our everyday life

The Average Salary of Master Control Operator Positions

by Brenda Scottsdale

If you're looking for an entry-level position that will introduce you to the field of telecommunications, consider a job as a master control operator. Master control operators work in the control centers of television and radio stations, loading and playing recorded television and radio programs and commercials. They adjust knobs in the master control center, such as color and video levels, to the correct settings and troubleshoot any equipment problems. They are responsible for switching between programs and playing prerecorded announcements, such as the station technical difficulty message or emergency broadcast recordings. Most master control operators have technical school training and are mechanically inclined.

Average Salary

The average salary of master control operators is $48,067, according to Salary Expert, an Internet source of national salary information. Salary depends on geographical area, with average salaries in 10 top cities as follows: New York, $61,737; Berkeley, Calif., $60,632; Washington, D.C., $59,957; Baltimore, $52,275; Philadelphia, $50,682; Houston, $48,135; Miami, $48,006; Augusta, Maine, $40,769; Fargo, N.D., $39,465 and Pierre, S.D., $34,756.

Entry-Level Salaries

Across the nation, salaries also differ for those new to the field. When looking at ten randomly selected cities, earnings were as follows: Pierre, S.D., $26,650; Fargo, N.D., $30,261; Augusta, Maine, $31,326; Miami, $36,810; Houston, $36,909; Philadelphia, $38,862; Baltimore, $40,084; Washington, D.C., $45,974; Berkeley, Calf., $46,492 and New York, $47,339.

Top Earners

Master control operators in the 90th percentile of all earners are generally seasoned professionals who have several years in the field. In New York, the average salary for these top earners is $77,639, followed by Berkeley, Calf., $76,250; Washington, D.C., $75,400; Baltimore, $65,740; Philadelphia, $63,737; Houston, $60,534; Miami, $60,372; Augusta, Maine, $51,270; Fargo, S.D., $49,630 and Pierre, S.D., $43,709.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes master control operators in the category of broadcast and sound engineers. As of May 2012, projected job outlook for this occupational category through 2020 was 13 percent for audio and video technicians, 10 percent for broadcast and sound engineering technicians, 9 percent for broadcast technicians and 1 percent for sound technicians. These projections compare to 14 percent for all other occupations. Competition will be strong; master control operators up to date on the latest technology have the best chance of securing employment.

About the Author

Brenda Scottsdale is a licensed psychologist, a six sigma master black belt and a certified aerobics instructor. She has been writing professionally for more than 15 years in scientific journals, including the "Journal of Criminal Justice and Behavior" and various websites.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images