Career Information for a Degree in Audio Visual Technologies

Sep 29, 2019

A certificate or associate's degree in audio visual technology and audio and sound technology can prepare individuals to become an audio visual technology professional. Broadcast technicians, sound engineering technicians and audio visual technicians all work within this field.

Essential Information

Audio visual technology professionals are multimedia specialists who operate, maintain and repair AV equipment, edit footage and audio tracks, and make production decisions. Postsecondary certificates and associate degrees in audio visual technologies, and other related fields, are available for those who wish to pursue a career as a technician. Those who have a passion for working with electronics and are interested in different types of multimedia should consider a position in this field.

Career Audio Visual Technicians Sound Engineering Technicians Broadcast Technicians
Education Requirements Postsecondary certificate or associate degree Postsecondary certificate or associate degree Associate degree
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 12% 2% 1%
Median Annual Salary (2018)* $43,770 $52,390 $40,080

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Career options in audio visual technologies include broadcasting, audio production, sound engineering, and video editing. Graduates of audio visual technologies programs can pursue positions as broadcast technicians, sound mixers, or master control operators.

Audio Visual Technician

Audio visual technicians set up, operate, maintain, and instruct others on basic uses of AV equipment. AV technicians are employed to provide and operate equipment for business conferences, seminars, meetings, concerts, and other events. Their job duties include mixing sound inputs, storing audio or video data, designing equipment layouts, and monitoring sound feeds. Equipment that audio visual technicians use includes lighting systems, speakers, video screens, and mixers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the audio and video equipment technicians category was expected to grow faster than average from 2018 to 2028. As of May 2018, the average annual salary for these workers was $48,940.

Sound Engineering Technician

Sound engineering technicians are employed in recording studios, concert halls, radio stations, and other settings where sound is recorded or broadcast. They use a variety of instruments and equipment to record sounds, edit recordings, mix music and synchronize sounds with productions. These professionals set up and tear down equipment for special events, develop soundtracks and edit equipment. According to the BLS, workers in this field are expected see slow job growth from 2018 to 2028. In addition, heavy competition for these jobs was expected. The U.S. employed only 15,900 sound engineering techs as of May 2018. The BLS reported the average salary was $63,500 for sound engineering technicians in 2018.

Broadcast Technician

Broadcast technicians are also known as master control operators, board operators, or audio engineers. They're responsible for operating and maintaining television and radio program equipment. They regulate program volume, monitor broadcast signals, and use automated systems to record programs. While some of these technicians perform a wide variety of duties, others may focus on specific areas, such as audio, projection, or television transmitter operation. Broadcast technicians were expected a minimal or no change in job opportunities from 2018 to 2028. May 2018 salary data from the BLS showed an average annual salary of $46,770 for broadcast technicians.

Audio Visual Technologies Degree Programs

To prepare for careers in audio visual technologies, students can acquire skills through associate's or bachelor's degrees programs. Audio and video technology; broadcasting, audio production, and video production; and audio and sound technology are just some of the options available at the associate's level. Students in these programs prepare for technical careers using audio visual (AV) equipment. Some common courses include digital systems, electronics principles, and production editing. In bachelor's degree programs, students acquire broad-based knowledge in such subjects as digital audio, visual design techniques, filmmaking, and sound technology. They learn about recording studio technology, sequencing, musical scoring, and pre-production methods.

Audio visual technicians are responsible for setting up audio visual equipment, while sound engineering technicians record the audio and may be responsible for editing the recording as well. Broadcast technicians work with transmitting content over radio and television. Although broadcast technicians and sound engineering technicians are expecting a slow growth in the number of jobs from 2018 to 2028, audio and video equipment technicians can expect average to above average job growth during that same time period.

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