Audio-visual technicians set up, operate and maintain equipment to record and edit images and sound for radio and television broadcasts, at live events and for telecommunication signals.
The duties of an audio-visual technician typically include, but are not limited to:
- Transporting, setting up, and installing media equipment and audiovisual support tools, including speakers, monitors, cameras, and equipment racks.
- Setting up and performing electrical wiring, programming, and basic construction according to layout diagrams and schedules.
- Developing good relationships with clients to keep production moving and to help out production or event coordinators.
- Running tests on videos, audio, and signals and troubleshooting any problems that arise.
- Meeting clients’ standards by handling equipment malfunctions and executing a flawless event.
- Disassembling equipment, wiring, and support tools in a safe manner.
- Performing inventory management on equipment, wiring, and accessories.
- Carrying out any cleaning, maintenance, or repairs on audiovisual equipment.
- Generating expense reports for management.
The following job titles also refer to audio-visual technician:
audio & video operator
audio and video operator
Audio-visual technicians typically work indoors in radio, television, movie, or recording studios. However, they may work outdoors in all types of weather in order to broadcast news and other programming on location. They also set up systems in offices, arenas, hotels, schools, hospitals, and homes.
Technicians doing maintenance may climb poles or antenna towers. Those setting up equipment may do heavy lifting.
Technicians usually work full time. They may occasionally work overtime to meet broadcast deadlines or set up for live events. Evening, weekend, and holiday work is common because most radio and television stations are on the air 24 hours a day.
Technicians who work on motion pictures may be on a tight schedule and may work additional hours to meet contract deadlines with the movie studio.
Prospective audio-visual technicians should complete high school classes in math, physics, and electronics. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have skills related to audio and video equipment and related technologies.
ISCO skill level
ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:
- the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
- the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
- the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.
Audio-visual technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.
Audio-visual technician career path
These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to audio-visual technician.
Long term prospects
These occupations require some skills and knowledge of audio-visual technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of audio-visual technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.
Essential knowledge and skills
This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of audio-visual technician.
- Audiovisual products: The different types of audiovisual products and their requirements, such as documentaries, low budget movies, television series, records, CDs, and others.
- Audiovisual equipment: The characteristics and usage of different tools that stimulate the sight and audio senses.
Essential skills and competences
These skills are necessary for the role of audio-visual technician.
- Transfer uncut audiovisual material to computer: Transfer uncut audiovisual materials to a computer, synchronise them and store them.
- Maintain electrical equipment: Test electrical equipment for malfunctions. Take safety measures, company guidelines, and legislation concerning electrical equipment into account. Clean, repair and replace parts and connections as required.
- Operate video equipment: Use of various types of video equipment.
- Maintain audiovisual equipment: Perform routine maintenance tasks on audiovisual equipment as well as minor repairs, such as replacing parts and calibrating the instruments, on equipment used in processing sound and images.
- Adapt to type of media: Adapt to different types of media such as television, movies, commercials, and others. Adapt work to type of media, scale of production, budget, genres within type of media, and others.
- Operate audio equipment: Apply technologies for re-creation or recording of sounds, such as speaking, sound of instruments in electrical or mechanical form.
- Maintain electronic equipment: Check and repair electronic equipment. Detect malfunction, locate faults and take measures to prevent damage.
- Apply health and safety standards: Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.
- Plan audiovisual recording: Plan audio-visual recordings.
Optional knowledge and skills
This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of audio-visual technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Acoustics: The study of sound, its reflection, amplification and absorption in a space.
- Photography: Art and practice of creating aesthetically appealing images by recording light or electromagnetic radiation.
- Audio editing software: The various software for editing and generating audio, such as Adobe Audition, Soundforge, and Power Sound Editor.
- Cinematography: The science of recording light and electromagnetic radiation in order to create a motion picture. The recording can happen electronically with an image sensor or chemically on light sensitive materials such as film stock.
Optional skills and competences
These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of audio-visual technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.
- Operate a camera: Capture moving images with a camera. Operate the camera skilfully and safely to obtain high quality material.
- Set up sound equipment: Set up equipment to record sound. Test acoustics and make adjustments.
- Assess power needs: Prepare and manage the provision of electrical power for different areas.
- Set up cameras: Put cameras in place and prepare them for use.
- Manage sound quality: Perform sound checks. Set up audio equipment for optimal sound output before as well as during performance. Regulate the volume during broadcasts by controlling the audio equipment
- Set up audiovisual peripheral equipment: Set up audiovisual peripheral equipment such as tripods, cables, microphones, monitors, and others.
- Assess sound quality: Assess the recorded sound and music. Make sure it conforms to specifications.
- Calibrate electronic instruments: Correct and adjust the reliability of an electronic instrument by measuring output and comparing results with the data of a reference device or a set of standardised results. This is done in regular intervals which are set by the manufacturer and using calibration devices.
- Determine visual concepts: Determine how best to represent a concept visually.
- Operate remote broadcast equipment: Handle equipment that is used for broadcasting from locations which are far from central station. The pickup unit (RPU) is the most common tool for this communication.
- Coordinate activities in audio recording studio: Monitor the daily operations in a audio recording studio. Make sure that persons involved in recording studio activities can produce the desired quality of sound according to customer specifications. Ensure the material is maintained and available.
- Use audio reproduction software: Operate software and equipment that transform and reproduce digital, analogue sounds and sound waves into the desired perceivable audio to be streamed.
- Edit recorded sound: Edit audio footage using a variety of software, tools, and techniques such as crossfading, speed effects, and removing unwanted noises.
- Operate sound live: Operate sound system and audio devices during rehearsals or in a live situation.
- Create moving images: Create and develop two-dimensional and three-dimensional images in motion and animations.
ISCO group and title
3521 – Broadcasting and audiovisual technicians
- Audio-visual technician – ESCO
- Broadcast, Sound and Video Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Audio Visual Technician Job Description – Betterteam
- Featured image: By John Robert McPherson – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0