The jobs mentioned below are considered entry-level in the field of media and Communications Jobs and do not require a formal post-secondary degree, but they do often require some kind of hands-on experience and on-the-job training. Depending on your workplace or the state you work in, some occupations can require certifications or licenses. Both of these jobs include the use of equipment, most often computers and software, as well as the handling of equipment unique to the profession and the clients they represent.
Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians
Median Pay: $42,650
Projected Growth: 8%
Working typically out of radio, television, movie, and recording studios, broadcast and sound engineering technicians are responsible for setting up, operating, adjusting, maintaining, and taking down the audio, video, lighting, and broadcast equipment. Their duties depend on their specific area of focus, or the location at which they work. Those working at smaller radio and television stations may do many jobs, whereas those at larger stations usually are given specialized work. They frequently work with computers and various software to record speech, music, and other sounds, synchronize sounds and dialogue with action, and convert video and audio to digital formats for easier editing.
Audio and video equipment technicians, who are in charge of setting up and running audio and video equipment, are one form of broadcast and sound engineering technician. Mics, speakers, projectors, video cameras, video displays, and recording devices are all used in gatherings, conventions, news conferences, sporting events, and concerts.
Broadcast technicians or engineers operate and maintain equipment that controls the signal power, visibility, and color and sound ranges for radio and television broadcasts. Sound engineers, audio engineers, and sound mixers work in recording studios, sporting arenas, and theatre, film, and video productions. They use computers and equipment to record, sync, blend, or replicate music, voices, or sound effects.
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Median Pay: $55,120
Degree-Needed: Postsecondary Nondegree Award
Projected Growth: 3%
Court reporters work in courts and legislatures, and they attend trials, depositions, disciplinary hearings, and other legal actions to produce word-for-word transcriptions. They’re an important part of legal proceedings because precise records of what was said, as well as the identification of speakers, movements, and acts, are necessary. They also index and archive objects that are used in court. All judges, counsels, and parties concerned obtain copies of their transcripts and recordings for future reference.
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Stenography machines, video, and audio recording systems, and covered microphones are among the specialized equipment used by court reporters. A judge may order them to read or repeat all or part of the proceedings, and they may also ask speakers to explain inaudible or ambiguous comments or testimony. Some court reporters work outside of the courthouse, providing real-time translation for deaf and hard-of-hearing people in business meetings, schools, and public events.
They’re known as communication access real-time translation (CART) providers, and they can work with clients in person or remotely over the internet or a phone connection. There are also broadcast captions, which include closed captions for television shows in real time or during postproduction.
Sound Engineering Technicians
Median Pay: $55,810
Degree-Needed: High School Diploma
Projected Growth: 5% to 9%
Audio engineers, also known as audio or television engineers, broadcast technicians, and studio engineers, work in recording studios, sporting arenas, and theatre, film, and video productions. They use machines and devices to record music, voices, and sound effects, as well as to synchronize, blend, and replicate captured sounds. Preparation and equipment usage are dictated by the project and the desired sound for the final product, but all sound engineering technicians must be comfortable working with computers and electronics, as well as the different editing tools used for sound production, editing, and mixing.
A sense of teamwork is one of the most important aspects of this line of work, as technicians often collaborate with producers, performers, and those involved to ensure that the project’s desired sound is achieved and captured. Technicians must also plan for recording sessions by choosing and setting up microphones and other recording equipment, as well as using control consoles to monitor volume and sound quality. They also work well into the mixing and post production stages, separating and integrating instruments, voices, and other sounds.
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Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers
Median Pay: $53,380
Degree-Needed: Postsecondary Nondegree Award
Projected Growth: -8%
Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, also known as telecom technicians, set up and maintain devices or equipment that hold communication signals, such as internet routers and telephone lines. They can install and set up equipment in private homes, offices, and construction sites, as well as inspect, service, rearrange, replace, repair, and test it if it is defective, damaged, or malfunctioning. They often change or calibrate equipment to enhance its performance, so familiarity with the manufacturer’s instructions or manuals is essential.
Technicians use a range of instruments to inspect equipment and diagnose any issues or problems, including hand tools such as screwdrivers and pliers to disassemble equipment and spectrum analyzers and polarity probes to identify signal distortions. They’re also in charge of showing and explaining how to use equipment to clients, as well as keeping track of hours worked, parts used, and costs incurred while on the job.
Central office technicians, for example, work around switching hubs that send, process and amplify data from mobile, Internet, and cable connections. There are also headend technicians who work at cable and television companies’ distribution centers, as well as home installers and repairers who install and fix equipment in consumers’ homes and businesses.
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