Society of Broadcast Engineers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
SBE Logo

The Society of Broadcast Engineers or SBE is a professional organization for engineers in broadcast radio and television. The SBE also offers certification in various radio frequency and video and audio technology areas for its members.


The Society's roots can be traced back to 1961 when the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AlEE) passed a joint resolution calling for a "merger or consolidation... into one organization." The two groups finally joined forces in 1963, forming what is known today as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). However the new organization was perceived by some as not addressing the needs of broadcast engineers.

John H. Battison, P.E., CPBE, editor of Broadcast Engineering magazine at the time, was one of those people. He wrote an editorial, which appeared in his magazine in 1961, that pushed the idea of a new organization just for broadcast engineers. Battison's continued efforts sparked interest across the country. He published a membership application in the April 1963 issue of Broadcast Engineering and the response was encouraging. With help from family members, Battison mailed membership invitations to almost 5,000 radio and TV engineers in the United States and Canada.

On April 5, 1964, an organizational meeting was held during the National Association of Broadcasters convention at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. Approximately 100 interested broadcast engineers attended. The group formed an organization devoted to the needs and interests of broadcast engineers. This new organization was originally called the Institute of Broadcast Engineers (IBE). However; because some members feared there might be confusion in the similarity between the names of the IBE and the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), the name was changed to the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) at that very first meeting.


The SBE now has approximately 5,500 members that can be found in all 50 states, four U.S. territories and more than 25 other countries.

With 114 chapters located throughout the United States and one chapter located in Hong Kong, the SBE now commands a leadership position in the broadcast industry. Local SBE chapters provide services to members through meetings, technical seminars, certification examinations and fellowship. The SBE's first chapter was organized in Binghamton, N.Y., and it is still active today. Its newest chapter is in Hong Kong having been organized by local broadcast engineers in 2009.

The SBE Program of Certification, established in 1975, helps individuals improve their skills and gain recognition for those skills through a national testing program, which is the industry's most recognized evaluation service for broadcast engineers. The term engineer in the SBE does not include the necessity for an engineering degree for qualification at any certification level.

The SBE has been involved in developing a nationwide network of volunteer frequency coordinators. These volunteers help minimize interference to networks and other users of broadcast spectrum who need information about auxiliary broadcast frequencies.

The Society continually monitors regulatory issues and frequently files comments with the FCC and other federal and state agencies. In many cases, the SBE is the only organization representing the technical interests of broadcast engineers on regulatory issues.

Approximately 12 SBE chapters host regional conventions each year. Most of the events combine both technical seminars and an equipment exhibition. At these seminars, expert instructors provide training on a wide variety of technical and managerial topics. The conferences provide attendees with the opportunity to improve their skills as well as to examine the latest in technology. The SBE also offers a six-day intensive seminar on management for broadcast engineers.

The SBE has published a number of important books for use by broadcast engineers, technicians and operators. These include Introduction to DTV RF, SBE Guide to Writing Broadcast Station Operations Manuals, Radio Chief Operator's Handbook, SBE Certification Handbook for Radio Operators and Television Operator's Certification Handbook.

The national office of the Society of Broadcast Engineers is located in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. There, a full-time staff provides membership, chapter certification and frequency coordination services and support.


Operator Level Certifications

Broadcast Networking Certifications

Engineer Level Certifications

Specialist Certifications

Previous Certifications

These certifications are still in use but are no longer issued.

  • Certified Senior Broadcast Engineer (CSBE)
  • Certified Radio and Television Broadcast Engineer (CBRTE)
  • Certified Senior Radio and Television Broadcast Engineer (CSRTE)

External links[edit]

See also[edit]