Broadcast technicians, sound engineering technicians and audio and video equipment technicians are all digital multimedia technicians. While A/V technicians set up sound and lighting equipment, sound engineering technicians are responsible for audio recordings, and broadcast technicians may edit recordings and deal with signals to broadcast content over radio or television. Many professionals in these fields hold post-secondary certificates or degrees.
Digital multimedia technicians manage a wide range of electronic and audiovisual equipment across a broad variety of settings, from sporting events to conferences to classrooms. Educational requirements for this job can vary widely, with a high school diploma being sufficient for certain entry-level positions. However, technicians often earn a certificate or an associate's degree.
|Broadcast Technician||Sound Engineering Technician||A/V Technician|
|Required Education||Certificate or associate's degree||Certificate or associate's degree||Certificate or associate's degree|
|Other Requirements||Voluntary certification available||Voluntary certification available||Voluntary certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||-6%||8%||12%|
|Average Salary (2015)*||$44,050||$63,340||$46,630|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Digital multimedia technicians are sometimes known as A/V equipment technicians, broadcast technicians or sound engineering technicians. Read more about these career options below.
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
A/V technicians work with the physical devices used in recording -- microphones, speakers, lights, cables, monitors and more -- in wide-ranging scenarios like sporting events, concerts and political events. As of May 2015, the BLS stated that these professionals earned an average annual salary of $46,630. The BLS also stated that, from 2014 to 2024, audio and video equipment technicians were expected to see a 12% increase in employment, which is about as fast as the national average for all occupations.
Broadcast Engineering Technicians
Broadcast technicians work with the equipment involved in radio and television signals, and may also edit recordings. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals were expected to see a decline of 6% in employment from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, the BLS stated that broadcast technicians earned an average annual salary of $44,050.
Sound Engineering Technicians
Sound engineering technicians are professionals who manage audio recordings in a variety of circumstances, including sporting events or movie productions. The BLS predicted that these professionals would see an 8% increase in growth from 2014 to 2024, which is categorized as little to no growth. The BLS also stated that they earned an average annual salary of $63,340 as of May 2015.
Before installing or setting up equipment required by their employers, multimedia technicians create a layout of the necessary audio and video equipment. For long-term jobs, they might make improvements to that setup over time, especially by swapping outdated equipment for more modern technology. They also examine their multimedia systems to ensure those systems are performing as required. Often, they fix smaller problems and alert superiors when major repairs are needed.
On the job, multimedia technicians monitor proceedings to ensure things run smoothly. Depending on the complexity of their assignment, they might have to switch between competing video or audio inputs and mix audio channels to achieve proper sound levels. Recording, compressing and archiving video and audio data may also be part of their job duties. Finally, they might train others to use the multimedia equipment at their disposal.
A January 2011 survey of open job postings for multimedia technicians on the website Monster.com indicated that education requirements for this job varied significantly. Similarly, the labor website O*Net reported a mix of educational backgrounds for audio and visual equipment technicians. However, it noted that while some employees learned their skills on the job, associate's degrees were the most common educational background among those in the field.
Some community colleges and technical institutes offer 2-year programs in broadcast technology. Students learn to work with the latest audiovisual electronics, including digital equipment. Courses teach video, television, radio and live event production.
A career as a digital multimedia technician entails working with electronic and audiovisual equipment. While it may be possible to enter the field without formal training and learn on the job, most professionals in this field have postsecondary certificates or associate's degrees.