Television Systems Engineer

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Television Systems Engineer


Imagine life without television! It is possible to imagine, but why would we want to do that? Many people would be completely lost without it. Television is an escape for many viewers; a time to laugh, cry, criticize, learn and tune in to see characters on shows that have become part of their lives. It is easy to take the luxury of a TV set for granted yet these days most people are just looking for bigger, flatter and more expensive television sets. Thank heavens for television systems engineers and their amazing creations. Television systems engineers study, design, research, test and build televisions and other electrical and electronic equipment. Television system engineers both improve already existing televisions and create new ones. The duties and responsibilities of television systems engineers often overlap with the electronics and electrical engineering field.

Television systems engineers usually start out as general electrical or electronic engineers. With experience, they branch out and specialize in this particular area. Many television systems engineers started out studying electomagnetics. Experts say that electromagnetics is possibly the oldest branch of engineering because it involves antennas. Once upon a time, television sets worked via the antenna on the roof of the house. Usually, the higher the antenna, the better and the clearer the night, the better the reception and picture quality.

Television systems engineers meet with manufacturers, lawyers, scientists and clients and constantly check that design plans are safe and will withstand a number of conditional variables. Safety is one of the most important issues that they must contend with because television sets sit in people's living rooms. They create engineering plans on computers that test and predict possible errors and problems with a mechanism and in this, they generate workable solutions. Although most work takes place on the computer, most television systems engineers travel to factories or plants to see their work in progress.

Television systems engineers use traditional and high-tech tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) systems to create realistic geometric models of objects which can simulate and analyze the effects and potential problems of designs. CAD models are eliminating the need for hand drawn models. Engineers research and evaluate the most cost-effective solutions to problems while still maintaining recognized standards. They are required to constantly update their skills and knowledge in order to keep up with technological advancements in this quickly changing field.
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  Interests and Skills  
Television systems engineers should have a natural curiosity and affinity for mechanics, mathematics and electronics. They should also love television, since the majority of their work deals with TVs. Since imprecise calculations could cause major disasters, recalls and expensive mistakes, they must be 100 percent accurate in their calculations. Their jobs are extremely technical therefore they should be organized and methodical in their working habits. They must be good problem solvers and be able to come up with innovative and creative solutions to potential problems and design work.

They must also have strong communication skills. Television systems engineers constantly deal with people from both sides of the professional spectrum therefore they must be able to communicate ideas and give orders in a clear, concise fashion.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Conduct research into the feasibility, design, operation and performance of television systems, VCRs and other components
  • Prepare material cost and timing estimates, reports and design specifications for electrical and electronic television systems
  • Design electrical and electronic television systems, circuits, components and equipment
  • Supervise and inspect the installation, modification, testing and operation of television systems and equipment
  • Investigate electrical or electronic failures and troubleshoot existing television systems
  • Prepare contract documents and evaluate tenders for construction or maintenance
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, programmers, analysts and other engineers.
  • Television systems engineers generally work in an office environment on computers, but may sometimes travel to manufacturing facilities to see their creations in the flesh. They must do a considerable amount of reading and research to keep up-to-date with new technological developments. Overtime may be required to meet design deadlines, which is commonplace. In some circumstances, television systems engineers may be exposed to chemical gases, or work in severe climate conditions.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Television systems engineers are both private and public sector workers. They are usually employed by government agencies, electrical utilities companies, construction companies, (tele)communications companies, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, consulting firms and by a wide range of manufacturing, processing and transportation industries.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Since television systems engineers have such extensive training and knowledge in electrical products, advancement potentials range from computer applications and microelectronics to the design of extra-high-voltage facilities. They would also be great marketing representatives or sales people for these types of products (who better to sell a product than its designer?). Those with experience may become senior managers or supervisors of junior engineers. Some combine their engineering degrees with other graduate degrees such as business, law or medicine and move towards that speciality area. Finally there are many jobs in high-tech companies looking for television systems engineers.

  Educational Paths  
While still in high school, if this is the career path you are interested in taking, make sure you take courses in mathematics and physics. Most university programs will require these subject areas as prerequisites.

Television engineers require a bachelor's degree in electrical or electronics engineering or in a related engineering field. Then, they must also become registered as a professional engineer (PEng) within an association of professional engineers to secure employment and practice in their field. Some engineers also get master's degrees in their specific area, or in related fields such as business (MBA).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002,

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