J Patrick + Associates Blog

Crestron Training and Certifications for AV Professionals

Posted by Daniel Lehman on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 @ 09:49 AM

Crestron Training For AV Professionals

 

Crestron is one of the most important and well-known vendors in the AV industry. In terms of the Pro AV market, Crestron’s solutions are the automation and control systems of choice.

What is the Crestron Technical Institute?

The Crestron Technical Institute (CTI) offers training and certifications for AV Installers, Design Engineers, and Programmers alike. CTI offers a convenient blend of face-to-face training with industry pros, and online training courses. Training facilities are located worldwide and provide courses for those interested in Digital Media, NVX, or AV installing and programming.


What is the difference between Crestron DigitalMedia and NVX?

The general trend of the AV industry has been leaning more and more towards IP. Engineers and programmers need to familiarize themselves with hardware products that deal with signal routing, presentation control, and audio conferencing.

Over a decade ago, Crestron launched a complete suite of products under the DigitalMedia series that integrates many of these functions into one convenient solution.

“Today, DM integrates all digital and analog signals together with streaming in one platform, ensuring organizations can send video across their estates regardless of network infrastructure or AV technologies in place.” - Cinos

A global tsunami of cutting edge VTC technologies such as WebEx and Zoom have hit the market. As a result, the demand for higher quality audio and video has risen. Companies have also had an increased need for security, as they are often dealing with sensitive information delivered over their networks.

 AV Professional Looking for A Job? - Connect with a Recruiter!

Crestron DigitalMedia NVX is the next generation of products that address this issue directly, by delivering a networked AV solution. In fact, DM NVX is the only secure network AV solution:

“It is infinitely scalable and delivers the best image quality with no latency across a standard 1 Gigabyte network...It has been well documented that networked AV is a much more cost-effective option than traditional matrix switches.” - Cinos

Whether installing, programming, or designing, professionals of ProAV will encounter Crestron gear in both product lines. Crestron offers certifications specific to their product lines, as well as relevant job functions in the AV Industry:


What Crestron Certifications are Important for A Career in ProAV?

Here’s some Crestron Certifications that stand out, and the positions they are most applicable to in ProAV:

Crestron Digital Media Certifications:

  • Crestron DMC-E-4K - The Crestron Digital Certified Engineer has a working knowledge of installing, configuring and commissioning Crestron products and systems.
    • Hiring Managers at AV Integrators will often look for Field Engineers and/or Lead AV Technicians with this training.
  • Crestron DM-NVX-N - The Crestron Digital Media Networking Certification has become much more valuable recently. Engineers are often required to understand how to sign onto and troubleshoot secure networks at client locations.
    • This training is important for Field Engineers loading and troubleshooting code from Crestron Toolbox.
  • Crestron DMC-D-4K - Crestron Digital Media Designer designation means the engineer possesses the skills necessary to design Crestron Digital Media Systems.
    • AV Design Engineers and/or Crestron Programmers will better understand how to tailor solutions to the clients’ specific needs.

AV Hiring Manager Seeking Candidate? - Connect with a Recruiter!

Crestron Programmer Certifications:

  • Crestron Certified Programmer - The Crestron Certified Programmer can configure and commission a Crestron fusion deployment. They can use smart graphics to create personal graphic user interfaces (GUI). They also show proficiency in the Crestron programming language (Crestron SIMPL).
    • AV integrators hiring for a Crestron Programmers will typically require this certification. Having a Certified Programmer on staff allows them to bid on certain projects. As such, this programmer certification is highly sought after, and the examination is very comprehensive and difficult.
  • Crestron Silver Certified Programmer - This Certified Programmer has attended three annual Master Level classes and passed the Silver exam
  • Crestron Gold Certified Programmer - This Certified Programmer has attended six annual Master Level classes and passed the Gold exam.

What is a Certified Masters Programmer?

These individuals hold the highest respect in the AV industry. One major perk of being a Certified Masters programmer is that you receive an exclusive invitation to masters classes. These classes allow an opportunity to get hands-on experience and training on Crestron’s latest technologies.

Summary:

Crestron has become (without a question) the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced control and automated systems. For this reason, all AV professionals (AV Engineers, Installers, Programmers) should consider Crestron training as a sound investment in your career.

 


Whether you are an AV professional looking for new opportunities or an AV Hiring Manager looking for the Perfect AV Candidate...

JPatrick & Associates is here to help!

We are an executive recruiting firm with over 20 years of experience and we specialize in the AV industry.

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, crestron, certifications, programmer

How To Become A Crestron Programmer In The AV Industry

Posted by Daniel Lehman on Fri, Sep 20, 2019 @ 03:39 PM

 

What Is A Crestron Programmer

A Crestron programmer is a specific type of control systems programmer. They develop programs for video conferencing rooms, and spaces which enable seamless integration with the audiovisual equipment in that space. What makes a Crestron programmer unique is that they specialize in the coding language specific to Crestron, known as Crestron SIMPL.

Crestron Overview

Crestron Electronics is a privately held company based out of Rockleigh, NJ dealing in home and commercial automation. The average person is probably completely unaware of the ubiquity of this company’s products and solutions.

Crestron’s control systems, hardware, and software solutions are everywhere:

“automated light, sound and temperature controls for luxury homes; digital screens and speakers for conference rooms; surgical camera controls and displays; classroom projectors; digital signs and retail displays; and even remote controls for hot tubs aboard luxury yachts.” -Forbes

This electronics distributor (often mistaken as a regional player) pulls down $500 million in revenue annually and carries no debt!

Entire careers in the audiovisual industry are built around Crestron’s products. With a multi-galaxy of different programmers out there that specialize in different programming languages, it’s easy to get confused.

qualified Crestron Programmer looking for work? - Connect With A Recruiter!

How Much Does a Crestron Programmer Make?

As of September of 2019, the average salary for a Crestron Programmer was around 80k a year. The bottom of the pay scale was around 65k a year. The top salary was as high as 115k a year.

According to indeed.com, hourly rates for a Crestron Programmer currently range from $28.72- $61.46 per hour.

Why so much variation in the compensation range?

Variations in compensation are due to factors such as: project size and complexity, vendor certifications, and experience level of the programmer.

  

How to Become a Crestron Programmer:

In the AV industry, there is not a standard, discernible path to success.

In the case of becoming a Crestron Programmer, a few different roads can spill out to the same destination. That being said, there are definite career experiences and vendor-specific certifications that are highly sought after by potential employers.

Many Crestron programmers have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Engineering. However, few transition into a role at a commercial AV Integrator right out of college. Often, Crestron programmers make their bones learning how to install and commission AV equipment in the field first. This way future programmers learn the basics of AV control systems like Crestron, AMX, and Control4 (to a lesser extent).

  

What does a Crestron Programmer resume look like?

Here’s what employers are looking for on a resume:

  • High School degree is usually necessary, BS/BA may be required but not always seen as vital
  • Ability to install, troubleshoot and maintain Crestron Control Systems
  • Create, load & modify Crestron Code (SIMPL)
  • Ability to design Crestron and/or AMX control systems, and Graphical User Interfaces (GUI)
  • At least two Crestron Certifications (Crestron DMC-E-4K, Crestron DMC-D-4K, CSP, CSP Silver, CSP Gold)

Hiring Manager seeking a Crestron Programmer? - Connect With a Recruiter?

What Crestron Certifications Are Available

Training for these certifications are offered at Crestron Technical Institute (CTI). Here’s some certifications that a programmer will gain along the way in his or her career:

  • Crestron DMC-E-4K - The Crestron Digital Certified Engineer has a working knowledge of installing, configuring and commissioning Crestron hardware products to industry standards.
  • Crestron DMC-D-4K - The Crestron Digital Media Designer Designation can design and tailor Crestron Digital Media Systems to a client’s specific needs.
  • Crestron Certified Programmer - The Crestron Certified Programmer can configure and commision a Crestron fusion deployment, and shows proficiency in Crestron SIMPL.
  • Crestron Silver Certified Programmer - This Certified Programmer has attended three annual Master Level classes and passed the Silver exam
  • Crestron Gold Certified Programmer - This Certified Programmer has attended six annual Master Level classes and passed the Gold exam.

  

What Is A Typical Crestron Programmer Job Description

The job duties and specific Crestron certifications that the employer is looking for may vary. Generally speaking, the job requirement will deal with designing, installing, troubleshooting and/or Crestron programming.

Sometimes AV Integrators will deal with other control systems such as AMX, or Control4 (if they deal with Residential AV Integration). In this case, the programmer may need experience in these languages as well.

  • Create, load & modify Crestron Code (SIMPL)
  • Program Devices with Crestron SIMPL
  • Perform commissioning and acceptance testing of Code
  • Develop and maintain Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) for Crestron touch panels
  • Develop system recovery protocols in the event of destruction of all or part of the system or components
  • DMC-E required
  • Crestron Master level Programmer Preferred

 


Whether you are an AV professional looking for new opportunities or an AV Hiring Manager looking for the Perfect AV Candidate...

JPatrick & Associates is here to help!

We are an executive recruiting firm with over 20 years of experience and we specialize in the AV industry.

Copy of Connect With A Recruiter (4)

  

Tags: AV/VTC/UC, crestron

Have What It Takes To Be An AV Technician? ( Hint: You do! )

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad Sullivan on Mon, Jul 22, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

  


What is an AV Technician?

According to Study.com, “Audiovisual technicians set up, operate, maintain and repair equipment used to enhance live events, such as microphones, video recorders, projectors, lighting and sound mixing equipment. They record meetings and presentations with video cameras, operate spotlights, adjust amplifiers, coordinate graphics used in displays and provide technical support for teleconferences, webinars, and distance-learning classes. Technicians may also edit, copy and store videotapes and DVDs, track inventory of equipment and order supplies.” 

 

With this being said, a study conducted by InfoComm states the next three years will be a time of consistent growth for both AV sales and service sales worldwide. This is an industry that has seen a consistent growth rate of 3.10% per year since 2004. Accordingly, the demand for well-qualified AV techs is expected to continue to rise at an expected 15,000 new jobs each year.

 

How Much Does an AV Technician Make?

With a full-time audiovisual technician making a median salary of $55,671, an AV technician with a few years of experience can expect to earn between $48,000-$66,000. Similarly, a part-time audiovisual technician can bring in anywhere from $15-$30 an hour depending on experience.

Average salary for an av technician

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:

 

How to Become an AV Technician:

  • A high school degree is necessary, however a bachelors degree will certainly be helpful but is not always viewed as vital
  • 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.
  • 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 accessory 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.

 

What is a 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
  • AV technician is responsible for being team members
  • AV technician needs to learn their particular audio visual systems

(There will also be different audio visual technician skills recommended based on the job.)

 Click here to check out J. Patrick's current AV Tech jobs available!   

 

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 into 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. 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!

Lastly, know there are many different names for AV Technicians. Some of which include, AV Installer, AV Specialist, AV field engineer, AV customer engineer, etc.   

 

Sound like you? J.Patrick & Associates has multiple AV Industry Jobs which we encourage you to check out!

Looking for a project engineering, audio engineering, project manager, sound engineer, design engineer, sound technician, or any technician position? Click Here to search all our jobs!

 

Related Blogs:

HOW TO TRANSITION FROM AV TECH TO MANAGEMENT

HOW TO GET PROMOTED FROM AV TECHNICIAN TO LEAD TECHNICIAN 

 

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Tags: Job Search, AV/VTC/UC

The Big 3: Weighing the Importance of AV certifications

Posted by Daniel Lehman on Wed, Jul 10, 2019 @ 04:39 PM

The Big 3 (Avixa, CTS, Crestron): Weighing the Importance of AV Certifications

Looking to further your career in the audio visual industry? 

There are many different types of AV training to keep in mind...

The tsunami wave of new AV technology and the many segments of the AV industry may leave candidates feeling dizzy. Live events, which account for a considerable chunk of AV, may sing to your inner audiophile. On the other hand, tech-savvy av professionals have made their entire careers servicing videoconferencing technologies (Cisco Webex, Zoom).

Then there is AV Integration, which is more like the construction business.  AV integration requires designing and installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining AV systems. The demand for qualified technicians in this field is especially high. 

Every business is seeing the value in a new conference room; Complete with videoconferencing, sound and lighting, and large format displays. Software video conferencing companies like Webex has also upped the ante on smart rooms. Systems can now be remotely integrated, controlled and supported through network integration.

AV Professional Looking for a Job? - Click Here to Connect with a Recruiter

Projections for the AV Industry

As our world becomes smaller the goal of staying connected remains a global imperative. AV integration has experienced the most dynamic growth. 

AVIXA, the board which handles licensure for the Audiovisual Industry, has marked this trend. AVIXA Board of Director Jeff Day, cited that by 2023 AV Integration (ProAV) will be a “230 Billion Dollar Market”. This outpaces our country’s projected GDP rate considerably. 

So it stands to reason that getting a job in the AV Integration space should be relatively easy... right?

Here’s the kicker…

There seems to be some confusion as to what technical experience hiring managers are looking for in AV candidates. AVIXA’s Sean Wargo, Director of Market Intelligence, elaborates:

“The market for AV solutions is consistently strong; the industry must continually grow to meet the demand...the challenge is often finding the qualified labor to staff the influx of AV design and integration projects.”

Sean Wargo, AVIXA

Simply put, there are not enough qualified technicians and designers to step into these roles opening up at the AV Integrators. Many hiring managers elect to pass on candidates coming from other roles in the AV field.

Which qualifications are in demand for hiring managers?

An AV technician needs to know the ins and outs of basic installation. This includes pulling and terminating cat5 and cat6 cable, soldering, installing LEDs, projectors, and microphones. 

cat5 cable

But is it enough to advance past an entry-level technician job?

Margins are shrinking when it comes to building and selling hardware systems, and trending more towards software-based solutions. Now more than ever, it is in the best interest of savvy AV technicians to invest in the right vendor certifications. The issue is, there are almost as many industry certifications as there are racks of gear being pumped by these integrators. 

You have the AVIXA CTS or CTS D or CTS I variants. There is the slew of Crestron certifications. Let’s not forget Extron, Biamp, Tesira, and still, the list goes on.

Not to mention industry certifications tend to be on the pricey side. For example, the CTS prep course (highly recommended) is around $1000. The CTS exam itself is $175. Getting all the AV certifications can be an expensive and time-consuming undertaking.

Which AV Training Courses are Most Important

There are no simple answers. This author’s job involves talking to experienced candidates and hiring managers in the audiovisual industry. 

I started asking the question: in your experience, what is the best experience? 

Over several conversations between candidates and managers alike certain patterns began to emerge. 

One key takeaway is the AVIXA CTS certification has value and is globally recognized. 

However, it’s value to hiring managers is that it covers broad industry knowledge. In this way, it is more of a ticket to play as opposed to any indication of specific knowledge or experience. 

More credence might be given to the CTS -I (for AV Installation) and CTS-D (for Design). These tests are regarded as more difficult and deal with specific job functions in AV. Still, the CTS certifications serve the valuable purpose of helping you gain visibility amongst hiring managers and recruiters. In one manager’s words, a CTS is never required but shows the individual is “self-motivated and passionate about AV.”

Hiring Manager Looking for a Candidate? - Click Here to Connect with a Recruiter

Vendor-Specific Training

The general consensus seems to be that vendor-specific training is much more applicable in the field. While every integrator’s process is a little different, there is considerable overlap in the technology being utilized. Certain vendor certifications appear to be worth their weight in gold when it comes to getting recognized by hiring managers. As stated earlier, many of these certifications line up with the trend of AV moving from hardware to software business. 

Crestron Certifications

Crestron, which is the Windows software used to program audiovisual components in smart rooms, is ubiquitous in commercial settings. 

Installers that possess certifications from Crestron, such as the DCM-E-4k, consistently have an edge up in the marketplace. 

Candidates applying for Field Engineer need to know how to use Crestron Toolbox, and should also know its basic functions. 

Many techs hear the word “programming” and want to run for the hills. However, the training is not as scary as one might think. According to one candidate with 30 years in ProAV:“Crestron’s certification program is fabulously well run and gives plenty of time for test preparation.”

DSP Vendor Certifications

DSP vendor certs such as Biamp, Dante and Tesira also score high points on the application. 

Again, integrators will vary in their choices, but Biamp’s offerings in particular thoroughly cover the “audio” in audiovisual. Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC) is one specific area that is covered, to achieve maximum speech quality in audio. 

Many integrators will have at least one key contact on staff that is Biamp certified and also serves as a Biamp channel partner. So you can bet, Biamp certified engineers that can write DSPs are highly sought after by many AV integrators.

Are AV Certifications Worth It?

With all this said it may come as no surprise that to hiring managers, experience trumps most anything. If you’re not yet working on ideal AV projects, you should consider continued education in the form of AV certifications. 

It is true that many firms will pay for training. But, what if you are not currently employed or climbing the ranks at an integrator? 

If coming out of pocket is not an option, many vendors have free online training to get you started. Targeting AV integration projects that are using these technologies and seeking an entry-level spot is also a strategy worth considering.

Related Blogs:

LOOKING TO HIRE AV TECHS? MAKE SURE TO LOOK FOR TALENT IN THESE 2 SECTORS. 

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN AV TECHNICIAN? (HINT: YOU DO!) 

 

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, Career Path, Video Interview, Career Advice

Looking To Hire AV Techs? Make Sure To Look For Talent In These 2 Sectors.

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Looking To Hire AV TECH Make Sure to Look In These 2 Sectors

 

Complex AV Systems have become essential to corporations, government, education institutions, transportation, and consumer outlets. Industrywide growth is steady and each year we are seeing the demand deepen. According to the NSCA's State of the Industry report, the majority of market sectors were projecting growth between 15-55% growth for 2016. These trends are borne out in our own practice here at J.Patrick, where we are seeing high demand for talent in all AV roles. See all our jobs listed here.

One of the positions we see some of the heaviest demand is for AV Techs. And while candidates entering at this level might not need much prior experience in the field or certifications, the search for talent can still be tough. It's important to keep an open mind when vetting candidates, and considering those who come from parallel industries.

Let's explore a few such parallel industries we've found to be good sources of talent.

 

Music

The music industry is a natural place to search for AV talent as many of the skills and abilities are easily transferable to AV/IT. That the music industry can be a difficult place to make a living and/or to get ahead, makes it an obvious place to recruit for talent.

While many people enter the music sector for the passion and the love of music, they also realize they need an industry that can offer them career growth. AV/IT is a natural fit in that regard. We've found that the fact that techs can expect to work in a variety of settings (such as commercial locations, schools, corporations, etc) with technology that is always changing and improving, is very appealing to these kinds of candidates.

It's worth noting too that video production is also a good source for talent.

 

Security Video

Once upon a time security companies simply offered alarm, call, surveillance, and sprinkler systems - the tent poles of basic home/office/institution security. But those days are long gone, and we've seen many traditional security companies expanding their offerings into areas that closely parallel AV/IT.

And as a result technicians from this field are well prepared to move into AV/IT. They come with a knowledge of cabling, installation, and the kind of troubleshooting that is required of AV techs. They're well accustomed to working on-site, crawling through walls and under tables in settings that can be sensitive, cramped or in use at the time of installation.

They also have a firm understanding of how to work efficiently all while being the face of the company with customers.

Just as with other in-demand roles, when it comes to the search for AV Technicians, being willing to set aside your checklist can result in finding the best talent.

 

Related Blogs:

HOW TO START OFF RIGHT AS AN AV TECHNICIAN 

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN AV TECHNICIAN? (HINT: YOU DO!)

WILL VIDEO CONFERENCING INTERVIEWS SAVE OR COST YOUR COMPANY?

 

 

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, HR and Hiring

How To Transition From AV Technician To Management

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

AV Technician To Management

The road from AV technician to management is not always direct. Certainly, there are the fundamental skills and attributes you need in order to move from tech to lead, but the route to promotion isn’t always linear or all that clearly marked.

What we do know, is that a great Audio visual technician with good fundamental skills is primed to move into management. They are knowledgeable, reliable, and thorough. They’ve got good communication skills and know-how to handle customers on the job site.  More than that, they understand that their Technical Operations Manager is swamped.

While the Ops Manager is in charge of the job, their days are filled with juggling meetings with upper management and clients. Still, they must monitor budget concerns, schedules, parts orders, and troubleshooting day-to-day disasters. If they’re the equivalent of commissioned officers, what they need are reliable, knowledgeable and trustworthy sergeants out in the field, running interference for them.

So, how do you get from AV field technician (foot soldier) to field manager (sergeant)?

Let’s explore three fundamental routes an AV technician can take to go from hands in, to hands off.

 

It’s Organic

Sometimes it just happens.

Okay, I know that sounds too easy, but think about it. You have a team that’s taxed on both ends -- managers who are trying to keep a job on time, on a budget, and on quality, and technicians who are racing to get the work done. Who better to act as the intermediary than someone who can do everyone else’s job.

If you’ve proven yourself to be trustworthy, reliable, knowledgeable, punctual and have good communication skills, then you’re naturally going to be given more and more responsibility.

 

Find A Hole And Fill It

Okay, so let’s say you’re everything you should be, but no one is offering you a bump up. If you think you’re ready, ask for more responsibility. Make it your job to ensure that the job site is kept clean, that the customer is happy, that everyone is following procedure.

This is not to say that you make yourself the self-appointed boss, but if you manage to keep an eye on the big picture of an install rather than just your little plot of ground, you’ve put yourself in the position to become indispensable. There are many managers out there who are simply too busy to stop and look for the help they need.

If you want it, you’re going to have to ask for it.

 

Go Out And Get It

It’s possible that you’re doing everything you should be: you’re motivated, reliable, trusted and a great mentor to the other guys in the field. And yet, you still can’t find a way to move up in your company.

If that’s the case, it very well might be time to move on. Not every company is well-suited or prepared to foster in-house talent. Or perhaps they’ve given you the added responsibility but are not in a position to bump up your compensation. This is the time to make sure your resume is up to date, and get in touch with a trusted and knowledgeable recruiter.

There’s a great deal of opportunity out there today for motivated and well-rounded techs, make sure you don’t get left behind!

 

Related Blogs:

HOW TO GET PROMOTED FROM AV TECHNICIAN TO LEAD TECHNICIAN

LEADERS ARE MADE, NOT BORN. DEVELOP YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS NOW.

 

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, Career Path

How IoT is Changing AV Sectors

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 @ 10:53 AM

How IoT is changing AV Sectors

 

The Internet of Things, or IoT, is the network of devices (cars/buildings/refrigerators) embedded with software, sensors, electronics, etc that allow them to network and communicate and exchange data. It’s an exciting development impacting many sectors- prime among them, the AV industry.   

 

Cutting Costs.

Less Hardware = Less Money. With the  IoT, audio and visual information are transmitted wirelessly. It can be run on the same cable as the internet, phones, power and other devices, all which contributed to cutting down on the costs of wiring.  The number of necessary control devices also drops as one display can be used to run all of the operations. Technology such as Power over Ethernet (PoE) is just one example of this consolidation of wiring.

 

Easing Integration.

IoT allows for multiple devices to communicate with one another remotely. This opens a number of possibilities in AV. A conference room could have a screen that is connected to multiple devices, allowing for multiple attendees to display information with no wires. Microphones can be switched on and off from one central device, say a desktop or a smartphone. Sensors on the windows read the amount of sunlight coming in, and communicate with the lighting to adjust the overhead lights as needed. The possibilities are quite endless.

 

Smart Signage.

With IoT, digital signs are becoming more reactive, and therefore more effective. If, for example, a customer walks into a store they’ve shopped in previously (or have a membership to), digital signage can now offer/advertise specific items to that customer. All the sign needs is a Bluetooth connection to a customer’s phone and it can tailor offers similar to previous purchases from the customer.

Or, signage can be informative. EZ Pass gateways can time how long it takes vehicles to move between tolls, and let drivers know the estimated time with current traffic conditions. Airports can read how many Bluetooth devices are in a security line, and how long it takes each one to get through. Then, they can automatically message flyers with an alert if they should arrive early due to unusually long security lines. Parking garages can sense which spaces are open, and connect to a car's satnav to direct them to the most convenient spot.

 

Homes with an IQ.

When it’s said that IoT can connect anything, it isn’t an exaggeration. Samsung is working to create a full line of home appliances monitored and controlled with a mobile device. Lights, the radio, even a fridge can be monitored and controlled with your phone from anywhere.  

 

Eye in the Sky.

Do you know what’s really cool? Taking birds-eye-view pictures. Or Videos. And with IoT, this has become a lot easier, using drones. With the ability to take shots that would normally require much more money or setup time, drones allow companies big and small to get footage beyond comprehension. The applications of drones in AV range from landscaping advertising to sports events and so on. 

 

A Bright Future

All of these changes and advancements mean that the role and expectations of AV companies are changing with them. When looking for talent, a few specific skills need to be kept in mind.

1) Knowledge of IT is no longer a perk, it’s a requirement. Being able to set up a network, or test the connections between devices is important. Integration doesn’t mean just physically setting up a system, it’s making sure all of the devices are talking to each other digitally.

2) AV companies need to be looking for Information Security Analysts (read more on how to hire the best infosec analysts). With all the new forms of connectivity available, comes a host of new ways for information to be stolen or compromised. Security has to be a prime concern when we have multiple devices talking to each other and accessing data and personal information.

Staying ahead in the AV space doesn’t only mean having the newest equipment, it also means keeping an eye on all the other info-sec technologies. Integration is the name of the game if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

 

Related Blogs:

HOW TO HIRE AND RETAIN THE BEST SECURITY ANALYSTS

IOT SECURITY: PROTECT YOUR COMPANY AND CUSTOMERS

 

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC, network security, cyber-security, IoT

How to Get Promoted from AV Technician to Lead technician

Posted by Nicholas Stearns on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 @ 01:00 PM

AV Technician to Lead Technician

As a follow up from last week’s article How to Start Off Right as an AV Technician, we will look at taking the next step in your career. For an Audio Visual Technician (AV Tech) this often means moving up into the position of Lead Technician.

Here are things to keep in mind as you prepare to take it to the next level.

 

Know customers, and Know Them Well

Just because you’re an AV technician doesn’t mean you don’t need to be polished in front of customers. The same goes for a Lead Technician, just ten times more.

If you want to prove yourself as leader material, customer service is key. Take every opportunity to get in front of them, and find your way of working with them. Lead Technicians are the face of the company and need to have great people skills.

 

Specialize. Hard.

Being a Lead requires being the best at dealing with the team’s specific task. So find what you really enjoy, and get good at it. Become the best.

Speak to your manager about acquiring more certifications. If they won’t pay for it, get as many as you can on your own. CTS, CTS-D, CTS-I and other certifications show that you have skills beyond the norm, and the dedication to finish what you set out to do. Keep current with InfoComm for information on the certifications, and when the next training session is taking place. Show prospective employers that you have the skills to lead a team through a tricky situation.

 

Experience Experience Experience

If there is one thing that every single Lead technician has, it’s the experience. And experience is only gained in the field.

Find your own way of doing things. When you come up against new challenges, test ways to work through them. Listen to your Leads, ask for advice and always keep your eyes open. It's short and simple, but it's the most important thing you can have.

 

Learn Leadership Skills

The biggest difference between an AV Technician and a Lead technician is the ability to do just that: Lead. So pay attention to the Leads you work with. How exactly do they support and lead the team?

Take leadership courses. Read blogs, books, and papers about leadership, and what it takes to be an effective manager. Learning skills beyond the technical side is what will set you apart from your peers for promotion.

 

Polish Up

Leads spend more of their time in front of customers. They’ve refined not only their skills in the field and with the customer but with the managers within their company.

Come in early, leave late. Even though your job requires casual clothing, make sure you look your best, free of stains and logos (other than your company of course).

By presenting yourself as someone to be taken seriously and professionally, you make it easier for others to see you that way. Show your company that you are the person they should have representing them to customers.

 

Get Going

Pushing yourself to gain leadership abilities, and having the technical skills to boot are surefire ways to prove to management that you are the best choice for their next Lead Technician.

 

Related Blogs:

LEADERS ARE MADE, NOT BORN. DEVELOP YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS NOW. 

HOW TO START OFF RIGHT AS AN AV TECHNICIAN 

 

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Tags: AV/VTC/UC

AV Integration: The Hot Job Market No One Knows About

Posted by Alysa Wishingrad on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 @ 11:00 AM

AV Integration

AV Integration, the seamless control of leading-edge technologies through a single interface, is helping to reinvent workplace communications. And it’s one of the fastest growing industries within the IT space.

According to InfoComm's 2014 Market Definition and Strategy Guide, the AV industry is projected to be a $119 billion global industry by the end of 2016. Established industry leaders are growing at a brisk pace even as more companies are expanding on their traditional offerings of telephone, cabling, alarm systems, and security to enter the sector.  Job opportunities are plentiful, salaries are competitive and firms are willing to compromise on requirements.

So, given all these positives, why is the industry experiencing a recruitment issue?

Well, it could be because AV is not traditionally thought of as “cool” or cutting edge as traditional IT spaces. It might even evoke thoughts of that guy in High School - the one with the oversized key chain hanging from his belt loop who was always pushing the AV cart through the hallways, the weight of his responsibilities nearly as heavy as his key fob.

It could also be because not enough people know that AV has matured into a bonafide IT sector.

 

Let’s run through a list of reasons why you should be looking into AV Integration:

 

Chance For Growth

Industry leaders in the integration field are eager to hire people early in their careers for a number of reasons, even as they know their ideal employees are not coming out of school pre-built for the industry. Companies understand that they have to invest in and be dedicated to training and development. What this means for you is the on-going expansion of your skill set, certifications and knowledge base. And while this makes for a satisfying experience at work, what it also does is make you a more valuable candidate further down the road.

 

It’s Really Cool

While traditional IT spaces, such as development and cyber security get more heat and are thought of as more ‘sexy”, what they don’t offer is the opportunity to build large integrated systems. Unifying video, media, communications, data, cloud, and security present exciting challenges, and as the capacity of these related fields grows, so too do the opportunities for expansion. Think of AV as the marriage between media and communications, the possibilities are endless.

 

Custom Work

While the rest of the IT sector is mainly focused on scalable, repeatable solutions, AV Integration takes a more custom approach. The collaboration solutions and services created for clients are unique and specialized. Like a fine craftsman, projects afford you the opportunity to learn with every build, keeping the work ever-changing and challenging.

 

Old Dogs, New Tricks

Due to the fact that AV Integration is currently being taught in only a handful of 4-year and 2-year college programs, companies have been relying heavily on re-training. We are seeing several of our clients in this space hiring programmers and then training them up in AV. What this means for the company is they get the benefit of an experienced worker, while the employees are benefiting from quality training and new challenges. And because of the current recruiting challenges, there is ample opportunity to move between companies.

 

New Initiatives, Internship Opportunities, and Certifications on the Rise

This is an industry dedicated to growth. Some, companies, such as Advanced Technologies are partnering with Universities in their area to create internship opportunities and training programs. And these are not limited to engineering and technical positions only, sales, design and finance internships are available as well.

And then there are initiatives such as The Ignite Program by NSCA, a program dedicated to making students aware of both the field of AV and the opportunities available to them in the industry.

The next several years will see an increase in certification programs from both 2-year schools, such as the Electronic Systems Technician (EST) certification from NSC, A and an increasing number of certs from InfoComm. Additionally, if the industry has its way, we’ll begin to see more 4-year schools offering coursework geared toward professions in the AV space.

While some may view AV Integration as something of a vo-tech industry, the well- trained young employee has the opportunity to get right into a high paying job, build their skills for a long and diverse career, and make enough money early enough in their career to pay off those loans.

 

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Tags: Job Search, AV/VTC/UC

Inside Steps on Career Advancement

Posted by Daniel Sullivan on Thu, Jun 04, 2015 @ 10:00 AM
career advancement
 
 
We all strive to be our best and develop successfully throughout our career. Successful recruiting agencies can help you in this process. In a changing marketplace, understanding the distinction between Career Advancement and Career Development can help clarify your goals and prime you for success. At J. Patrick & Associates, we understand employment dynamics and how to make them work for you.
 
 

Career advancement is generally thought of as an increase of skill or responsibility in the same role for which one was originally hired. Pursuing companies which support additional training and certification add value and supports career-advancement. In the AV/VTC/UC sectors, certifications such as CTS-i, CTS-d, CEIDA, Crestron DMC-D, and Extron are great when it comes to career-advancement over time.

 

Certifications build legitimacy as you advance in your career, but career development focuses on long-term professional development. If career advancements are the pages in a book, career developments are the chapters. Career development benchmarks include increased base-rate of pay, improved compensation packages, increased responsibility and the possibility of contributing to the long term direction of the company. Becoming an organizational decision maker is a hallmark of Career Development.

 

While discrete skills make up part of the career cycle, compensation packages and corporate culture engage the lifestyle needs of employees. Both specific skills and lifestyle needs are important.

 

Compensation packages vary between companies and the specific needs of employees. For example, the compensation package found attractive to a recent college-grad will look very different from the ideal compensation package sought after by an established professional.

 

The executive recruiters at J. Patrick & Associates have placed hundreds of candidates in the AV/VTC/UC sectors. We can help you find the kind of work and compensation packages that meet your needs.

 

Companies are stronger when talent is rewarded with the opportunity of career-advancement and the stability conferred by compensation packages with an eye towards career-development. Recognizing the interplay of these two factors can help you determine the next steps in your career. For more information on employment in the AV/TC and UC sectors, visit www.jpatrick.com/av-vtc/ or contact one of our sector specialists to see what J. Patrick & Associates can do for you.

 

Related Blogs:

HEALTHY IT ECONOMY MEANS BUSINESSES ARE SPENDING AND HIRING AGAIN

HOW TO TRANSITION FROM AV TECH TO MANAGEMENT

Tags: Recruiter Tips, AV/VTC/UC, Career Strategies