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How to become an Audiovisual Technician

audiovisual technician careers

What does a Audiovisual Technician do?

Audiovisual (AV) technicians, also known as AV support technicians, set up, program, operate and maintain all types of audiovisual equipment in conference, exhibition or learning environments. Typical equipment includes slide, overhead and multimedia projectors, DVD, CD, video recorders and players, PA systems, video conferencing tools, stills and video cameras, darkroom facilities, sound engineering and video editing suites, lighting, control rigs, and reprographic equipment. The role is often combined with that of IT technician, with responsibility for PCs and peripherals, such as scanners and printers.

Technicians may be employed directly by a school, college or university, an exhibitions company or specialist AV services supplier. Other employers include larger organisations with their own AV departments, such as local authorities and larger public bodies.

On a day-to-day basis AV technicians' duties include:

  • selecting, installing and configuring appropriate equipment in line with teaching staff requirements or as specified by the event organisers or exhibition designers
  • setting up displays and operating equipment and controls during rehearsals, live shows, conferences and exhibitions
  • providing first-line support, including on-the-spot diagnosis and rectification of minor faults as and when they occur – where faults are more serious, technicians make arrangements for substitute equipment to be provided
  • carrying out scheduled maintenance checks, which may include portable appliance testing (PAT)
  • managing the tracking system, updating records detailing the exact location of equipment and times booked out and returned, and writing up technical reports based on equipment maintenance test results
  • assisting or training users in particular types of equipment, writing training notes and organising follow-up workshops when equipment is upgraded
  • working with in-house departments to produce publicity and teaching materials
  • carrying out equipment audits as part of facilities development or upgrade plans, sourcing and recommending purchases, and negotiating prices with equipment suppliers.

Senior technicians may be responsible for coordinating a team of support staff in carrying out the above duties.

For IT technical support roles see profile for IT Support Technician.

What's the working environment like working as a Audiovisual Technician?

A working week is typically 35 to 40 hours, Monday to Friday, with occasional overtime. Part-time work is often available. Some school or college based jobs may mean work is during term times only. Conference and exhibition jobs will often include evening and weekend work.

The work is indoors, and usually involves some lifting and carrying of heavy equipment. Travel between sites is often required, so a driving licence would be useful.

What does it take to become a Audiovisual Technician?

As an audiovisual technician, you should:

  • have excellent technical skills and be familiar with the main AV equipment types
  • have good troubleshooting skills
  • possess creative skills
  • have good IT skills
  • be well organised
  • be able to work well as part of a team and on your own initiative
  • be able to work under pressure and to deadlines
  • be flexible and adaptable to deal with varied tasks
  • be willing to continually update your knowledge and skills
  • be aware of electrical safety issues
  • be client focused and able to work with staff and students at all levels.

Audiovisual Technician Career Opportunities

Audiovisual technicians are employed in the education sector by schools, colleges and universities, and the events sector by conference and exhibition organisers. They also work for specialist AV service providers and equipment suppliers.

Promotion prospects vary. In small organisations possibilities may be limited, but larger organisations may offer structured career routes.

Experienced technicians with relevant qualifications could move into roles such as AV support department manager, facilities manager at a convention centre, or a sound or lighting director in a theatre or concert hall. With additional training in engineering, opportunities may exist in the broadcast equipment manufacturing sector.

For roles in broadcasting and the media, see the technical profiles in the Performing Arts, Broadcast and Media jobs family.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Audiovisual Technician that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Skillset Careers
Tel: 08080 300 900 for England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Tel: 0808 100 8094 for Scotland

Prospect House
80-110 New Oxford Street

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