10/5/2010 4:53 AM
Brett Moss is gear & technology editor.
Where do broadcast engineers come from? Are they grown in test tubes, bred in the wilds of nature, hatched from thousands of eggs, stamped out of factories, harvested from pods in vast hydroponic gardens, arising from cast dragons’ teeth, conjured out of thin air? Many possibilities to be considered.
This question has come to be of concern to the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association. The WBA is worried that broadcast engineers are becoming candidates for the Endangered Species List.
To bolster its educational efforts and to produce more qualified broadcast engineers the WBA is now surveying broadcast engineers and asking how they became engineers and what attracted them to the field.
Vice President Linda Baun stated: “The WBA Board of Directors is very concerned about the shortage of future engineers … Recognizing that this is a very ‘real’ need, the WBA put some incentives into motion with the WBA Engineering Fellowship and the WBA Engineering Internship. Both of these are administered by the Foundation but funded through the WBA.”
Although these are good first steps, she continued, “We know that it is not enough to leave it at that and say the job is done. Consequently we are looking for assistance in helping us develop a plan to attract more broadcast engineers to our industry.”
Take the survey here (PDF)
. (We asked Baun if engineers from other states may submit. She gave an enthusiastic yes: “I would love to be inundated with responses.”
The survey introduction includes the statement that the association “
is well aware of the difficulties that one broadcasting group is having trying to fill many engineering positions that are currently available in various parts of the country.”
2 comment(s) so far...
By Dale Lamm on
10/10/2010 4:25 PM
The Genesis of the Engineer
Yes, there is strong competition for talent everywhere. Speaking as someone employed a total of 15 years in broadcast engineering and 25 in other engineering, I will say that it was a lot easier on the non-broadcast side. The pay and benefits were better by far, the hours were more reasonable, and being on call was almost unheard of. But... some people are in broadcasting for many other reasons. I enjoy the variability and newness of each day. There are no barriers if you want to work hard. A PhD is not necessary. You are measured by your output and contributions. You get to work with talented people who share your feelings. Perhaps you can compare being a broadcast engineer to being a teacher in a poor school district. You're not in it for the money, but something bigger. Do you really want to attract people who are in it for the money? Look at how the military spun it... "It's not just a job... It's an adventure!"
By Ernie Swanson on
10/11/2010 8:09 AM
The Genesis of the Engineer
I bring my dog frequently to transmitter sites. Her name is Rosie, short for Gypsy Rose Lee. She is half Chocolate Lab and half Australian Shepperd. She looks like a Black Lab and is the most enjoyable friend a person could have.
I remember when George Nicholas's dog, Murphy, was ill. George was a very troubled individual. He knew the end was near. Murphy could barely walk. I was sorry to see Murphy go. Even with this George always asks about how Rosie is.