With National Apprenticeship Week upon us, we wanted to shed some light on what it’s like to be a CityFibre apprentice....
- Option to work freelance or, with experience, move into management
- Outside broadcasts may require you to work in all weather conditions and locations
- Requires practical, technical, IT, and team skills
As a broadcast engineer, you'll work with hardware and broadcast systems that are used across television, radio and new media. It's your job to make sure that programmes are broadcast on time and to the highest quality. As well as operating and maintaining the systems, you'll carry out updates and repairs.
You'll work with a range of people including producers, studio managers, presenters and other technical staff.
- Setting up studio equipment for transmission and editing
- Designing and setting up audio and video circuits
- Installing multimedia hardware, software and other digital broadcast technology systems
- Setting up and operating links between studios and OB units
- Editing programmes live as they're being transmitted or recorded
- Testing and servicing equipment
- Finding and repairing technical faults
As a broadcast engineer, you could work at a tv studio, at a film studio or in a workshop.
You'll work as part of a team that includes producers, studio managers and presenters. Shift work is common, including weekends and nights. You may need to work extra hours at short notice. You'll work in recording studios, studio galleries, control rooms or maintenance workshops.
You might work in all weather conditions and locations when you're working on OBs. You might work away from home and overseas.
This job would suit someone with a knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software and with the knowledge of media production and communication.
To become a broadcast engineer, you'll usually need to start on an in-house engineering training scheme. Schemes include the BBC's engineering trainee scheme and engineering sponsored degree apprenticeship. You can apply for the BBC Broadcast Engineering Graduate Scheme, if you have an honours degree (at least an upper class second or equivalent) in broadcast engineering, broadcast technology, electronics, physics or computer science.
You can get started by doing a degree apprenticeship as a broadcast and media systems engineer. This apprenticeship is a recognised qualification for Professional Registration with the Engineering Council at either ICT Technician (ICTTech) or Engineering Technician (EngTech) level. You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English and maths and science or 2 A levels including maths or science to apply. You may also be able to do a T Level in Media, Broadcast and Production.
You could also work your way into this role by starting in a job with less responsibility like a runner or an assistant at a TV station, and later apply for a place on an in-house engineering training scheme.
You could have an advantage if you have paid or unpaid experience in using broadcast technology equipment from a placement with a broadcaster, or by working on student film or TV productions, or on community or hospital radio.
If you don't start through a training scheme, you'll usually need experience in maintaining and repairing electronic equipment to be familiar with broadcast technology, or a work-related qualification in electronic or electrical engineering.
With experience, you could specialise in working with specific types of equipment. You could work for terrestrial, digital, cable or satellite broadcasters. Some broadcast engineers also work up into management roles.
Many engineers work freelance so networking and keeping up to date with changes in the industry is really important to win contracts.