to the BLS. Workers with experience using multiple types of equipment may have better chances of securing employment. Additionally, although earning certification is still voluntary in this industry, applicants who hold certifications - from organizations like the Society of Broadcast Engineers - within certain broadcasting specialties may find more job opportunities.
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