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previous: giustd I've done video engineering work, a... -- 10/29/2003 3:21 PM View Thread

Re: Anyone here ever work in radio as a tech/engineer?

10/29/2003 9:29 PM
SteviePRe: Anyone here ever work in radio as a tech/engineer?
I worked in two TV stations about 25 years ago (yeesh!).  
Both had an associated radio station.  
 
Work was generally related to equipment maintenance.  
In radio (as in TV) transmitter maintenance is a big part of the day.  
You are concerned with transmission patterns, power and signal integrity.  
Other than that, you are tasked with related equipment maintenance and repair:  
Turntables (yup they still use ‘em)  
Cartridge/tape players and recorders  
CD players  
Audio boards  
Mics and cables (lots of cables)  
Might be some remote/portable transmitter work these days.  
I imagine there’s lots of computer equipment to maintain these days but I suppose they have dedicated guys for H/W and S/W like everywhere else.  
 
Sound recording and editing (production of commercials, special shows and the like) is generally done by a different job classification in my experience – not necessarily technically trained.  
 
In Canada there are a couple of levels in this kind of work primarily driven by the station pecking order.  
Lowest on the scale is the little independent network repeater station. This can lead to low paying, non-union work. This can mean an interesting variety of work but can also mean low pay and stupid hours, split shifts and calls in the middle of the night.  
Next level is the commercial network (such as CTV and GLOBAL in Canada). This work involves more specialization, higher pay but lots of union rules (and dues).  
Highest level (arguably) is the Government network (CBC in Canada). This leads to all the same pros and cons as the commercial network work but with better benefits.  
It’s all shift work. Some positions move to permanent shifts (day and night) for the most senior employees.  
 
Pay scales for Engineers and Technologists would map with any other industry.  
Large market, network, union stations employ mostly graduate Technicians and Technologists for entry level positions. Positions requiring experience would also demand Certification. Supervisor and Manager positions would be staffed by Technologists and Engineers. All technical staff would typically report to one Senior Engineer (P.Eng.) or Technologist (CET).  
 
In the small market, non-union world, most stations staff-up with graduate and uncertified Technicians. Everyone works for one or two senior dudes who may even have an ownership interest.  
 
Plan on getting 30K to 50K for grunt work – depending on seniority.  
More for supervisory and management work (Technologist), depending on seniority. I’d guess something like 25% more for an Engineer at the highest levels but those jobs would be scarce.  
A good rule of thumb - Networks make money, stations do not – follow the money if you want any of it.  
I think it would be roughly the same in the US, with some exceptions.  
Pay scales are probably wacky in LA and NY and not based on any logic known to man.  
Steve

 
Replies:
SpeedRacer Pay scales are probably wacky in... -- 10/30/2003 3:49 AM