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Audio and Video Technicians, also known as AV Technicians or AV Techs, are responsible for setting up and operating various types of audio and video equipment for meetings, conventions, sporting events, concerts, news conferences, plays, movies, and almost any type of radio or television broadcast. They work with video projectors, screens, monitors, recording equipment, sound speakers, microphones, mixing boards, cabling, and wiring. Technicians are typically called upon to also set up and operate any custom lighting systems associated with the event, including spotlights and/or floodlights. In addition, they are responsible for maintaining and repairing the equipment they use, often times in the midst of a production when a light fails or a cable breaks.

Other types of technician are very closely related to audio and video techs. In some cases, the job titles can be applied almost interchangeably. Some of these job designations include:

  • Broadcast Technicians: They deal specifically with the equipment used in radio or television broadcasts. These technicians regulate the signal strength, clarity, and the range of sounds and colors of the equipment.
  • Sound Engineering Technicians: They work with the equipment used for recording, synchronizing, or mixing music, voices, or sound effects. Their work is done in many different venues including recording studios, sporting arenas, and movie sets.
  • Radio Operators: They ensure that communication systems are maintained in good operating condition. To do so, they regularly receive and transmit communications using a variety of means and also repair and test communications equipment.

The growing prominence of digital recording, editing, and broadcasting has greatly changed the work of all varieties of technician who work in the broadcasting industry. Specialized electronic equipment previously used in many recording and editing applications is to an increasing extent being replaced by computer software. Most radio and television stations have replaced videotapes and audiotapes with computer hard drives and other computer-compatible storage media. This industry change is requiring technicians to become more computer-savvy and to familiarize themselves with computer networking and specialized software.

Responsibilities

The proper use of audio and video equipment involves a creative blend of technology and art. The processes involved in recording, editing, and broadcasting can be widespread and varied. Technicians who perform audio or video recording have both production and post-production tasks. In the production phase, the main focus is on the accurate capturing of sound and/or images. In post-production, the raw recorded material gets polished and transformed into the final desired product. In both phases, the technician is a key player in making things happen. Working alongside other professionals (engineers, directors, broadcast field supervisors, etc.), the technician is charged with setting up much of the equipment, operating it, controlling it, and maintaining it. Some of the specific tasks a technician performs may include any or all of the following:

  • Mix and regulate sound inputs and feeds
  • Coordinate audio feeds with television pictures
  • Perform minor repairs and routine cleaning of audio and video equipment
  • Monitor incoming and outgoing pictures and sound feeds to ensure quality
  • Run dubbing machines to match edited dialogue, music and sound effects to a video or movie recording
  • Work with creative artists to get the recording they want
  • Notify supervisors when major equipment repairs are needed
  • Supervise, advise and coordinate other recording technicians

Job Characteristics

Generally speaking, audio and video technicians do the bulk of their work indoors, inside studios or related locations, but by no means is this universally true. Some who work on news or other types of broadcasts from locations outside the studio may work outdoors, sometimes in adverse weather or other dangerous conditions. Technicians who work at large establishments, including broadcasting networks or large TV or radio stations, usually work a 40-hour week, albeit often under great pressure to meet broadcast deadlines. Those employed by small stations often work more than 40 hours a week and may find themselves putting in long late hours to meet the demands of stations on the air 18 to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Technicians who work on movies often need to work long hours to meet contractual deadlines.

Audio and video technicians need to have the right combination of creativity and technical know-how. Manual dexterity and an aptitude for working with electronic and mechanical equipment are other important traits. Knowledge of information technology and skill in that area are also valuable because of the growing prominence of digital recording and broadcasting.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (USDL BLS), employment of audio and video technicians is expected to grow much faster than the average profession over the next decade. These workers will be called upon to not only set up audio and video equipment, but to maintain and repair it as well. Job prospects in the cable and pay television segments of the broadcasting industry should show exceptional growth as the range of services in these sectors keeps expanding. Jobs in the motion picture industry will also grow rapidly. However, there will also be a great deal of competition for jobs due to the large number of people attracted by the glamour of TV or motion picture work. In general, technicians seeking entry-level jobs in broadcasting can expect to face keen competition in major metropolitan areas but better job prospects in small cities and towns.

Mitigating factors affecting job growth for technicians working in radio or television are the growing consolidation of ownership of radio and television stations and emerging labor-saving technical advances, such as computer-controlled programming and remotely controlled transmitters. Stations which consolidate are often operated from a single location, reducing employment because a handful of technicians are able to provide support to multiple stations.

Audio and Video Technician Schools, Certification, and Licensing

At a minimum, an individual should earn a high school diploma or GED equivalency in order to embark on a career as an audio/video technician. To an increasing extent, entrants in this field also have a degree from a community college or some other type of postsecondary institution. Technicians need an electronics background in order to be able to effectively operate technical equipment. Training in electronics, computer networking, and/or broadcast technology is vital, whether it is obtained from a specialized postsecondary program or acquired on the job working as an assistant in a recording studio. Once employed, technicians should take maximum advantage of all opportunities to learn on-the-job and to demonstrate as high a level of technical and creative talent as possible.

Prior to 1996, when the Telecommunications Act became law, audio and video technicians working in the broadcasting industry were required to be licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although this is no longer the case, many of the best technicians today seek certification by the Society of Broadcast Engineers. A very valuable and widely-recognized credential, this certificate is a mark of competence and experience which is issued to experienced technicians who pass an examination. This certification, which is offered at both the Radio Operator and the Television Operator levels, has filled the void left by the elimination of the FCC license.

Resources

Major Employers

The largest employers of audio/video technicians are the motion picture and video industries, which employ about 35% of them. About 20% work in radio and television broadcasting and another 20% are employed by colleges, universities, and professional schools. Other major employers include equipment rental and leasing agencies and promoters of performing arts, sports, and similar events.

Schools for Audio And Video Technicians are listed in the column to the left.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Audio and Video Technicians

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Audio and Video Technicians jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 340 $36,530
Hoover 340 $36,530
Mobile 80 $31,450
Montgomery 40 $36,690
Huntsville N/A $27,820
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 110 $47,130
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 1150 $37,540
Mesa 1150 $37,540
Phoenix 1150 $37,540
Tucson 180 $31,940
Flagstaff 40 $38,970
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 80 $27,850
North Little Rock 80 $27,850
Little Rock 80 $27,850
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 8690 $50,670
Los Angeles 8690 $50,670
Long Beach 8690 $50,670
San Francisco 1500 $49,350
Hayward 1500 $49,350
Oakland 1500 $49,350
San Diego 650 $36,050
Carlsbad 650 $36,050
Santa Clara 520 $42,370
Sunnyvale 520 $42,370
San Jose 520 $42,370
Riverside 410 $29,930
Ontario 410 $29,930
San Bernardino 410 $29,930
Arden 290 $34,110
Sacramento 290 $34,110
Roseville 290 $34,110
Arcade 290 $34,110
Fresno 190 $43,990
Stockton 120 $35,580
Lodi 120 $35,580
Bakersfield 100 $19,820
Salinas 90 $42,970
Ventura 70 $33,850
Thousand Oaks 70 $33,850
Oxnard 70 $33,850
San Luis Obispo 70 $43,130
Arroyo Grande 70 $43,130
Paso Robles 70 $43,130
Santa Rosa 60 $47,840
Fairfield 50 $22,700
Vallejo 50 $22,700
Santa Maria N/A $43,840
Santa Barbara N/A $43,840
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 750 $36,320
Aurora 750 $36,320
Denver 750 $36,320
Colorado Springs 100 $36,940
Boulder 60 $38,370
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 520 $47,870
West Hartford 520 $47,870
Hartford 520 $47,870
New Haven 120 $54,990
Norwalk N/A $48,630
Stamford N/A $48,630
Bridgeport N/A $48,630
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 1460 $34,310
Fort Lauderdale 1460 $34,310
Miami 1460 $34,310
Sanford 1210 $34,080
Kissimmee 1210 $34,080
Orlando 1210 $34,080
Tampa 330 $30,320
Clearwater 330 $30,320
St. Petersburg 330 $30,320
Jacksonville 230 $29,760
Cape Coral 120 $27,690
Fort Myers 120 $27,690
Bradenton 70 $34,970
Sarasota 70 $34,970
North Port 70 $34,970
Naples 50 $34,850
Marco Island 50 $34,850
Immokalee 50 $34,850
Tallahassee 50 $40,460
Deltona 30 $36,370
Daytona Beach 30 $36,370
Ormond Beach 30 $36,370
Port St. Lucie N/A $35,460
Lakeland N/A $37,280
Winter Haven N/A $37,280
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 1320 $42,400
Sandy Springs 1320 $42,400
Atlanta 1320 $42,400
Gainesville 30 $38,520
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 410 $40,840
Lahaina 50 $43,230
Wailuku 50 $43,230
Kahului 50 $43,230
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 160 $44,380
Pocatello 30 $37,950
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bloomington 70 $41,660
Urbana 30 $50,700
Champaign 30 $50,700
Springfield N/A $19,470
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 430 $35,440
Carmel 430 $35,440
Indianapolis 430 $35,440
Bloomington 50 $29,420
Fort Wayne N/A $23,900
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 90 $33,470
Des Moines 90 $33,470
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 90 $33,730
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 90 $39,650
Lexington 90 $39,650
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 420 $44,640
New Orleans 420 $44,640
Baton Rouge 70 $28,980
Lafayette 30 $47,790
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 70 $35,530
Portland 70 $35,530
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 730 $40,140
Columbia 730 $40,140
Baltimore 730 $40,140
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 40 $41,710
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 770 $47,790
Detroit 770 $47,790
Warren 770 $47,790
Grand Rapids 190 $29,750
Wyoming 190 $29,750
Ann Arbor 90 $44,470
East Lansing 80 $49,350
Lansing 80 $49,350
Kalamazoo 30 $31,080
Portage 30 $31,080
Flint N/A $52,570
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Mankato N/A $40,850
Mankato N/A $40,850
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 90 N/A
Pascagoula 30 $19,430
Biloxi 30 $19,430
Gulfport 30 $19,430
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 50 $27,880
Columbia N/A $39,090
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Missoula 40 $38,820
Billings 30 $38,320
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 70 $38,670
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1700 $57,480
Henderson 1700 $57,480
Las Vegas 1700 $57,480
Reno 100 $35,640
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester N/A $37,920
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlantic City 470 $56,330
Hammonton 470 $56,330
Trenton 80 $56,160
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 180 $37,740
Santa Fe 50 $32,850
Las Cruces 30 $31,730
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 450 $44,120
Cheektowaga 450 $44,120
Buffalo 450 $44,120
Rochester 130 $42,840
Troy 120 $42,430
Schenectady 120 $42,430
Albany 120 $42,430
Binghamton 50 $18,920
Ithaca 40 $51,050
Syracuse N/A $47,490
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Chapel Hill 110 $31,040
Durham 110 $31,040
Asheville 60 $31,690
Winston 40 N/A
Salem 40 N/A
Raleigh N/A $30,630
Greensboro N/A $35,750
High Point N/A $35,750
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Elyria 260 $34,450
Cleveland 260 $34,450
Columbus 160 $36,600
Akron 60 $46,800
Dayton 50 $37,280
Canton 30 $18,570
Massillon 30 $18,570
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 280 $26,900
Tulsa 100 $41,310
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 30 $35,630
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 470 $39,040
Harrisburg 190 $34,890
Carlisle 190 $34,890
Lancaster 70 $28,480
Hazleton 30 $22,840
Barre 30 $22,840
Wilkes 30 $22,840
Scranton 30 $22,840
State College 30 $44,500
Erie N/A $35,130
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 450 $25,250
Carolina 450 $25,250
San Juan 450 $25,250
Ponce 40 $18,380
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 180 $26,960
North Charleston 170 $29,850
Charleston 170 $29,850
Mauldin 90 $38,230
Anderson 90 $38,230
Greenville 90 $38,230
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 1060 $35,890
Franklin 1060 $35,890
Davidson 1060 $35,890
Nashville 1060 $35,890
Knoxville 220 $32,730
Johnson City N/A $41,820
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 1190 $39,360
Fort Worth 1190 $39,360
Dallas 1190 $39,360
Sugar Land 1130 $34,110
The Woodlands 1130 $34,110
Houston 1130 $34,110
Austin 620 $44,180
Round Rock 620 $44,180
New Braunfels 460 $37,870
San Antonio 460 $37,870
El Paso 100 $24,460
McAllen 70 $41,450
Mission 70 $41,450
Edinburg 70 $41,450
Harlingen 50 $24,190
Brownsville 50 $24,190
Abilene 40 $26,420
Temple 30 $36,670
Killeen 30 $36,670
Bryan N/A $53,310
College Station N/A $53,310
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 550 $34,100
Orem 170 $53,120
Provo 170 $53,120
St. George 30 $25,150
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 40 $29,480
Burlington 40 $29,480
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 280 $41,170
Charlottesville 40 $37,030
Roanoke 30 $27,470
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 810 $47,280
Seattle 810 $47,280
Tacoma 810 $47,280
Spokane Valley 50 $37,110
Spokane 50 $37,110
Richland 40 $27,790
Kennewick 40 $27,790
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 210 $38,660
Waukesha 210 $38,660
Milwaukee 210 $38,660
Green Bay 70 $29,710
Madison 50 $45,060

Most Popular Industries for :
Audio and Video Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Performing Arts And Sports 6,790 15% $34,920
Movie And Music 6,700 15% $39,280
Rental And Lease 6,370 14% $37,450
Education 5,690 12% $36,490
Media And Broadcasting 4,740 10% $36,550
Office Services And Staffing 3,790 8% $40,560
Professional And Technical Services 2,470 5% $42,010
Hotel And Accomodation 1,860 4% $48,430
Government 1,530 3% $42,430
Non-profit 790 1% $31,600
Durable Goods Wholesale 520 1% $41,390
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Audio and Video Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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