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AV Technicians

Audio-Video Technicians and Operators


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What's Needed:

  • Employer requirements for AV techs and operators vary widely.
  • Most employers prefer that technicians hold an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree in sound or video engineering or have completed training at a vocational school. Some employers may require that you hold a Bachelor in Arts (B.A.) degree.

What you study:

While pursuing training as an AV technician, you'll likely study all of the following:

  • Intro to Communications
  • Sound Engineering
  • Video Engineering
  • Sound and Video Editing
  • Broadcast Technologies
  • Intro to Marketing


Video Overview

Shows a brief overview of what audio-visual techs and operators do. Created for the US Dept. of Labor.


A Day in the Life

You clean and maintain all company AV equipment.

Your job as an audio-visual technician, or AV tech, keeps you on your toes. You occasionally fill in at a local TV station, where you are called a broadcast technician, but your primary place of employment is a private company. Today, you arrive at work before the company opens. There's a big presentation in the main conference hall this morning, and you need to set up microphones, prepare the projector and get ready to make audio and video recordings of the presentation. You work with another AV specialist to complete setup tasks and test sound and video in the room.

You assist with presentations.

About 30 minutes before the presentation is slated to begin, the president of the company comes in to make sure you've worked out the timing for his slideshow. As he gives his speech, you'll make adjustments to ensure that the slide showing matches the subject about which he's talking. You looked over his speech outline last night so that you are prepared to make any adjustments needed.

You set up a wide variety of audio and video displays.

Your partner goes through a sound check with the president while you calibrate the video equipment. One of your primary duties is to record all major company presentations. You need to make sure that you've got the lighting right and that the camera is focused on the speaker. You notice that the camera tripod is squeaking, so you lubricate it to avoid noise during the presentation. Taking care of all company AV equipment is part of your job.

You shoot, edit and upload videos on behalf of your company.

The presentation goes well. You make sure that the video components of the presentation are on the mark with the president's speech. You make adjustments to the video recording equipment as necessary. After the audience has filtered out, the president thanks you for your help. You pack up the microphone, video camera and cables. You take the camera's memory card back to your office so that you can upload the video of the presentation to your computer.

You work closely with audio and video engineers to record live events.

After lunch, you help a sales department manager set up a DVD presentation in the main conference room. He doesn't need your assistance during the presentation, but you'll come back as he's wrapping up to ensure that all video equipment is turned off and properly stored. You work on making basic edits to the video of this morning's presentation for the rest of the afternoon. You publish clips of the presentation to your company's website and head home to enjoy a relaxing evening.


Certifications and Licensing

While no certification is necessary in order to become an AV technician, many individuals pursue the Certified Technology Specialists, or CTS, designation, which is offered by InfoComm International.


Job Flexibility

Career advancement:

AV technicians who are employed in corporate offices and media companies tend to have decent career advancement opportunities. You may be able to ascend to a position as an AV manager or broadcast engineering specialist.

Work location:

As an AV tech, you may work for a corporation, nonprofit organization or media company. You can also work for yourself as a freelancer and tackle only those projects in which you are interested.


Recommended Websites

  • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for Broadcast and Sound Engineering Technicians: This publication offers information about a wide variety of AV careers. Students who are interested in pursuing training as AV techs and operators can learn more about career projections and salaries in this field but should also consult websites that offer a more well-rounded view of AV tech careers.
  • Audio Engineering Society: AES's site provides information about sound engineering conferences, training and education. Those individuals who are interested in working primarily as audio techs can use the site's community area to network and find jobs.
  • The National Association of Audio Video Technicians: This LinkedIn-based group provides a wealth of resources for both experienced AV professionals and students who are interested in careers in this field. Use the site to get insider tips on AV technician jobs and to network with other professionals.


Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column -- for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AKAnchorage$36,080$26K - $55K1000.06%
ALBirmingham - Hoover$36,360$21K - $72K1400.03%
ALMobile$30,780$18K - $48K500.03%
ALTuscaloosa$30,710$26K - $61K300.03%
ARLittle Rock - North Little Rock - Conway$29,710$19K - $45K1400.04%
AZPhoenix - Mesa - Glendale$34,460$22K - $66K1,0000.06%
AZTucson$40,850$24K - $84K2100.06%
CABakersfield - Delano$46,230$19K - $69K800.03%
CAFresno$38,370$21K - $57K1500.05%
CALos Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale (Metro Area)$49,480$27K - $91K3,9400.10%
CAModesto$32,160$21K - $38K300.02%
CAOakland - Fremont - Hayward (Metro Area)$47,130$33K - $70K2300.02%
CAOxnard - Thousand Oaks - Ventura$37,420$31K - $81K700.03%
CASacramento - Arden - Arcade - Roseville$41,370$19K - $67K1500.02%
CASalinas$49,970$31K - $73K600.04%
CASan Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos$36,930$25K - $73K3100.02%
CASan Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City (Metro Area)$51,300$35K - $90K1,1000.11%
CASan Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara$39,970$23K - $67K4800.05%
CASan Luis Obispo - Paso Robles$37,510$28K - $67KN/AN/A
CASanta Ana - Anaheim - Irvine (Metro Area)$49,890$23K - $74K7700.05%
CASanta Barbara - Santa Maria - Goleta$47,870$35K - $93K900.05%
CASanta Rosa - Petaluma$42,480$26K - $67K400.03%
COColorado Springs$41,990$19K - $73K1600.07%
CODenver - Aurora - Broomfield$51,000$31K - $74K8500.07%
COFort Collins - Loveland$45,270$26K - $78K400.03%
CTBridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk$50,060$31K - $74K1000.02%
CTHartford - West Hartford - East Hartford$40,330$31K - $59K5400.10%
CTNew Haven$47,820$25K - $71K1700.06%
CTNorwich - New London$35,610$21K - $59K1100.08%
DCWashington - Arlington - Alexandria (Metro Area)$45,060$29K - $77K1,1600.05%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$42,160$28K - $83K700.02%
FLCape Coral - Fort Myers$33,860$27K - $51K500.02%
FLFort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach - Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$41,440$28K - $69K3900.05%
FLJacksonville$30,800$26K - $45K1000.02%
FLLakeland - Winter Haven$29,240$20K - $51K400.02%
FLMiami - Miami Beach - Kendall (Metro Area)$31,990$21K - $55K3800.04%
FLNaples - Marco Island$43,550$29K - $75K400.04%
FLNorth Port - Bradenton - Sarasota$27,720$17K - $44K500.02%
FLOrlando - Kissimmee - Sanford$32,870$19K - $61K5600.06%
FLTampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater$30,230$22K - $62K2300.02%
FLWest Palm Beach - Boca Raton - Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$27,170$18K - $41K900.02%
GAAthens - Clarke County$27,860$22K - $41KN/AN/A
GAAtlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta$40,150$21K - $75K1,6000.07%
GAColumbus$19,910$16K - $43K300.03%
GASavannah$20,830$16K - $47K600.04%
HIHonolulu$36,020$18K - $59K2300.05%
IACedar Rapids$22,760$20K - $37K500.04%
IADavenport - Moline - Rock Island$24,950$18K - $78K500.03%
IADes Moines - West Des Moines$34,060$17K - $49K1200.04%
IAIowa City$44,300$20K - $60K300.04%
IDBoise City - Nampa$37,570$19K - $61K600.02%
ILChampaign - Urbana$35,510$22K - $83K300.03%
ILChicago - Joliet - Naperville (Metro Area)$40,120$18K - $73K2,2500.06%
ILLake County - Kenosha County (Metro Area)$59,310$31K - $77K700.02%
INAnderson$31,900$19K - $44K500.14%
INFort Wayne$29,420$19K - $40K700.04%
INGary (Metro Area)$31,820$19K - $47K400.01%
INIndianapolis - Carmel$33,600$25K - $58K5100.06%
INSouth Bend - Mishawaka$29,960$21K - $56K800.07%
KYBowling Green$18,180$16K - $38K300.06%
KYLexington - Fayette$29,800$17K - $54K800.03%
KYLouisville - Jefferson County$40,190$28K - $65K800.01%
LABaton Rouge$51,310$33K - $89K600.02%
LANew Orleans - Metairie - Kenner$33,400$17K - $50K3300.06%
MABoston - Cambridge - Quincy (Metro Area)$51,370$32K - $85K1,3100.08%
MAFramingham (Metro Area)$41,290$24K - $62K500.03%
MAHaverhill - North Andover - Amesbury (Metro Area)$51,350$22K - $113K500.07%
MASpringfield$41,850$28K - $61K500.02%
MAWorcester$44,580$40K - $49K3000.12%
MDBaltimore - Towson$42,780$26K - $68K5300.04%
MDBethesda - Rockville - Frederick (Metro Area)$37,390$26K - $64K3800.07%
MEPortland - South Portland - Biddeford$34,950$23K - $46K800.04%
MIAnn Arbor$27,460$21K - $38K1800.09%
MIDetroit - Livonia - Dearborn (Metro Area)$38,690$27K - $59K3700.05%
MIFlint$36,130$26K - $48K400.03%
MIGrand Rapids - Wyoming$39,510$27K - $49K1300.03%
MILansing - East Lansing$39,580$26K - $60K1200.06%
MIWarren - Troy - Farmington Hills (Metro Area)$43,410$25K - $78K5400.05%
MNDuluth$36,660$25K - $48KN/AN/A
MNMinneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington$43,340$28K - $83K5200.03%
MOKansas City$44,740$23K - $77K1500.02%
MOSpringfield$38,270$19K - $61K400.02%
MOSt. Louis$51,820$29K - $67K1,0100.08%
MSJackson$33,270$25K - $45K500.02%
NCAsheville$25,360$20K - $52K800.05%
NCCharlotte - Gastonia - Rock Hill$36,100$22K - $62K2800.03%
NCDurham - Chapel Hill$31,530$22K - $47K800.03%
NCFayetteville$28,990$17K - $44K300.03%
NCGreensboro - High Point$29,500$24K - $50K1000.03%
NCRaleigh - Cary$33,750$21K - $57K2200.04%
NCWinston - Salem$28,450$20K - $45K800.04%
NELincoln$45,480$30K - $71K700.04%
NEOmaha - Council Bluffs$40,320$21K - $48K3200.07%
NJAtlantic City - Hammonton$62,580$49K - $89K6000.44%
NJCamden (Metro Area)$51,610$35K - $74KN/AN/A
NJEdison - New Brunswick (Metro Area)$38,910$24K - $68K1900.02%
NJNewark - Union (Metro Area)$49,190$32K - $69K2000.02%
NJTrenton - Ewing$49,420$31K - $87K600.03%
NMAlbuquerque$31,500$21K - $70K2500.07%
NMSanta Fe$35,400$21K - $61K400.07%
NVLas Vegas - Paradise$58,040$36K - $82K1,4800.18%
NVReno - Sparks$41,080$28K - $70K800.04%
NYAlbany - Schenectady - Troy$44,720$29K - $84K1500.04%
NYBinghamton$42,890$17K - $60K700.06%
NYBuffalo - Niagara Falls$45,780$26K - $76K2900.06%
NYNassau - Suffolk (Metro Area)$43,980$32K - $96K4700.04%
NYNew York - White Plains - Wayne (Metro Area)$53,750$31K - $89K5,5900.11%
NYPoughkeepsie - Newburgh - Middletown$33,450$16K - $74K1100.04%
NYRochester$37,530$22K - $70K1300.03%
NYSyracuse$37,240$26K - $72K700.02%
NYUtica - Rome$42,850$28K - $69K400.03%
OHAkron$41,300$28K - $58K300.01%
OHCanton - Massillon$21,350$17K - $46K500.03%
OHCincinnati - Middletown$34,460$24K - $54K2200.02%
OHCleveland - Elyria - Mentor$36,000$24K - $70K2400.02%
OHColumbus$35,990$24K - $70K2100.02%
OHDayton$38,540$22K - $60K500.01%
OKOklahoma City$32,650$18K - $54K1300.02%
OKTulsa$31,660$18K - $46K900.02%
ORBend$31,700$19K - $53KN/AN/A
OREugene - Springfield$34,700$22K - $53K800.06%
ORPortland - Vancouver - Hillsboro$37,530$26K - $66K3900.04%
ORSalem$26,240$21K - $175K300.02%
PAAllentown - Bethlehem - Easton$44,460$24K - $60K700.02%
PAErie$32,940$16K - $54K400.03%
PAHarrisburg - Carlisle$38,880$26K - $60K1000.03%
PALancaster$35,870$22K - $115K1500.07%
PAPhiladelphia (Metro Area)$40,570$19K - $64K1,0500.06%
PAPittsburgh$38,240$23K - $72K6300.06%
PRPonce$18,430$16K - $37K400.08%
PRSan Juan - Caguas - Guaynabo$22,240$17K - $37K3100.04%
RIProvidence - Fall River - Warwick$47,120$30K - $63K1200.02%
SCCharleston - North Charleston - Summerville$28,090$21K - $47K1000.03%
SCColumbia$25,000$20K - $46K1700.05%
SCGreenville - Mauldin - Easley$25,910$20K - $45K2900.10%
SCMyrtle Beach - North Myrtle Beach - Conway$28,590$17K - $85K900.08%
TNJohnson City$50,770$31K - $77KN/AN/A
TNKnoxville$36,170$27K - $71K700.02%
TNMemphis$33,390$24K - $45K2700.04%
TNNashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro - Franklin$44,120$26K - $70K8500.11%
TXAustin - Round Rock - San Marcos$36,650$26K - $57K3300.04%
TXCorpus Christi$42,640$22K - $60KN/AN/A
TXDallas - Plano - Irving (Metro Area)$45,330$26K - $68K5900.03%
TXFort Worth - Arlington (Metro Area)$42,650$24K - $72K2100.02%
TXHouston - Sugar Land - Baytown$36,330$27K - $59K8500.03%
TXSan Antonio - New Braunfels$35,880$20K - $61K4000.05%
TXWaco$32,660$18K - $46K300.03%
UTOgden - Clearfield$19,570$16K - $36K400.02%
UTProvo - Orem$37,440$27K - $65K400.02%
UTSalt Lake City$39,350$21K - $59K4200.07%
VAHarrisonburg$42,850$30K - $51K500.08%
VALynchburg$34,550$27K - $44KN/AN/A
VARichmond$32,350$20K - $55K2000.03%
VARoanoke$27,140$18K - $53K300.02%
VAVirginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News$37,220$23K - $65K2500.04%
VAWinchester$38,080$27K - $77K300.06%
VTBurlington - South Burlington$31,730$20K - $60K400.03%
WABremerton - Silverdale$54,150$25K - $76K300.04%
WAOlympia$30,860$22K - $74K300.04%
WASeattle - Bellevue - Everett (Metro Area)$45,510$27K - $73K6600.05%
WASpokane$41,440$27K - $57KN/AN/A
WIGreen Bay$35,840$31K - $58K400.02%
WIMadison$47,350$23K - $72K1200.04%
WIMilwaukee - Waukesha - West Allis$44,180$31K - $71K2000.03%