People who set up and operate different types of technological equipment are known as AV technicians. Short for audio video technician, an AV tech may work with audio equipment, such as radios and microphones, as well as video gadgets like recorders and cables. These operators play an important role in many fields, from education to the entertainment industry.
Many other roles are also known loosely as AV technicians. These jobs are usually more specialized, and include a set of skills unique to a particular area. A video technician may work in the television or radio broadcast sector, while an audio engineer deals with communication tools and technology. Many other specialized types of audio visual technicians exist as well.
In many cases, AV techs work as a part of a crew. In concerts, sporting events, films, and other entertainment venues, they often set up the technological equipment needed prior to events. During a news conference or television broadcast, they may have to set up projectors, computer or television monitors, speakers, and many other pieces of equipment. They may also monitor, troubleshoot, and repair any equipment during and after use.
Aside from the specialized technological equipment, an AV technician also works with very generic tools and electronics. AV techs are often involved, if not in charge of, a venue's lighting. Special effects, such as smoke machines, bubble makers, pyrotechnics, and other crowd pleasers are often prepared and managed by an AV technician as well.
Depending on the nature of his or her work, an AV technician may be responsible for directly recording video or audio footage. Editing and preparing the footage is another common task. An AV technician often works in quality control, ensuring that recorded media is suitable to be released to the public.
Audio visual technicians are very familiar with wiring. They may perform similar duties to an electrician, such as running or repairing cable wire. AV technicians may have to deal with dangerous equipment at times, as well as heights. Most AV techs, however, work indoors. A standard 40-hour work week is normal in this career, though work hours can lengthen during large projects, and overtime may be either an option or a requirement.
A person who wishes to become an AV technician should acquire a high school diploma or its equivalent. Postsecondary degrees are generally preferred, with concentrations in computers, broadcasting, electronics, or other technology related programs. Training, internships, and other experiences are also valued by employers in this field. The most common employer of AV technicians is the video and film industry.