According to a 2015 study conducted by InfoComm, the next three years will be a time of consistent growth for both AV sales and service sales worldwide. This in an industry that has seen consistent growth rate of 3.10% per year since 2004. Accordingly, demand for well-qualified AV techs is expected to continue to rise with an expected 15,000 new jobs by 2018.
With a median salary of $52,573, an AV technician with a few years of experience can expect to earn between $45,000-$62,000.
And the beauty of many of these jobs, unlike many in the IT sector, is you don't need a raft of previous experience, hefty certifications or specialized degrees to enter the field.
Here's what you need, and what you can expect from a career in this field:
What You Need To Get Your First Job
- A bachelors degree will certainly be helpful, but is not always viewed as necessary
- A good facility with technology- this could be as simple as a strong working knowledge of consumer goods (TV/DVD Players/Game Systems) as well as a degree of comfort with cable-ing and connection conventions.
- A working knowledge of electrical safety. Again this can be as simple as understanding the fundamentals of rewiring, grounding and wiring outlets.
- Experience in either music, theater or other live events can be helpful. Did you volunteer with a local community theater and help setting up audio equipment? Perhaps you played in a band or are your family's go-to-guy for all issues with TV and stereo set up.
- Any kind of facility with AV equipment will serve you well, but the real key quality you need is the drive to keep learning.
Typical AV Technician Job Description
Regardless of the vertical you find yourself working in (Video, Audio) or the sector the company serves (consumer, commercial, industrial) most job descriptions will include the following requirements:
- Install, set up and adjust audio-visual equipment on site
- Test equipment for faults then repair
- Train customers on operation and basic maintenance
- Perform routine checks and maintenance of equipment
- Troubleshoot problems in the field
The Typical AV Technician (Or Not!)
While there might be the typical job description, that doesn't mean there is such a thing as a typical AV technician. AV techs hail from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Some come from the music industry, others from entertainment, while still others are attracted to the field as a way in to the larger IT world. Whatever direction you're approaching the field from you ought to have the following:
- The desire to travel and to be exposed to a wide variety of environments. One week you might be working in a school and the next week you might be installing a video wall in a retail environment.
- Flexibility and creativity to troubleshoot on site.
- Good communication skills for both reporting to managers and supervisors as well as being able to field and manage customer concerns.
- A passion to create cool stuff.
The beauty of beginning your career in AV/IT if you become an AV technician is that working in the field can prepare you for a variety of roles down the road (for more on the next steps after Tech, read here and here.). And with new integration opportunities blossoming all the time, AV/IT shows no sign of slowing any time in the future - neither will your career.