Video engineers operate the equipment used in television programming and other types of recorded events. Sometimes they manage the video and audio equipment with a team, controlling factors such as time settings, volume, feedback and in-camera editing. The work they do can be live and on-site or in a sophisticated broadcasting studio.
Education and Background
A video engineer who wants to work in film and television or, generally, for a large organization usually requires a bachelor's degree in film technology, broadcast engineering or a related discipline. The complicated multi-camera shots and live-editing seen in most film and television requires advanced skills and training. Some positions require video engineers to be certified in the field or to be part of the Radio & Television Broadcast Engineers Union.
Video engineers need advanced knowledge of the current, major camera and audio equipment as well as tools such as soundboards and light reflectors. Some common skills include in-depth knowledge of high-definition and high-resolution video equipment and software, image manipulation software, and real-time camera switching. Being able to communicate well is also key, as you are often part of a team making a production work.
The day-to-day work of these engineers can be highly active and involve a lot of travel, depending on the employer. On set they are problem-solvers, making quick decisions to avoid disruptions in programming. Given the high value of time on sets and the number of employees at hand, a professional video engineer who can work quickly and efficiently is highly important. Everyday work includes not only operating equipment but also maintaining it. This side of things includes installing upgrades, having equipment repaired, purchasing accessories and making recommendations for newer versions.
The salary for a video engineer can range, depending on the size of the company one works for and the job responsibilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 a broadcast engineer made an average annual salary of $39,870 and the field is expected to grow 10 percent between 2010 and 2020. This rate of growth is slightly lower than the 14 percent average for most industries over the same period. Video engineers working specifically with audio and video equipment have slightly higher growth expectations at 13 percent.