Sound Engineering Technicians

This is a sub-career of Broadcast, Sound, or Video Technician

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Job Outlook:
As fast as average
Education: Postsecondary nondegree award
High: $135,950.00
Average: $75,590.00
Average: $36.34

What they do:

Assemble and operate equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce sound, including music, voices, or sound effects, for theater, video, film, television, podcasts, sporting events, and other productions.

On the job, you would:

  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording media, using recording equipment.
  • Confer with producers, performers, and others to determine and achieve the desired sound for a production, such as a musical recording or a film.
  • Separate instruments, vocals, and other sounds, and combine sounds during the mixing or postproduction stage.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.

Computer skills. Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.

Manual dexterity. Some technicians set up audio and video equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.

Problem-solving skills. Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

93% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
92% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
90% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
90% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
90% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
89% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
88% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
85% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
79% Self-Control  -  Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
79% Integrity  -  Job requires being honest and ethical.
73% Concern for Others  -  Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
72% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
68% Independence  -  Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
67% Leadership  -  Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
A3 Your Strengths Importance


95% Realistic  -  Work involves designing, building, or repairing of equipment, materials, or structures, engaging in physical activity, or working outdoors. Realistic occupations are often associated with engineering, mechanics and electronics, construction, woodworking, transportation, machine operation, agriculture, animal services, physical or manual labor, athletics, or protective services.
67% Artistic  -  Work involves creating original visual artwork, performances, written works, food, or music for a variety of media, or applying artistic principles to the design of various objects and materials. Artistic occupations are often associated with visual arts, applied arts and design, performing arts, music, creative writing, media, or culinary art.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

83% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
78% Relationships  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
72% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
64% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
61% Recognition  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.


A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

72% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
69% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
69% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
66% Hearing Sensitivity  -  The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.

Job Details

Convert data among multiple digital or analog formats.
Operate audio recording equipment.
Collaborate with others to determine technical details of productions.
Operate control consoles for sound, lighting or video.
Select materials or props.
Operate audio recording equipment.
Notify others of equipment problems.
Mix sound inputs.
Operate control consoles for sound, lighting or video.
Operate audio recording equipment.
Mix sound inputs.
Mix sound inputs.
Maintain logs of production activities.
Mix sound inputs.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

97% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
96% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
89% Telephone  -  How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
89% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
88% Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls  -  How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
88% Level of Competition  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
86% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
84% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
83% Importance of Being Exact or Accurate  -  How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
82% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
81% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
81% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
77% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
71% Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable  -  How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
69% Frequency of Decision Making  -  How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
69% Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions  -  How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
67% Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results  -  What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
89% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

93% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
92% Thinking Creatively  -  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
89% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
83% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
81% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
80% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
78% Controlling Machines and Processes  -  Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
77% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
77% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
76% Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings  -  Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
75% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
75% Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People  -  Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
70% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
70% Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment  -  Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
70% Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials  -  Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
69% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
67% Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others  -  Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
66% Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information  -  Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

What Broadcast, Sound, and Video Technicians Do

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians
Broadcast, sound, and video technicians operate equipment in schools and office buildings.

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.


Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically do the following:

  • Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, video, sound, lighting, and broadcast equipment to ensure consistent quality
  • Set up and take down equipment for events and live performances
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording equipment or computers, sometimes using complex software
  • Synchronize sounds and dialogue with action taking place on television or in movie productions
  • Convert video and audio records to digital formats for editing on computers
  • Install audio, video, and lighting equipment in hotels, offices, and schools
  • Report any problems that arise with complex equipment and make routine repairs
  • Keep records of recordings and equipment used

These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians, operators, or engineers. They set up and operate audio and video equipment, and the kind of equipment they use may depend on the particular type of technician or industry. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast, sound, and video technicians may have more responsibilities. At larger stations, they may do more specialized work, although their job assignments may vary from day to day.

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians share many responsibilities, but their duties may vary with their specific area of focus. The following are examples of types of broadcast, sound, and video technicians:

Audio and video technicians, also known as audio-visual technicians, set up, maintain, and dismantle audio and video equipment. They also connect wires and cables and set up and operate sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment.

Audio and video technicians work with microphones, speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment. The equipment they operate is used for live or recorded events such as meetings, concerts, sporting events, podcasts, and news conferences.

Broadcast technicians, also known as broadcast engineers, set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and ranges of sounds and colors for radio or television broadcasts. They operate transmitters, either in studios or on location in the field, to broadcast radio or television programs. Broadcast technicians also use computer programs to edit audio and video recordings.

Lighting technicians set up, maintain, and dismantle light fixtures, lighting controls, and associated electrical and rigging equipment used for photography, television, film, video, and live productions. They also may focus or operate light fixtures and attach color filters or other lighting accessories.

Sound engineering technicians, also known as audio engineers or sound mixers, assemble and operate sound equipment. They use this equipment to record, synchronize, mix, edit, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects for theater, video, film, television, podcasts, sporting events, and other productions.  

Work Environment

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians held about 142,800 jobs in 2022. Employment in the detailed occupations that make up broadcast, sound, and video technicians was distributed as follows:

Audio and video technicians 74,800
Broadcast technicians 39,900
Sound engineering technicians 17,600
Lighting technicians 10,500

The largest employers of broadcast, sound, and video technicians were as follows:

Motion picture and sound recording industries 20%
Broadcasting and content providers 16
Self-employed workers 14
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 8
Educational services; state, local, and private 8

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, they may work outdoors in all types of weather in order to broadcast news and other programming on location. Audio and video technicians also set up systems in offices, arenas, hotels, schools, hospitals, and homes.

Technicians doing maintenance may climb poles or antenna towers. Those setting up equipment may do heavy lifting.

Work Schedules

Technicians usually work full time. They may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.

Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work additional hours to meet contract deadlines with the movie studio.

Getting Started

Associate's Degree (or other 2-year degree)
Bachelor's Degree

How to Become a Broadcast, Sound, or Video Technician

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians
Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically need postsecondary education, although some are hired with a high school diploma.

Broadcast, sound, and video technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, educational requirements may vary.


Educational requirements for audio and video, lighting, and sound engineering technicians vary from a high school diploma to a college degree, depending on the position. Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree.

Prospective broadcast, sound, and video technicians should complete high school classes in math, physics, and electronics. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have skills related to audio and video equipment and related technologies.

Postsecondary programs for audio and video, lighting, and sound engineering technicians may take several months to years to complete. These programs, which may lead to either a nondegree award or a college degree, often provide hands-on experience with the equipment used in many entry-level positions.

Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. In addition to courses in math and science, coursework for prospective broadcast technicians should emphasize practical skills such as video editing and production management.

Although typically not required, a bachelor's degree in fine and performing arts or a related field, such as communications technology, may be helpful.


Because technology is constantly improving, technicians often enroll in continuing education courses and receive on-the-job training to become skilled in new equipment and hardware. On-the-job training includes setting up cables or automation systems, testing electrical equipment, learning the codes and standards of the industry, and following safety procedures.

Newly hired workers may be trained in a variety of ways, depending on the types of products and services the employer provides. In addition, new workers’ level of education may also dictate how much training they need.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although it is not required by most employers, voluntary certification may offer advantages in getting a job as a broadcast or sound engineering technician. Certification tells employers that the technician meets certain industry standards and has kept up to date with new technologies.

The Society of Broadcast Engineers offers operator level, engineering level, broadcast networking, and specialist certifications. Most of these certifications require passing an exam.

The Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association offers the general Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential as well as the design CTS and installation CTS. All three credentials require passing an exam and are valid for 3 years.

Other Experience

Gaining practical experience in a high school or college audiovisual department also helps to prepare for work as an audio and video equipment technician.


Although many broadcast, sound, and video technicians work first in small markets or at small stations in big markets, they often transfer to larger, better paying radio or television stations after gaining experience and skills. Few large stations hire someone without previous experience, and they value specialized skills.

Experienced workers with strong technical skills may become supervisory broadcast technicians or chief broadcast engineers. To become chief broadcast engineer at large television stations, technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.

Job Outlook

Overall employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians is projected to grow 2 percent from 2022 to 2032, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 12,900 openings for broadcast, sound, and video technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.


Projected employment of broadcast, sound, and video technicians varies by occupation (see table).

Companies are continuing to increase their audio and video budgets so they can use video conferencing to reduce travel costs and communicate worldwide with other offices and clients, especially as more people work in a remote or hybrid environment. In addition, an increase in the use of digital signs should lead to higher demand for audio and video technicians.

Motion picture and sound recording industries will continue to need broadcast, lighting, and sound engineering technicians to improve the quality of shows and movies. However, advances in technology will allow fewer technicians to set up and operate broadcast, lighting, and sound systems, which is expected to reduce demand for these workers.  

Contacts for More Information

For more career information and links to employment resources, visit

National Association of Broadcasters

Audio Engineering Society

For more information about certification and links to employment information for broadcast technicians, visit

Society of Broadcast Engineers

For more information on certification and career information for audio and video technicians, visit

Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association

Similar Occupations

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of broadcast, sound, and video technicians.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2022
Computer support specialists Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists maintain computer networks and provide technical help to computer users.

See How to Become One $59,660
Electrical and electronic engineering technicians Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technologists and Technicians

Electrical and electronic engineering technologists and technicians help engineers design and develop equipment that is powered by electricity or electric current.

Associate's degree $66,390
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

See How to Become One $64,190
Film and video editors and camera operators Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate moving images that entertain or inform an audience.

Bachelor's degree $62,420
Radio and television announcers Announcers and DJs

Announcers present news and sports or may interview guests on media such as radio and television. Disc jockeys (DJs) act as masters of ceremonies (emcees) or play recorded music at weddings, parties, or clubs.

See How to Become One The annual wage is not available.
Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts News Analysts, Reporters, and Journalists

News analysts, reporters, and journalists keep the public updated about current events and noteworthy information.

Bachelor's degree $55,960
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers Telecommunications Technicians

Telecommunications technicians install, maintain, and repair radio, internet, and other telecommunications infrastructure.

See How to Become One $60,190

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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