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For the Record: Manpower Problems - Today and Tomorrow
June 1952 Radio & Television News Article

June 1952 Radio & Television News
June 1952 Radio & Television News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Oliver Read started as the editor of Radio & Television News magazine, and then stayed with it during its transformation in 1954 to Popular Electronics. He was an electronics industry veteran and witnessed many changes to manufacturing and service sectors through times of war and times of peace. The post Korean War era saw a huge increase in demand for both televisions and radios, and accompanying it was a severe shortage of qualified service technicians. Compounding the issue was the FCC's removal of the freeze on construction of new broadcasting stations, which was peppering the landscape with towers and broadening reception areas. Just about anyone could handle the sales end of the business, but keeping customers happy took people willing to suffer the initial and constant need to become familiar with a multitude of new and old models, and that were also able to cope with often testy clients. Salesmen just blamed everything on the service sector, of course.

For the Record: Manpower Problems - Today and Tomorrow

Oliver Read, Meet Popular Electronics, October 1954 - RF Cafe

Your Editor, Oliver Read

By The Editor (Oliver Read)

The urgent need for technicians in all segments of our vast electronics industry becomes greater with each passing day. The lifting of the TV freeze will place an added burden on a greatly overtaxed service industry. While the initial manpower demands - created by u.h.f. television - will be for design and construction personnel, nevertheless it won't be long until operating personnel will be in great demand for some 2000 new stations.

And, when we consider the servicing requirements for millions of sets in future TV areas, we visualize the great opportunity that exists TODAY for thousands of men who are technically-minded to train themselves NOW for a future in television.

We've been told by many service contractors that the majority of today's top-flight TV service technicians have taken an accredited course in television theory and practice at one of our many established institutes.

Contrary to general opinion is the fact that a qualified TV service technician need not possess a radio background or experience. Television servicing requires a specialized training in problems not encountered in radio servicing. The reverse is largely true in radio diagnosis.

It took several years to develop efficient service establishments and there remains plenty of room for improvement. The newcomer, as a TV technician or dealer, has the advantage and opportunity to profit by the mistakes that have plagued our industry for many months.

The end-of-freeze is, in fact, the beginning of a slow thaw. New television stations will be the exception rather than the rule for a year or more. Never again, perhaps, will the time be more ripe to lay the foundation for a career in television servicing, engineering, and industrial TV.

Television receivers for v.h.f. continue to be produced in large quantities and will present an additional burden on the service industry in years to come. Here are some recent statistics from RTMA.

A total of 178,571 television sets were produced in 1947. Of this total most were table models representing over 65% of production. Phonograph combinations comprised more than 14% and the remainder were TV consoles. Set production in 1948 increased by nearly 6 times to a total of 975,000 units. Table models (66.31%) continued to lead production followed by consoles (18.38%) and phono combinations (15.31%).

During 1949 consoles became a popular choice. Of a total production of 3,000,000 sets, consoles represented nearly one third of the total output. Table models continued to lead with 60% and phono combinations dropped to 7.2%.

Total 1950 production was 7,463,800 television sets. Of these the production of consoles increased to 3,820,060 or more than 51% of the total output. Table models dropped to about 40% and phono combinations to less than 10% of total 1950 production.

Over 5 million sets were produced last year. The 1951 figures show a slight percentage increase in table models (42.27%) as compared to a steady 51.53% for consoles and a drop for the combinations to 6.20%.

Radio set production figures, as a comparison, reveal a total set output (including home, auto, and portable receivers) in 1947 of 20,000,000 units. Production dropped to 16,500,000 during 1948. Total sets produced in 1949 amounted to but 11,400,000 units - a sizable drop resulting from the impact of TV and other factors.

The year 1950 was a good one for most set makers. More than 14% million radio sets were produced.

The production of radio receivers continues at sizable figures in spite of the impact of television. Over twelve and a half million radios were produced last year. Since 1946 more than 75 million sets have been added to existing units. All of them, in time, will require maintenance. In radio - as in television - there aren't nearly enough technicians available or in training to do a nationwide maintenance job. There's plenty of room for more - thousands more!

Our recommendations to those looking to a future in television servicing as a profession are:

1. If possible visit an existing TV area and study the operations of well-established service operators.

2. Plan now to take a course in television theory and practice at one of the many excellent technical schools advertised in this publication.

3. If it is impossible to take a resident course - by all means study at home. Many complete and satisfactory "home-study" television courses are available.

4. Study in earnest. Keep informed on all TV developments and techniques through this magazine and other technical journals.

5. Take an active interest in local community affairs while at home. Be seen with your future customers.

By all means, do these things NOW!

... O.R.

 

 

Posted October 6, 2021

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