Audiovisual production specialists create and produce visual and auditory media. Depending on the exact nature of the job, an audiovisual specialist may do everything from configuring cameras and lighting to participating in post-production edits and everything in between. Requirements vary significantly depending on the exact position, but usually involve some formal schooling combined with experiential learning.
Audiovisual production specialists set up and operate the electronic equipment used for audio and video production in a variety of settings. They may work in broadcast, entertainment or media firms, but they are also employed by companies with in-house production equipment and telecommunications needs. Training and experience are often more important than formal education because of the technical expertise needed to use and troubleshoot audio and video components.
|Required Education||Certificate, associate's degree or bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||7%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$41,440*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Duties of an Audiovisual Production Specialist
Though the specific job duties of an audiovisual production specialist often depend upon the type of employer, the main objective is to produce high-quality media that meets professional standards. Some audiovisual production specialists configure cameras, microphones, light kits and other multimedia systems for others to use; others set up and operate this equipment themselves in studios, sports and performance venues, offices and classrooms. In addition to recording or broadcasting content, audiovisual production specialists may be tasked with capturing, editing and disseminating the media product in analog or digital formats.
To ensure they achieve professional quality, audiovisual production specialists maintain, adjust and troubleshoot equipment. They monitor the clarity of visual images, adjust audio levels, check connectors and cables for integrity and resolve issues through repair when possible. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) noted that recent advances in broadcast and video technology may require that audiovisual production specialists redesign production facilities and upgrade equipment, as in the case of the equipment needed for the transition to HDTV broadcasting (www.bls.gov).
Salary and Employment Outlook
The BLS predicted that audio and visual equipment technicians, the group most closely related to audiovisual production specialists, could see employment increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the reported median salary for audio and video equipment technicians was $41,440, the BLS noted.
Requirements to Become an Audiovisual Production Specialist
The BLS reports that education requirements varied widely for entry-level technical careers in broadcasting, multimedia and other production occupations. While some positions require a high school education, employers may also prefer to hire applicants with additional knowledge and experience in the field, ranging from vocational training programs to a bachelor's degree. According to the BLS, a degree is usually not necessary for entry-level positions, but it may help individuals advance to positions with supervisory duties or positions in more competitive markets.
The technical demands of this profession necessitate in-depth knowledge of electronics and computer technology, especially in regards to the specific equipment used to mix, edit, record and transmit audio and video. Educational programs in audio and video production range from undergraduate certificates to associate's and bachelor's degrees. Certificate and degree programs provide an overview of mass media and broadcast technologies, and they often provide hands-on classes in editing, studio techniques, computer graphics production and field production.
An audiovisual production specialist needs a keen eye for detail, a perfectionist attitude, knowledge of audiovisual technology and strong problem solving skills. They work in many types of situations to set up and operate audio and video equipment. Formal training is available through certificate and undergraduate degree programs, but much of an audiovisual production specialist's knowledge comes from on-the-job experience.