Media technicians are responsible for setting up, using, and maintaining audio-visual and computer media equipment in business, library or academic settings or in broadcasting. A certificate program may be all they need to enter this field.
Media technicians set up and use audio-visual and computer media equipment. These professionals may work for businesses, government agencies, libraries, or academic institutions from elementary to tertiary schools. These workers may be known as library technicians or audio and video equipment technicians. Getting into this field requires a postsecondary education, such as a certificate or associate's degree.
|Required Education||Postsecondary non-degree certificate|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||Library technician 5%; broadcast and sound engineering techs 7%|
|Average Salary (2015)*||Library technician $34,200; audio and video equipment technicians $46,630|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Media Technician
Media technicians operate, maintain, produce, and troubleshoot audio-visual equipment and materials. Working in academic or business settings, media technicians schedule and assist with the usage of equipment to enhance meetings, lectures, and seminars. Media technicians can also provide instruction in the use of media and computer technology within the workplace in the forms of individual lessons or scheduled courses, depending on the working environment.
Library Media Technician
Media technicians working in libraries use and maintain books, magazines, software, and hardware. Understanding and assisting others in the use of microfilm, microfiche, cassettes, and videotapes, media technicians can also act as reference librarians because they are familiar with this more outdated technology. Additionally, these professionals may perform light repair work on older and more fragile technology. Library media technicians may also be required to create or assist in the creation and upkeep of a web presence for their employers or subgroups within their companies.
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
Audio and video equipment technicians set up, operate, and maintain the equipment for radio and television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings, movies and in office and school buildings. They usually work in radio, television, movie and recording studios; or they work in offices and school buildings.
Salary of a Media Technician
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage of broadcast and sound engineers in 2015 was $41,780 per year. Library technicians in the District of Columbia, California, and Hawaii earned the highest annual salaries among all states, receiving more than $42,000 a year on average. The BLS also listed salary statistics for audio and video equipment technicians, noting in May 2015, the mean annual salary earned by such specialists was $46,630.
Job Outlook for a Media Technician
In the decade between 2014 and 2024, the BLS reports that job openings for library technicians were expected to grow by 5 percent; however, the Bureau notes that this growth may be tempered by cuts in government funding. Job opportunities were expected to be best for applicants who have a certificate or associate's degree in library science, liberal arts, or related fields. Those working as broadcast and sound engineering technicians were projected to see a 7% growth that year.
To work as a media technician, a professional typically would need a postsecondary certificate. Knowledge of computer and sound equipment is crucial for some positions, while working in a library would require more specialized knowledge of older types of media. These professionals help set up, maintain and operate different types of media, including those that enhance lectures, meetings, seminars and broadcast.