Audio Video (AV) Technician: Job Description and Requirements

Audio video technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance, setup, takedown and sometimes operation of electronic equipment. Specific job duties and requirements vary depending on employer and job title, but normally familiarity with technology and equipment is more important than formal education for AV technicians.

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Job Description for an Audio Video Technician

Audio video technicians are responsible for setting up and operating audio and video systems, such as radio equipment, sound and video broadcast equipment and recording devices. They may install and configure specific systems for a manufacturing or sales company, install and maintain a wider variety of sound systems in an employer's facility, or set up and take down equipment in the field for concerts, weddings, speeches or other events.

Audio video technicians' job duties may include connecting wires and cables and setting up and packing away sound boards, mixers, speakers, projectors, video screens and spotlights. After setup, audio video technicians may also be responsible for running the machines they have set up. AV technicians may be responsible for the permanent installation of items such as smart boards, large projectors, video feeds or computer networking systems.

Regarding the job outlook for audio and visual equipment technicians, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a 13% rise in employment, while broadcast technicians were expected to see a 9% increase in jobs. In 2012, the BLS reported that audio and visual equipment technicians earned a median income of $41,850, and broadcast technicians has a median income of $37,880.

Education and Career Requirements

There are generally few formal education requirements for audio video technicians. Some employers only require that applicants to entry-level positions have a high school degree and the physical ability to lift equipment. More advanced positions often require skills in equipment maintenance, customer service, multimedia production and audio video troubleshooting that are usually gained through previous work experience.

Some employers require prospective audio video technicians to have experience with particular types of systems, and specialized experience or education may be required depending on the employer and the position. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer training programs and associate's degree programs in audiovisual technology.

Certification is not usually required, but some AV technicians may pursue optional certification from professional organizations to improve their chances at finding a job or securing a promotion.

For example, InfoComm International offers three types of certification for audio video professionals, including Certified Technology Specialist (CTS), Certified Technology Specialist-Design (CTS-D) and Certified Technology Specialist-Installation (CTS-I). Individuals seeking these certifications must pass a test and demonstrate work experience, and must regularly complete continuing education requirements to retain their certification.

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