CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 25, 2014
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How to Become an Audio-Visual Technician

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Most people attending live concerts, art exhibitions or conferences look forward to having an eventful day without thinking about the professionals who are paid to make the event successful. Audio-visual technicians are the experts who often work behind the scenes, operating and tuning audio-visual equipment and machines to produce the best sound and images. To join this profession, you need to pursue the right education, develop the technical skills required to operate electrical equipment and nurture your creative ability.

What Do Audio-Visual Technicians Do?

Although AV technicians can work in a wide variety of settings, including live concerts, radio and television studios and distance-learning classes, their duties typically involve the following activities;

  • Reviewing work orders to determine the type of equipment required for specific projects
  • Visiting event sites to draw recommendations for setting up equipment
  • Testing and setting up vision recording, mixing, and production equipment including projectors, cameras and TV screens, according to established procedures
  • Checking equipment for defects and performing repairs to minor faults
  • Managing bookings for audio-visual equipment
  • Helping production engineers to identify the correct equipment before making a purchase

Salary

The following table highlights the average annual salaries for audio-visual technicians at different positions.

Level

Average Annual Salary

Beginning AV Technicians

£16,000

Experienced AV Technicians

£25,000 - £30,000

Senior AV Technicians

£40,000

Source: National Careers Service

Education

Although employers have a preference for AV technicians with job experience, pursuing a relevant course enhances your employment prospects. The most relevant courses to pursue in college include;

  • Diploma in Media Production
  • Diploma in Photography
  • Diploma in Media Techniques
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Media Production
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media Technology

The top colleges and universities in the U.K. offering media productions courses are;

Important Qualities

As an AV technician, you need the following skills to perform your duties effectively;

  • Problem solving skills to create solutions to common workplace problems, such as power failure during a live event
  • Technical skills to work with several electoral equipment
  • Team-working skills to collaborate with production engineers and other technical staff
  • Communication skills to communicate with team members effectively
  • Proficiency with computer applications used in multimedia production

Although most employers train beginner AV technicians to help them develop these skills, you can offer audio-visual services to a local event during your free time to develop new skills and gain more experience.

Employment prospects

Given that most people consider the job outlook of a particular profession before deciding whether to pursue it; it is safe to say AV technicians have good job prospects. From 2014 through 2020, the National Careers Service forecasts the United Kingdom’s sports and culture sector of the economy will be the highest employer of AV technicians, with about 80,000 new positions. The increasing demand for live music events and concerts will also be a major employment booster for these technicians.

Top Employers

  • Concert venues
  • Colleges and universities
  • Public libraries
  • Events and exhibition companies
  • Hotels and conference centers

Career Development

AV technicians who are ambitious enough and want to take their careers to the next level must focus on gaining vast work experience and pursuing professional certifications. For example, having worked for 5 to10 years, your employer can promote you into an administrative position, such as audio-visual manager. Alternatively, securing InfoComm International’s Certified Technology Specialist accreditation – which is widely recognized in the AV industry – demonstrates your willingness to advance you career and can lead to a promotion.

Would you like to add more life into live events? Now you know what it takes to become an audio-visual technician.

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