Becoming an Audio Visual Technician: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
An audio visual technician's median annual salary is around $41,000, but is it worth the training requirements? Get the truth about the job duties and career prospects to decide if it's the right career for you.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of a Career as an Audio Visual Technician

Audio visual technicians set up, operate and repair equipment for both audio and visual broadcasts, recordings and presentations. Continue reading to learn about the pros and cons of this career.

PROS of a Career as an Audio Visual Technician
A high school diploma is often enough to begin entry-level work*
Many industries require audio visual technicians*
May get to attend music and sporting events*
Technological developments may create more demand for technicians*

CONS of a Career as an Audio Visual Technician
Some technicians must work outdoors and climb towers to install or repair equipment*
Job growth is expected to be about average (a 14% increase in jobs is expected between 2012 and 2022)*
Some jobs require technicians to work or be available overnight*
Depending on the job, heavy lifting is sometimes required*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Description and Duties

Audio visual technicians are responsible for the successful operation, installation and maintenance of audio and video equipment. Technicians may work for broadcast companies, in hotels or in office buildings. A technician's duties may vary depending on the job they perform; technicians primarily work with projectors, microphones, video screens and recording equipment. Some technicians also set up and operate lighting equipment.

Career Path and Education

Most audio visual technicians obtain an associate's degree or certificate from a vocational school or community college before they enter into the professional world. However, it is also not uncommon for technicians to obtain jobs right out of high school. Some technicians may gain experience through high school audio/visual clubs, while others receive training on the job after they are hired.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), audio and visual equipment technician jobs will increase by 14% between 2012 and 2012. Job growth is expected to come from businesses, schools and broadcast stations updating older equipment in favor of newer technologies. Jobs in the broadcast industry will grow slightly slower than general audio visual technician jobs. Slower growth in broadcasting will be due to the merging of television and radio stations that will seek to avoid redundant staff positions. In May 2014, the BLS determined that audio and visual equipment technicians earned a median annual salary of around $41,000.

What Are the Requirements?

Most companies that are interested in hiring audio visual technicians are looking for candidates who have experience with installation as well as operating equipment and equipment maintenance. Troubleshooting skills are highly desirable, as well as strong computer and communication skills. For most jobs, an associate degree is a sufficient level of education.

Real Job Listings

Below you will find available jobs that were posted to the Internet in April 2012. Most employers are interested in hiring experienced technicians who can fulfill several technical roles, including installation and set up, troubleshooting and general maintenance. Other skills that many employees value include the ability to work as part of a team, self-motivation and customer service skills.

  • A Philadelphia company is interested in hiring an audio visual technician with at least five years of experience and a background in system installation. The successful candidate should also have the ability to troubleshoot complex problems and perform maintenance tasks.
  • A company located in Connecticut is seeking an audio visual technician with experience in computer networking in addition to technical skills in audio visual installation and maintenance. The company prefers a technician with an associate degree or bachelor's degree in the field and sharp communication skills.
  • A Texas hotel would like to hire an experienced audio visual technician to set up, operate and troubleshoot all of their projection, audio, lighting and conferencing equipment. The successful candidate should be able to lift at least 50 pounds and have excellent customer service skills.

How to Stand Out in the Field

If you are looking for a way to distinguish yourself from other audio visual technicians, you may look into obtaining a professional certification credential. For example, InfoComm International offers a Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) credential for audio visual technicians. Although most employers do not require this type of credential, it is internationally recognized and may help you separate yourself from other technicians interested in the same jobs.

Alternative Career Options

You may have decided that a career as an audio visual technician is not an ideal fit for you. In that case, there are some other career options that require similar skills that you may find more interesting.

Film and Video Editor

If you are really interested in working with video, you may look into becoming a film and video editor. These editors take raw video and construct a finished product for broadcasting, film production or advertising. In May of 2011, the BLS estimated that film and video editors earned a median annual salary of around $51,000. The BLS also projects a five percent increase in film and video editing jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Electronic Installer and Repairer

Perhaps you have more of an interest in the technical aspects of audio visual work than the actual visual and audio components. If that is the case, you may want to look into working as an installer and repairer of electronic equipment. These technicians not only install equipment, but also maintain, troubleshoot and perform repair work. The BLS projects that jobs for electronic installers and repairers will increase by three percent between 2010 and 2020. In May 2011, the BLS also found that these technicians earned a median annual salary of approximately $49,000.

Computer Support Specialist

If you have an interest in troubleshooting and solving problems, but you are not particularly interested in audio visual equipment, you can also look into working as a computer support specialist. Computer support specialists ensure that an organization's information system and individual computer terminals are working properly. The BLS projects an 18% increase in computer support specialist jobs between 2010 and 2020. In May 2011, the BLS determined that these specialists earned a median annual salary of $46,000.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Regent University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Film and TV
      • Master of Arts in Film and TV - Producing
      • Master of Arts in Film and TV - Script Writing
      • Master of Fine Arts in Script and Screenwriting
      • Master of Arts in Communication
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Advertising and Public Relations
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
      • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Communication Studies
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
      • BS - Audio Production
      • B.S. - Digital Cinematography
      • B.S. - Media Communications
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Johns Hopkins University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Online Programs Available
    5. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
      • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Penn Foster High School

    Program Options

    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Communication
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
    Associate's
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Queens University of Charlotte

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Communication - General
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Integrated Digital Strategy Concentration
      • Master of Arts in Communication - Undecided
  • Blue Ash, OH

    University of Cincinnati

Featured Schools

Regent University

  • Master of Arts in Film and TV
  • Master of Arts in Film and TV - Producing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Advertising and Public Relations

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • Master of Fine Arts - Media Design
  • BS - Film (Campus)
  • BS - Media Communications (Campus)

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Master of Arts in Communication

What is your highest level of education?

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration

What is your highest level of education?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Communication

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Communication Studies, A.A.

What is your highest level of education completed?