Telecommunication is a diverse field of engineering which is connected to electronics, civil, structural, and electrical engineering. Ultimately, telecom engineers are responsible for providing the method for customers to have telephone and high-speed data services. It helps people who are closely working in political and social fields, as well accounting and project management.
Telecom engineers use a variety of equipment and transport media available from a multitude of manufacturers to design the telecom network infrastructure. The most common media used by wired telecommunications companies today are copper wires, coaxial cable, and fiber optics. Telecommunications engineers use their technical expertise to also provide a range of services and engineering solutions revolving around wireless mode of communication and other information transfer, such as wireless telephony services, radio and satellite communications, internet and broadband technologies.
Your key tasks could include:
• 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
• vision mixing (editing programmes live as they are being transmitted or recorded)
• testing and servicing equipment
• finding and repairing technical faults as quickly as possible, with minimum loss of service.
The largest employers are the BBC and the terrestrial TV broadcasters (ITV, Channel 4, Five and S4C). You could also work for satellite, cable and digital broadcasters, independent radio stations, outside broadcast companies, or facilities houses that hire out broadcast equipment.
Jobs can be permanent or fixed-term contracts. Freelance work is also possible with experience.
You may find the following useful for vacancies and making contacts:
• BBC Careers
• BBC Academy
• ITV Careers
• Grapevine Jobs
• Christy Media Solutions
• The Knowledge
• Kays Production Guide
You would usually start in broadcast engineering through the new entrant training schemes that broadcasting companies occasionally run, such as the BBC's Trainee Technologist Scheme. For this, you would normally need a BTEC HNC, HND or degree in electrical, electronic or broadcast engineering.
Some companies may accept you with A levels or a BTEC National Diploma in science or design technology. If you don't have an engineering-related degree or HND, you will need to show that you have a strong interest in technology and an aptitude for the work.
Another option is to find work as a runner or assistant at a TV station, and later apply for a place on an in-house engineering training scheme. Contact Creative Skillset Careers for advice on schemes that may be running.
• Creative Skillset Careers
Competition for places on training schemes is strong, and you may increase your chances by getting practical experience first in using broadcast technology equipment. You could get this through:
• student film and TV productions
• community or hospital radio
• work experience placements with broadcasters.
If you don't start through a training scheme, you will need experience in maintaining and repairing electronic equipment, and you should be familiar with broadcast technology. It would be helpful to have NVQs or other qualifications in electronic or electrical engineering.
Training and development
You will usually spend between 18 months and two years on a broadcaster's training scheme, learning on the job and taking relevant short courses.
Whilst training, you might start as a tape operator or network operations assistant in a control room, and after gaining around five years' experience, progress to broadcast engineer.
Throughout your career you should keep up to date with new technology, for example digital and multimedia systems. Your employer may provide ongoing training. If you are working freelance, you may need to arrange this yourself.
Starting salaries for trainees can be around 3,00,000 INR a year.
With experience, this can rise to between 4,00,000 and 10,00,000 INR a year.