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How Do I Become an Audio Visual Technologist?

Research what it takes to become an audiovisual technologist. Learn about: the duties of this job, the educational requirements, and salary range to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is an Audiovisual Technologist?

Audiovisual technologists or audiovisual technicians set up, operate, and monitor sound and visual display equipment used for presentations, concerts, and other types of events. Your exact job duties will vary based on the type of work you do, though the majority of employers will be within the film and video industry. You may also need to set up custom lighting rigs and troubleshoot any problems your equipment might be having. To adequately perform your job, you will need a high level of technical knowledge of both electrical equipment and computers.

The following chart provides an overview of the education, job outlook, and average salary in this field.

Degree Required Associate's degree
Education Field of Study Electronics, AV production, audio and video software
Certification Certified Technology Specialist (optional)
Key Responsibilities Setting up, operating, and troubleshooting audio and video equipment
Job Growth (2018-2028) 12% (for audio and video equipment technicians)*
Average Salary (2018) $48,940 (for audio and video equipment technicians)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Get Your Diploma or Certificate in Audio and Visual Technology

Such programs equip you with the entry-level skills and knowledge needed to work in audiovisual production. You'll study production and editing techniques for audio and video. You can also learn how to operate a variety of equipment, such as microphones, cameras, and audio consoles, while exploring the computer hardware and software that makes it all possible. Both certificate and diploma programs can usually be completed within a year. While associate's and bachelor's degree programs in audio technology or audio production are available, they're not always necessary for employment.

What Do I Need in Addition to My Diploma or Certificate?

Audio and video technicians aren't required to be licensed or certified, but employers may prefer applicants who are designated as Certified Technology Specialists. Administered by InfoComm (www.infocomm.org), this classification requires applicants to pass an exam. Being a Certified Technology Specialist demonstrates to potential employers that you possess audiovisual skills and knowledge.

What Job Duties Might I Have?

Your exact job duties will depend largely on what audiovisual services your employer offers. Your primary responsibilities will most likely center around setting up and maintaining audio and visual equipment, such as projection machines, video monitors, televisions, recording equipment, and speakers. You'll also have to install and connect wires, cables, and cords. You might also set up the lighting systems and ensure that adequate light is evenly distributed. You may even be called upon to operate the spotlights or other equipment.

What Salary Can I Expect?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the average annual salary for audio and video equipment technicians being $48,940 in May 2018 (www.bls.gov). The video and motion picture industries employed the largest amount of audio visual technologists. The BLS also predicted that employment opportunities for this profession would grow by 12% between 2018 and 2028. This demand would be due, in part, to the increasing use of audio and visual equipment in new buildings and in electronic signage for businesses.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Broadcast technician is a related occupation to audiovisual technologists. They set up and operate recording and broadcasting equipment for live radio and television broadcasts, adjusting color and sound as needed for the clearest possible output. Another career is as a sound engineering technician. They work exclusively with the sound aspect of the job, recording, mixing, editing, and adjusting different sounds for music, film, performances, events, and more. Both of these careers will require the same level of education as an audiovisual technologist. A third alternative is a camera operator. They control visual recording equipment for movies and television, using different techniques to capture images in a certain way for the best effect depending on what they are filming. These professionals must have a bachelor's degree to work.