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Communication Technician: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Communication technicians work in many settings within the broadcast world. Hired by radio stations, recording studios, cell phone companies and television stations, communication technicians are responsible for the maintenance and proper usage of technical equipment. Requirements vary by job, but all technicians need to complete either a degree or training program from a postsecondary vocational or technical school.

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Communication Technician Job Description

Though job specifics vary by employer, a communication technician is generally responsible for the technical aspects of media broadcast and must ensure that all equipment is working properly. A communications technician may be hired under many job titles, such as sound engineer, video production technician or radio operator. In all of these positions, they are in charge of the upkeep of complex, high-tech equipment.

Additional Duties

Communication technicians are responsible for the correct connection and maintenance of the equipment used by their employer, and they are frequently in charge of checking the finished product to see that all inputs were received correctly and everything either sounds or looks exactly right.

Technicians must be aware of multiple things at all times; they must constantly check to see that everything is going smoothly. When there is a technical difficulty, it is the communications technician who is responsible for determining and fixing the problem.

Training Requirements

Since the job requires an in-depth familiarity with all the equipment used in making a broadcast, a communication technician needs to have some level of formal education. Some employers require their technicians to have either an associate or bachelor's degree in a related field, while others prefer job candidates who have completed specialized programs in vocational or technical schools.

Technicians working in television or radio stations need to get a college degree in broadcast technology, while technicians in recording studios can attend a vocational school for an audio engineering program that can take between six months and two years.

In addition to the necessary schooling, most communication technicians must get work experience before being hired as a technician. In an entry-level position, potential technicians work under executive technicians and learn how to properly operate all the equipment.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers eight levels of certification for experienced audio and visual engineers. These can be earned through examinations and give technicians credentialed proof of competency. It is not required for a communication technician to become certified, but it gives employers assurance that the technician meets national standards of excellence in the field

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that broadcast and sound engineering technician jobs will increase by 10% from 2010-2020, four percentage points lower than the national average predicted for all jobs (www.bls.gov). The BLS reported that in 2012, broadcast technicians earned a median salary of $37,880; audio and video equipment technicians earned a median salary of $41,850; and sound engineering technicians earned a median salary of $46,310.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Georgia include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Towson University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • School locations:
    • Idaho (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boise State University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework, Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • School locations:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New England Institute of Technology include:
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Technology
        • Radio and Television Broadcasting

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics