Audio and video equipment technicians operate audio and video equipment such as microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors and recording equipment. They can be responsible for connecting wires and cables or sound and mixing boards, as well as related electronic equipment. They may work at concerts, sporting events, meetings and conventions, presentations, news conferences and may also work with custom lighting systems such as spotlights. The role of audio and video equipment technicians have been altered by the transition to digital recording, editing, and broadcasting software programs from mixing boards. Table-sized electronic equipment has almost completely been replaced by desktop software while video and audio tapes have been replaced by hard drives and data storage. As a result, computer networks coupled with specialized equipment have become the standard for both broadcasting and stage productions.
A/V Technician Income
As of May 2011, audio and video equipment technicians earned a national median annual salary of $41,360 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov/oes, 2012). Earnings ranged from the lowest 10 percent, who earned $23,290 or less, and the highest 10 percent, who earned $76,200 or more. However, earnings may vary depending on location, education and work experience.
A/V Technician Training and Education
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the minimum requirement for audio and video equipment technicians is a high school diploma or an equivalent diploma (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). Many technicians also have associate degrees from community colleges or other postsecondary institutions, sometimes in broadcast technology. Some candidates may be able to replace formal education requirements with on-the-job training.
A/V Technician Employment and Job Outlook
As of May, 2011, 49,180 audio and video equipment technicians were employed, nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov/oes, 2012). Nevada, New York and New Jersey offer the highest paying positions for audio and video equipment technicians.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that audio and video equipment technicians are expected to experience an employment opportunity growth of 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, nationally, as companies and some schools increase their AV budgets (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). Advancements in technology are also expected to improve the abilities of technicians, allowing fewer technicians to do more.
For more information on a career as an audio and video equipment technician, please see our directory of schools offering Video Production Training.
“Audio and Video Equipment Technicians,” BLS, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes274011.htm
“Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians,” BLS, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm#tab-4
“Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians,” BLS, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/broadcast-and-sound-engineering-technicians.htm#tab-6