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Audio And Video Equipment Technicians Career

Career Description

An Audio and Video Equipment Technician sets up and operates audio and video equipment, including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment. They also connect wires and cables and set up and operate sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment for concerts, sports events, meetings and conventions,  presentations, and news conferences. They may set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.

Common Work Tasks

  • Monitor incoming and outgoing pictures and sound feeds to ensure quality, and notify directors of any possible problems
  • Mix and regulate sound inputs and feeds, or coordinate audio feeds with television pictures
  • Install, adjust, and operate electronic equipment used to record, edit, and transmit radio and television programs,  cable programs, and motion pictures
  • Design layouts of audio and video equipment, and perform upgrades and maintenance
  • Perform minor repairs and routine cleaning of audio and video equipment
  • Switch sources of video input from one camera or studio to another, from film to live programming, or from network to local programming
  • Meet with directors and senior members of camera crews to discuss assignments and determine filming sequences, camera movements,  and picture composition
  • Construct and position properties, sets,  lighting equipment, and other equipment
  • Maintain inventories of audio and video tapes and related supplies
  • Record and edit audio material such as movie soundtracks, using audio recording and editing equipment

Other Job Titles

Audio and Video Equipment Technicians are also known by other titles, including:

  • Broadcast Technicians
  • Sound Engineering Technicians
  • Sound Mixers
  • Recording Engineers

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
  Audio and video equipment technicians generally need a high school diploma. Many recent entrants have a community college degree or other forms of postsecondary degrees, although they are not always required. These technicians may substitute on-the-job training for formal education requirements. Many audio and video technicians learn through long-term on-the-job training, lasting from 1 to several years, depending on the specifics of their job. Working in a studio as an assistant is a good way of gaining experience and knowledge.

Experience
  Building electronic equipment from hobby kits and operating a “ham,” or amateur, radio are good ways to prepare for these careers, as is working in college radio and television stations. Information technology skills also are valuable because digital recording, editing, and broadcasting are now the norm. Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators must have manual dexterity and an aptitude for working with electrical, electronic, and mechanical systems and equipment.

Salary

The median annual salary for an Audio and Video Equipment Technician is $36,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $62,000, and the lowest 10 percent earn less than $21,000.  Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of audio and video equipment technicians are:

  • Motion Picture and Video Industries - $41,200
  • Radio and Television Broadcasting - $34,520
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $35,810
  • Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment Rental and Leasing - $37,040
  • Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events - $43,680

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  24%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 12,000
  • Employment 2006 : 50,000
  • Employment 2016:  62,000
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