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Television Audio/Video Operator

Audio and video operators set up, prepare and operate television audio and video broadcasting equipment.

  • Avg. Salary $60,763.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.26
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Audio Recording Engineer, Character Generator Operator, Electronic Video Graphics Operator, Mix Engineer, Production Switcher, Sound Technician, Switcher, Video Switcher, Videotape Operator, Videotape Post-Production Editor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Audio and Video Recording Technicians (5225) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Audio and Video Recording Technicians (F125) 
  • 2011 NOC: Audio and video recording technicians (5225) 
  • 2016 NOC: Audio and video recording technicians (5225) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Television Audio/Video Operator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Audio and Video Recording Technicians

Interest in controlling audio consoles or computers, tape machines, microphones and sound processing equipment to mix, combine and edit music and sound at concerts and live events and to operate electronic equipment to generate program titles, credits, subtitles, graphic backgrounds or animation for television programs


Interest in compiling information to play back edited sound tracks in synchronization with motion picture films


Interest in mixing, combining and editing music and sound at concerts and live events, and synchronizing edited dialogue, music and sound effect tracks from different sources

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 05, 2021

Audio operators set up, prepare, operate and adjust audio recording, editing and reproducing equipment at television stations and remote broadcast locations. In general, they work at audio consoles or with computers to:

  • Mix sound inputs or feeds
  • Regulate the volume and technical quality of sound during the production of pre-recorded and live television broadcasts
  • Edit audio material before and after productions

During a production or broadcast, audio operators bring in required sound elements at pre-determined times. Sometimes, they must co-ordinate a number of audio feeds with a television picture. Feeds may include pre-recorded material, records, compact discs (CDs), digital audio devices and videotapes as well as inputs from live microphones, satellites or microwave trucks.

Videotape operators prepare and operate videotape and non-linear computer equipment and work with a variety of audio and video formats at television stations and remote broadcast locations. In general, they:

  • Set up and load videotapes as required for broadcast each day
  • Import station programming, commercials and promotional materials into non-linear playback servers
  • Prepare and operate videotape and non-linear playback equipment during the production of live and pre-recorded programming
  • Add video or sound as required
  • Monitor and record program, commercial, news and promotional feeds
  • Ensure that videotapes are available for scheduled recording or production

During production, videotape operators monitor the sound and picture being recorded and inform the director about malfunctions that might affect the quality of the recorded program. During news productions, they play back all video and sound elements required in the program.

Master control operators monitor, record and play back all signals and programs entering and leaving a station. With the introduction of computerized editing and recording equipment, videotape and master controls often are combined.

Switchers work at an electronic console in a control room where they select video sources specified by the director during television videotaping sessions and live broadcasts. Switchers integrate program components from sources such as live cameras, videotape, video servers, and special effects and graphic equipment. In general, switchers:

  • Program computerized switcher functions
  • Superimpose on-screen graphics, such as titles and credits, that are fed from electronic video graphics equipment
  • Mix or dissolve between sources and insert special effects used to make a transition from one video source to another
  • Program digital video effects units

At some television stations, switchers also may direct television productions.

Video editors use non-linear editing systems to blend video recordings together and add video effects, music and audio effects. In general, they:

  • Set up and operate automated videotape edit controllers and electronic titling units
  • Operate computer editing systems, video switching equipment and digital video effects units
  • Assemble raw footage according to scripts or the instructions of a director or producer
  • Program digital graphic effects
  • Incorporate audio sound with footage

Graphics operators use computer software to generate opening titles, subtitles and closing credits and may design graphic backgrounds and animations as well. In general, they:

  • Design lettering and logos
  • Create artwork for news, weather and sports
  • Capture video pictures and prepare graphic stills
  • Create and develop graphic art, including animation or special effects

Advancements in graphics technology have made it possible for electronic video graphic operators to produce increasingly sophisticated graphics including 3-dimensional animation.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Depending on their responsibilities, audio and video equipment operators may work entirely at a station or at various remote locations. Most operators work rotating shifts that include afternoons, evenings, weekends and holidays. Coping with tight schedules and deadlines can be stressful.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Audio and video equipment operators need:

  • Motor co-ordination
  • Creativity and artistic ability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills for working with others in a team environment
  • The ability to remain alert while performing routine, repetitive tasks

They should enjoy using electronic equipment to perform precision tasks and troubleshooting problems.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Audio and video equipment operators need related post-secondary education.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 05, 2021

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Audio and video equipment operators work for:

  • Television networks, specialty channels and local broadcast stations
  • Film, video and concert production companies
  • Cable television public-access programming channels
  • Sound recording companies
  • Audio and video production and editing companies
  • Major mobile sports productions

Competition is keen in the broadcasting field so new graduates often start at small stations and work in a number of different areas. An interest in music and related experience are definite assets.

Freelancing has become the trend in broadcasting. Increasingly, freelancers are producing programming for new channels as well as existing ones. Contract employment also can be found producing in-house programs such as corporate videos (for example, for safety and technical training, recruiting, sales or marketing). To be successful, freelancers must be talented but also able to establish a network of contacts and make themselves available when needed. A significant investment in equipment may be required to compete and maintain successful businesses.

Experienced audio and video operators may move into more specialized positions. For example, video operators may become video editors. Operators also may advance to technical supervisory positions and, if they have the necessary ability and experience, eventually may become directors or producers.

Television audio and video operators are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5225: Audio and video recording technicians. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5225: Audio and video recording technicians occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Salaries for audio and video operators vary depending on the size of the operation.

Audio and video recording technicians

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $33.00 $23.00 $20.19
Overall $15.00 $43.00 $30.26 $28.85
Top $18.00 $52.00 $35.81 $36.06

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 05, 2021

Cultural Human Resources Council website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 05, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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