What is an Audio and Video Equipment Technician?
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An audio and video equipment technician is someone who sets up and fixes audio and video equipment, such as televisions, stereo components, home theatre systems, video projectors and monitors, recording equipment, microphones, and speaker systems. Audio and video equipment technicians can be found working at concerts, meetings and conventions, presentations, news conferences, sports events, or in an electronics store. They may also spend significant time traveling to customers’ homes and places of business.
How to Become an Audio and Video Equipment Technician
What does an Audio and Video Equipment Technician do?
Audio and video equipment technicians generally do the following:
- Install electronic equipment and devices, such as televisions and speaker systems
- Inspect malfunctioning equipment and devices
- Read and interpret electronic circuit diagrams, specifications, and service manuals
- Take apart equipment and repair or replace loose, worn, or defective parts and wiring
- Calibrate, tune, or adjust equipment and instruments to specified performance levels
- Test equipment and parts after installing or repairing them
- Make service calls to customers’ homes or bring equipment or parts to shops for major repairs
- Teach customers the safe and proper use of audio and video equipment
Audio and video equipment technicians install, troubleshoot, and fine-tune sound and picture quality, ensuring that a client’s entertainment system works at its peak capability. They work on many types of equipment, including customer’s televisions, stereos, satellite dishes, and surround-sound systems. They may specialize in one or many kinds of products. When working on small portable equipment, such as DVD players and video cameras, technicians generally work in central repair shops. When repairing less mobile equipment, such as big-screen televisions or video projectors, however, they must travel to the customer’s location (home or business). If the job is overly complex, technicians may take the equipment back to the shop for further work.
An audio and video service technician's work involves many different tools. For example, they may use basic hand tools, such as screwdrivers, hammers, and wrenches, to disassemble and reassemble components. They may also use more sophisticated diagnostic tools, including multimeters, voltmeters, oscilloscopes, and digital storage scopes, to identify electronic malfunctions, such as short circuits and failed capacitors. Because of the growing complexity of entertainment systems, service technicians frequently consult schematics and manufacturers' specifications for instructions on how to repair certain issues.
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How to Become an Audio and Video Equipment Technician
Participating in high school or college audiovisual clubs and interning or volunteering at local or school radio and television stations are great ways to gain hands-on experience with relevant equipment and the work environment before seeking full-time employment in the field.
Although employers prefer to hire applicants who have completed post secondary training courses, many audio and video service technicians train informally. Many service technicians become qualified through informal on-the-job training, working closely with experienced technicians. Trainees receive from a few weeks to a few months of guidance, and often learn the basics of electronics diagnostics and repair before beginning to work independently.
Although informal on-the-job training remains common, employers generally prefer to hire workers who have attended post secondary vocational, technical, or associate’s degree programs in electronics repair. These programs, which include hands-on and theoretical training in digital consumer electronics, often help reduce the amount of training new workers need. Above all, experience is key for both employment and advancement in an audio and video technician career.
An audio and video service technician must stay familiar with rapidly changing technologies. Employers frequently require technicians to attend training sessions and read manuals and reports on new products to keep their knowledge and skills up to date. Employers increasingly expect audio and video service technicians to be certified because certification shows competence.
What is the workplace of an Audio and Video Equipment Technician like?
Depending on the work environment in which an audio and video service technician is employed, they may be required to work directly with clients and/or performers to determine their specific audio and video equipment needs. Given the wide variety of events and projects for which audio and video equipment is necessary, such as home installations, concerts, sporting events, conventions, conferences, and many others, the opportunities for an audio and video technician are very good.
Job prospects for audio and video technicians are expected to be generally good in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics project employment numbers to increase by approximately 13 percent between 2008 and 2018.