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Broadcast transmitter operator

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Summary of occupation

Broadcasting technicians work with equipment used for the transmission and reception of television and radio broadcasts, and other related communication systems. They set up, install, maintain and repair broadcasting equipment, which may include analogue and digital coding devices, text services, or the technologies associated with audio and visual recording. Broadcasting technicians are involved in pre-recorded productions, such as the filming and recording of a television drama series, and also various live broadcasts, from sporting and musical events to news programs and forums.

ANZSCO description: Operates consoles to control radio or television broadcast transmitters.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Radio Broadcast Technician, Television Broadcast Technician, Wireless Communications Technician
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A broadcasting technician needs:

  • good vision and hearing
  • knowledge of maths and science
  • to be skilled with detailed operations
  • good concentration
  • the ability to work quickly and accurately
  • to be a good team player.
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Working conditions

These technicians work indoors in TV, radio, emergency service communications or recording studios, but also outdoors on location. When outdoors, broadcasting technicians may have to work in inclement weather, and at other times conditions might be crowded and cramped, or locations may be very isolated. They may also need to work away from their family or home for extended periods of time, for example if working on the production of a feature film in one of the State's many picturesque regional locations. Hours can also be highly irregular, with some broadcasts being produced late at night or very early in the morning.

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Salary details

On average, broadcast transmitter operators, classified under performing arts technicians, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a broadcast transmitter operator develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Broadcasting technicians need to keep up to date with advances in audio and visual technologies, such as the current trend seeing digital and satellite-based operations replacing traditional analogue systems. Specific equipment these workers might use include antennas, cables and wires, transistors, circuit boards, transformers, mixing desks, microphones and other recording devices, cameras and remote controls.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a broadcast transmitter operator, you usually have to complete a Certificate III in Broadcast Technology.

There are no courses in broadcast technology available in Western Australia. You can complete this qualification at registered training organisations in Queensland or New South Wales as part of an apprenticeship.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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