Since the beginning of commercial broadcasting, individuals have entered the field of broadcast engineering using various paths. Some learned at the knee of an experienced radio or television engineer. Others have taken a more formal route, earning an associate degree from a trade school or junior college, or a bachelors degree from a college or university. The latter is more typical today because of the complexity of the technology involved.
Suggested courses of study include electronics, electrical engineering, computer science and computer programming. Though many schools offer courses or degrees in these subjects, a number of schools offer degrees that are specifically designed to prepare people to work in technical positions at broadcast stations and other electronic media. The SBE has certified a select number of these schools, reviewing their curriculum periodically to ensure that they are providing a program which teaches current methods using the latest technology. For more information about these schools, visit the SBE Certified Schools page.
What is the Society of Broadcast Engineers?
The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) is the only organization devoted to the advancement of all levels and types of broadcast engineering. With more than 5,000 members and more than 100 local chapters, SBE provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of information to help you keep pace with our rapidly changing industry. SBE amplifies the voices of broadcast engineers by validating your skills with professional certification, by offering educational opportunities to maintain and expand those skills and by speaking out on technical regulatory issues that affect how you work.
All this adds up to keeping you at the top of your field, enhancing your value to your employer, or if you are self-employed, preparing you to meet the changing needs of your clients.
SBE, a non-profit professional organization formed in 1964, is committed to serving broadcast engineers no matter what level. From the studio operator to the maintenance engineer and the chief engineer to the vice president of engineering, SBE members come from commercial and non-commercial radio and television stations, cable, satellite and mobile facilities. A growing segment of members are engaging the industry on their own as consultants and contractors.
Field and sales engineers and engineers from recording studios, schools, colleges, production houses, corporate audio-visual departments, the military and other facilities are also members of SBE.
There are many local SBE chapters around the country where you can meet broadcast engineers and learn about the field. Regular chapter meetings and special events offer you a chance to expand your technical knowledge through technical presentations, tours and the sharing of practical tips and tricks. Local chapters are also a place where colleagues can become lifelong friends.
How do I join the SBE?
Applications for Youth, Student and Regular membership are available at the SBE website.