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I'm a degreed electrical engineer with an obvious interest in all things A/V. That being said, I've been working in the electric power industry for nearly 10 years and thought it would be nice to find my career passion in the broadcast engineering world.


So far, I've found it difficult to break into this area, having been involved in different work to this point. Anyone have ideas on how to break into this line of work?


I'm not necessarily looking to work for the biggies, I'd be content working in my local area in this field. I've just had little success in even getting a reply from local chief engineers on how to begin.


Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

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First off you need to be very strong in either RF or IT. Entry level engineering jobs of past years are not there now. With the economy in the condition it is in, stations aren't looking to hire people with no or weak experience in those fields. Staffs are being cut all the time and engineering is no different. Many of the smaller stations only have one or two engineers and they do all the engineering work. The large group/small station owners will have regional engineers that visit X number of stations per week. Other stations will only have contract engineers who only come in when called by the station. The industry is moving HEAVILY into IT with the TV station becoming one large computer network where everything from traffic to HD pictures are sent via IP within the plant.


You might want to look at trying for an entry level master control baby sitting job and then begin to showcase your talents and get "promoted" to an engineer. In this economy your own creativity to find a way to be hired may be more important than a resume.


Good luck.
 

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As an ex-broadcast engineer (got out of the biz 2.5 years ago) I agree with foxeng's comments 100%. I was more IT/automation than RF, and things were moving more and more toward IT every day. Just to get your foot in the door I would definitely recommend master control, that's what I did back in the day and it worked out well for me. The pay sucks but at least you'll have a chance to get noticed that way.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmessin /forum/post/18192223


I'm a degreed electrical engineer with an obvious interest in all things A/V. That being said, I've been working in the electric power industry for nearly 10 years and thought it would be nice to find my career passion in the broadcast engineering world.


So far, I've found it difficult to break into this area, having been involved in different work to this point. Anyone have ideas on how to break into this line of work?

I agree to start in Master Control. Consider part time fill-in slots. Once you're in the door, ask questions and spend extra time learning. Next, pick up audio operation and then plan on learning how to switch the live newscast as a combo director/TD.
 

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Over this side of the pond there are a couple of universities that have a good reputation for broadcast degrees, and broadcast engineering (from encoding and transmission to studio and outside broadcast operations and engineering) is a specialism that they offer. Most of the recent broadcast engineers I've come across starting out in this business have been through one of the two main universities offering this specialism.


Good quality broadcast engineers who properly understand camera control (i.e. vision operation - which is an engineering role in the UK), analogue and SDI/HD-SDI video handling, editing support (and in some cases editing), the IT issues involved with file-based video handling, systems engineering (i.e. designing and supporting and fault-finding complex truck and studio / station set-ups), and hardware support (i.e. who can fix things when they break) are still in demand - particularly as many who were educated and worked in the "golden age" of TV engineering (the 60s/70s/80s) are retiring, and in some cases not really embracing the IT side.


Another route that can be taken - though increasingly difficult - is via broadcast equipment manufacturers. I came in to the industry that way (started as an engineer with a manufacturer, then moved to a broadcaster)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tower Guy /forum/post/18200597


I agree to start in Master Control. Consider part time fill-in slots. Once you're in the door, ask questions and spend extra time learning. Next, pick up audio operation and then plan on learning how to switch the live newscast as a combo director/TD.

Don't waste your time with the Combo director/ Technical Director position unless you want to go into live sports switching. Freelancers do pretty well, but stations are out to automate the newscast production, and this too has become an IT function. I anticipate that the old days operation of the Director/TD going away in 1-2 years. (Even in the larger markets.)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizzou! /forum/post/18202688


I anticipate that the old days operation of the Director/TD going away in 1-2 years. (Even in the larger markets.)

I know about 10 combo TDs running automation. Nine of them were TDs. The 10th was a lawyer.


Once you can run the system, it's a natural to install, configure, and troubleshoot the equipment.
 
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