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Become An Audio Visual Specialist

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Working As An Audio Visual Specialist

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $57,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Audio Visual Specialist Do

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate, and maintain the electrical equipment for radio programs, television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, and movies.

Duties

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Operate, monitor, and adjust audio, video, lighting, and broadcast equipment to ensure consistent quality
  • Set up and take down equipment for events and live performances
  • Record speech, music, and other sounds on recording equipment or computers, sometimes using complex software
  • Synchronize sounds and dialogue with action taking place on television or in movie productions
  • Convert video and audio records to digital formats for editing on computers
  • Install audio, video, and lighting equipment in hotels, offices, and schools
  • Report any problems that arise with complex equipment and make routine repairs
  • Keep records of recordings and equipment used

These workers may be called broadcast or sound engineering technicians, operators, or engineers. At smaller radio and television stations, broadcast and sound technicians may do many jobs. At larger stations, they are likely to do more specialized work, although their job assignments may vary from day to day. They set up and operate audio and video equipment, and the kind of equipment they use may depend on the particular type of technician or industry.

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians share many of the same responsibilities, but their duties may vary with their specific area of focus.

Audio and video equipment technicians set up and operate audio and video equipment. They also connect wires and cables and set up and operate sound and mixing boards and related electronic equipment.

Audio and video equipment technicians work with microphones, speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment. The equipment they operate is used for meetings, concerts, sports events, conventions, and news conferences. In addition, they may operate equipment at conferences and at presentations for businesses and universities.

Audio and video equipment technicians may also set up and operate custom lighting systems. They frequently work directly with clients and must provide solutions to problems in a simple, clear manner.

Broadcast technicians set up, operate, and maintain equipment that regulates the signal strength, clarity, and ranges of sounds and colors for radio or television broadcasts. They operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computer programs to edit audio and video recordings.

Sound engineering technicians operate computers and equipment that record, synchronize, mix, or reproduce music, voices, or sound effects in recording studios, sporting arenas, theater productions, or movie and video productions. They record audio performances or events and may combine tracks that were recorded separately to create a multilayered final product. Sound engineering technicians operate transmitters to broadcast radio or television programs and use computers to program the equipment and edit audio recordings.

The following are examples of types of broadcast and sound engineering technicians:

Recording engineers operate and maintain video- and sound-recording equipment. These engineers work with computers, computer networks, and software to produce special effects for radio, television, or movies.

Sound mixers, or rerecording mixers, produce soundtracks for movies or television programs. They rerecord songs or compositions that already have been commercially released. After filming or recording is complete, these workers often dub the final product by adding or removing sounds.

Field technicians set up and operate portable equipment outside the studio—for example, for television news coverage. Because this coverage requires so much electronic equipment and the technology is changing so rapidly, many technicians are assigned exclusively to news coverage teams.

Chief engineers, transmission engineers, and broadcast field supervisors oversee other technicians and maintain broadcasting equipment.

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How To Become An Audio Visual Specialist

Broadcast and sound engineering technicians typically need postsecondary education. Depending on the work they do, it could either be a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate’s degree.  

Education

Audio and video equipment technicians, as well as sound engineering technicians, typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or certificate, whereas broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. However, in some cases workers in any of these occupations may need only a high school diploma to be eligible for entry-level positions.

Postsecondary nondegree programs for audio and video equipment technicians and sound engineering technicians may take several months to a year to complete. The programs include hands-on experience with the equipment used in many entry-level positions.

Broadcast technicians typically need an associate’s degree. In addition to courses in math and science, coursework for prospective broadcast technicians should emphasize practical skills such as video editing and production management.

Prospective broadcast and sound engineering technicians should complete high school courses in math, physics, and electronics. They must have excellent computer skills to be successful.

Training

Because technology is constantly improving, technicians often enroll in continuing education courses and they receive on-the-job training to become skilled in new equipment and hardware. On-the-job training includes topics such as setting up cables or automation systems, testing electrical equipment, learning the codes and standards of the industry, and following safety procedures.

Training for new hires can be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the types of products and services the employer provides. Although some apprenticeship programs do exist, more frequently a new technician will accompany a more experienced technician to get the training and skills necessary for advancement.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not required by most employers, earning voluntary certification will offer advantages in getting a job as a broadcast or sound engineering technician. Certification tells employers that the technician meets certain industry standards and has kept up to date with new technologies.

For example, the Society of Broadcast Engineers offers eight broadcast engineering certifications, two operator certifications, and two broadcast networking certifications. All of them require passing an exam. Similarly, InfoComm International offers an audiovisual Certified Technology Specialist credential.

Other Experience

Practical experience working in a high school or college audiovisual department also can help prepare someone to be an audio and video equipment technician.

Advancement

Although many broadcast and sound engineering technicians work first in small markets or at small stations in big markets, after they gain the necessary experience and skills they often transfer to larger, better paying radio or television stations. Few large stations hire someone without previous experience, and they value more specialized skills.

Experienced workers with strong technical skills can become supervisory technicians or chief engineers. To become chief engineer at large television stations, technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or computer science.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Technicians need to communicate with supervisors and coworkers to ensure that clients’ needs are met and that equipment is set up properly before broadcasts, live performances, and presentations.

Computer skills. Technicians use computer systems to program equipment and edit audio and video recordings.

Manual dexterity. Some technicians set up audio and visual equipment and cables, a job that requires a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination. Others adjust small knobs, dials, and sliders during radio and television broadcasts and live performances.

Problem-solving skills. Technicians need to recognize equipment problems and propose possible solutions to them. Employers typically desire applicants with a variety of skills, such as setting up equipment, maintaining the equipment, and troubleshooting and solving any problems that arise.

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Audio Visual Specialist Career Paths

Audio Visual Specialist
Visual Merchandiser Interior Designer Project Manager
Product Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Visual Merchandiser Interior Designer Owner
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Visual Merchandiser Interior Designer Office Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Coordinator Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Designer Project Manager
General Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Designer Manager
Service Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Audio Engineer Engineer Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Audio Engineer Engineer Consultant
Information Technology Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Audio Engineer Engineer Project Manager
Business Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Supervisor Assistant Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Manager Sales Manager
Senior Sales Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Store Manager Account Manager
Sales Account Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Consultant Assistant Manager
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Consultant Production Manager
Production Director
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Lead Technician
Technical Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Sales Leader Store Manager Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Sales Leader Store Manager Owner
Owner And Founder
6 Yearsyrs
Sales Leader Sales Manager Owner/Manager
Internet Sales Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Merchandise Lead Visual Merchandising Manager Audio-Visual Director
Director Of Audio Visual Services
5 Yearsyrs
Operations Specialist Logistics Coordinator Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Audio Visual Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

48.5%

Female

41.4%

Unknown

10.1%
Ethnicity

White

59.2%

Hispanic or Latino

18.4%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

56.7%

French

6.2%

Italian

4.1%

German

4.1%

Japanese

4.1%

Hindi

3.1%

Mandarin

3.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Portuguese

2.1%

Chinese

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Korean

1.0%

Zulu

1.0%

Bosnian

1.0%

Thai

1.0%

Venetian

1.0%

Carrier

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Serbian

1.0%
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Audio Visual Specialist Education

Schools

Fashion Institute of Technology

9.6%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

Columbia College Chicago

7.1%

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising

6.6%

University of Central Florida

6.6%

Full Sail University

6.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.6%

New England Institute of Art

4.6%

The Academy

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

Georgia State University

4.1%

American InterContinental University

4.1%

Miami Dade College

4.1%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

4.1%

Prince George's Community College

3.6%

Brigham Young University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Kean University

3.6%

University of Maryland - University College

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

17.2%

Graphic Design

10.8%

Communication

10.3%

Specialized Sales And Merchandising

7.9%

Fine Arts

6.9%

Photography

6.7%

Marketing

5.1%

Psychology

3.8%

Criminal Justice

3.6%

Music

3.5%

Interior Design

3.2%

Design And Visual Communication

2.8%

Computer Science

2.5%

Management

2.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.4%

Entertainment Business

2.2%

Electrical Engineering

2.2%

Journalism

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

English

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.7%

Other

23.1%

Associate

15.7%

Masters

9.8%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.5%

Doctorate

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$28,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Crate and Barrel
Highest Paying City
Edina, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does an Audio Visual Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Audio Visual Specialist in the United States is $57,159 per year or $27 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $28,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $114,000.

Real Audio Visual Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Audio-Visual Media Specialist Lindala Inc. D/B/A Original Artists New York, NY Aug 29, 2016 $71,552
Visualization Specialist ASE Inc. Leavenworth, KS Apr 20, 2012 $56,808 -
$61,671
Visualization Specialist ASE Inc. Leavenworth, KS Jul 01, 2010 $49,650
Audio Visual Specialist Alabama State University Montgomery, AL Jan 11, 2016 $47,472
Audio Visual Specialist Alabama State University Montgomery, AL Jan 12, 2016 $47,472
Audio-Visual Media Specialist Lindala Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $47,339
Architectural Visualization Specialist Steelman Partners, LLP Las Vegas, NV Oct 01, 2011 $44,200
Audio-Visual Media Specialist Lindala Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $43,035
Audio Visual Specialist Rock It Sound Solutions Miami Beach, FL May 26, 2010 $38,397
Audio Visual Specialist S.C. Productions Inc. Miami, FL Mar 22, 2011 $37,200
Audio Visual Production Specialist Shooting Star Productions Sep 15, 2009 $36,481
Audio Visual Production Specialist Shooting Star Productions Sep 16, 2009 $36,481
Visual Specialist Luminys Systems Corp. CA Sep 30, 2015 $35,646
Visual Specialist Luminys Systems Corp. CA Apr 07, 2013 $35,646
Audio Visual Specialist S.C. Productions Inc. Miami, FL Apr 04, 2011 $34,362
Visual Specialist Luminys Systems Corp. Los Angeles, CA Apr 07, 2010 $33,392

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Top Skills for An Audio Visual Specialist

  1. Audio Equipment
  2. New Merchandise
  3. Video Production
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked closely with customers to recommend professional audio equipment.
  • Incorporated new merchandise onto sales floor according to company plan-o-gram.
  • Led video production of promotional piece which successfully illustrated Marketing Department's capabilities and expertise to the new parent company.
  • Replenished and recovered sales floor Maintained visual standards
  • Provided ongoing hands-on training and development to improve customer services and quality of performance.

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Top 10 Best States for Audio Visual Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Nevada
  4. North Dakota
  5. Hawaii
  6. Minnesota
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York
  9. Delaware
  10. Tennessee
  • (90 jobs)
  • (328 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (250 jobs)
  • (240 jobs)
  • (439 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (161 jobs)

Top Audio Visual Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Audio Visual Specialist Employers

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