Audio and Video Equipment Technician
An audio and video equipment technician could...
|Install and maintain video projection equipment in a corporate conference room.||Choose and install specialized video cameras to capture a rare volcanic eruption for a documentary.|
|Keep the Jumbotron and speaker systems at a stadium in working order.||Set up the microphones and audio equipment for a national press conference.|
Key Facts & Information
|Overview||Ever wondered who makes sure the Jumbotron works at the super bowl? Or that the microphones work at a presidential inauguration? These are the tasks of an audio and video equipment technician. Audio and video equipment technicians work to set up and operate audio and video equipment, including microphones, sound speakers, video screens, projectors, video monitors, and recording equipment.|
|Key Requirements||An affinity with electronics and the ability to work under time pressure|
|Minimum Degree||High school diploma or GED|
|Subjects to Study in High School||Physics, algebra|
|Projected Job Growth (2010-2020)||Average (7% to 13%)|
|Interview||This Q&A page from the employees of InfoComm International describes life in the audio visual industry.|
Training, Other Qualifications
Audio and video equipment technicians generally need a high school diploma. Many recent entrants have a community college degree or other form 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, which can last from 1 to several years, depending on the specifics of their job. Working in a studio as an assistant is a good way to gain experience and knowledge.
Education and Training
A high school diploma is generally needed for a job as an audio and video equipment technician. In addition, on-the-job training or an associate's degree through a technical school or community college is recommended.
Nature of the Work
Audio and video equipment technicians set up and operate 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 might also set up and operate associated spotlights and other custom lighting systems.
Audio and video equipment technicians are important for the successful implementation of many types of entertainment, including television, radio, movies, concerts, and theater. They might also work in corporate environments, setting up equipment for product demonstrations, press conferences, and in-person or virtual meetings.
Audio and video equipment technicians work in a wide variety of settings, which can be either indoors or outside, depending on the specifics of the job. Indoor jobs are often in studios, on television or movie sets, in concert halls or theaters, at corporations, in conference halls, or in auditoriums. Audio and video equipment technicians working to film live news or outdoor events, like concerts or sports games, might have to contend with difficult weather conditions.
Some audio and video equipment jobs are normal 40-hour work weeks, but many are odd hours, depending on movie production schedules, news events, and entertainment schedules.
On the Job
- Notify supervisors when major equipment repairs are needed.
- 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.
- Diagnose and resolve media system problems in classrooms.
- 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.
- Compress, digitize, duplicate, and store audio and video data.
- Obtain, set up, and load videotapes for scheduled productions or broadcasts.
- Edit videotapes by erasing and removing portions of programs and adding video or sound as required.
- Direct and coordinate activities of assistants and other personnel during production.
- Plan and develop pre-production ideas into outlines, scripts, story boards, and graphics, using own ideas or specifications of assignments.
- Maintain inventories of audio and video tapes and related supplies.
- Determine formats, approaches, content, levels, and mediums to effectively meet objectives within budgetary constraints, utilizing research, knowledge, and training.
- Record and edit audio material such as movie soundtracks, using audio recording and editing equipment.
- Inform users of audio and videotaping service policies and procedures.
- Obtain and preview musical performance programs prior to events to become familiar with the order and approximate times of pieces.
- Produce rough and finished graphics and graphic designs.
- Locate and secure settings, properties, effects, and other production necessities.
- Control the lights and sound of events, such as live concerts, before and after performances, and during intermissions.
- Conduct training sessions on selection, use, and design of audiovisual materials and on operation of presentation equipment.
- Organize and maintain compliance, license, and warranty information related to audio and video facilities.
- Develop manuals, texts, workbooks, or related materials for use in conjunction with production materials or for training.
- Perform narration of productions, or present announcements.
Companies That Hire Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
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- BLS. (2009). Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), 2008-09 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://www.bls.gov/oco/
- O*Net Online. (2009). National Center for O*Net Development. Retrieved May 1, 2009, from http://online.onetcenter.org/
- InfoComm International. (2010). Career FAQs: Consider a Challenging, Life-Long AV/IT Career. Retrieved February 16, 2010 from http://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/8599.htm
- Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (2009, December 21). Audio and Video Equipment Technicians. Retrieved February 16, 2010, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPA7GSvRlnc.