Career Information Hotline

Toll Free 1-800-661-3753

Edmonton 780-422-4266

Guest Account Sign In Sign Up

Television Audio/Video Operator

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

  • Avg. Salary $53,815.00
  • Avg. Wage $29.29
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

46%
46%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Television Audio/Video Operator is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Audio and Video Recording Technicians
NOC code: 5225
OBJECTIVE

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

METHODICAL

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

INNOVATIVE

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

Duties
Updated Oct 21, 2014

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, 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<!CR>
  • 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 playback all video and sound elements required in the program.

Master control operators monitor, record and playback 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 three-dimensional animation.

Working Conditions
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Depending on their responsibilities, audio and video equipment operators may work entirely at a station or at various remote locations as well. 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 Oct 21, 2014

Audio and video equipment operators need the following characteristics:

  • good motor co-ordination
  • the ability to remain alert while performing routine, repetitive tasks
  • creativity and artistic ability
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills for working with others in a team environment.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Oct 21, 2014

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.

APRA The Academy of Production & Recording Arts

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.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Audio and video equipment operators work for:

  • television networks, speciality 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 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation..

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Oct 21, 2014

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

Television audio and video operators working full time at a television station earn from $34,200 to $60,600 a year. The average salary is $46,400 a year (2009 estimate).

 

Audio and video recording technicians
NOC code: 5225

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
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.23 $35.06 $23.53 $23.08
Overall $22.21 $42.82 $29.29 $30.77
Top $28.85 $46.04 $33.57 $34.74

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.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

46%
46%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

N/A

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

7%
7%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Media, Design and Communication Arts
    • Communication Technology
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 21, 2014

Cultural Human Resources Council website: www.culturalhrc.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Jun 01, 2009. 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.

Was this page useful?
Top