Broadcast engineers make sure programmes are broadcast at the right time and of the highest quality

What does a broadcast engineer do?

Broadcast engineers work in television, radio and podcasts to make sure programmes are broadcast at the right times and of the highest quality. You might work on studio and outside broadcasts (OBs), post-production operations, and new media such as interactive TV and webcasts. You may be directly involved in broadcasting programmes, or you might focus on servicing the equipment. You might:
  • set up studio equipment for transmission and editing
  • design and set up audio and video circuits
  • install multimedia hardware, software and other digital broadcast technology systems
  • set up and operate links between studios and OB units
  • edit programmes live as they are being transmitted or recorded
  • test and service equipment
  • find and repair technical faults as quickly as possible, with minimum loss of service

You’ll work as part of a team which may include producers, studio managers and presenters.

What do I need to do to become a broadcast engineer?

You need to be creative and have good practical and technical skills. You also need to be comfortable working with electrical and electronic equipment.

You usually start through the new entrant training schemes some broadcasting companies run. Examples are the BBC Engineering Apprentice or the BBC Engineer Traineeship (for graduates).

To get on the BBC Engineering Apprentice scheme you’ll usually need A levels in science, maths and engineering. You’ll work toward a BEng in Engineering and you’ll also get lots of work experience.

Alternatively, you could work as a runner or assistant at a TV station, and later apply for a place on an in-house training scheme.

Related skills

  • Ability to understand technical plans
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Physical fitness
  • Teamwork

Vocational route

  • BBC Engineering Apprenticeship
  • BBC Engineering Traineeship (for graduates).

Related subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Maths
  • Physics

Essential qualifications

  • A levels in science, maths and engineering

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You could work in recording studios, studio galleries, control rooms and maintenance workshops. If you’re working on outside broadcasts, you’ll need to be prepared to do this in all weather conditions and locations. Location work and outside broadcasts could involve working away from home, around the UK and possibly abroad. 

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Related jobs

Job families