An audio visual technician operates a wide assortment of equipment to create and project sound and visual images. His job may require him to produce simultaneous broadcasts of sounds and pictures or just one of the two mediums. The scope of his responsibilities may be limited to either the transmission or creation of the images or he may be expected to do both.
Any company that regularly utilizes sound or projected images to train employees or make presentations to current or potential customers may hire an audio visual technician. He may be referred to by many titles, including projectionist, videographer, deejay, sound mixer or stage hand. An audio visual technician can be found working in a wide range of environments. The venue may be as simple as a classroom presentation or as sophisticated as shooting a film. The job may require him to plan and implement all stages of production or he may be required to stage a production created by a third party.
Common employers of audio video technicians include speakers’ bureaus, public relations groups, government agencies, academic institutions and large corporations. Jobs at these locations often require the technician to operate film, slide and video equipment and coordinate visual displays with background music, sound effects or oral remarks. The ability to easily communicate with non-technical professionals in these environments is highly valued.
A person in this position normally needs to have an in-depth understanding of how audio and visual equipment components work, both independently and in conjunction with each other. Since there are often many pieces of equipment involved in audio visual production, a thorough understanding of how the systems produce sounds and pictures is necessary to coordinate their functions and troubleshoot mechanical problems. Knowing how to manipulate the equipment to create unique sounds and images is also desirable.
As technology advances, the equipment knowledge requirements for this position increase. Basic skills in using sound mixing equipment, lighting tools, microphones, projectors and video recorders are usually required. The technician may also need expertise in operating amplifiers and spotlights. Knowledge of the intricacies of computer based distance-learning classes, teleconferences and webinars is usually helpful.
Excellent organizational skills are generally needed to excel in this position. Clients and customers often entrust precious CD and DVD collections to the audio visual technician. He is normally expected to keep them secure as he edits and copies them to customer specifications. Controlling his personal inventory of equipment and supplies is an important part of his job.
Entry level positions in this industry do not require a college degree. If career advancement is desired, an associate’s degree in digital media or audio visual technology is often required. Further career advancement normally requires a bachelor’s degree in communications, broadcasting or journalism.