Audio-visual technician

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AV technician

Audio-visual technicians install and operate visual, sound and lighting equipment at conference centres, schools, colleges and events.

Salary range: £18,000 to £36,000

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How to become an audio-visual technician

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
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College

There is no set entry route to become an audio-visual technician but it may be useful to do a college course like:

  • Level 2 Technical Diploma in Digital Audio and Visual Production
  • Level 3 Diploma in Creative Media Production
  • Level 3 Certificate in Technical Theatre: Sound, Light and Stage

This would teach you some of the skills needed for the job. You could then try to find a trainee job with a theatre, college or events company. Some employers may prefer you to have experience of live events.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

More information

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Apprenticeship

You could get into this job through a creative venue technician or live event technician advanced apprenticeship.

You could also do a smart home technician advanced apprenticeship if you install and set up digital technology in people’s houses, for example home cinema, sound, lighting and security systems.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More information

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Work

You could start as an assistant technician and work your way up. Experience and qualifications in broadcast and sound technology, or electronics, would be useful.

Volunteering and experience

You could volunteer with a charity, college or theatre group to get experience of setting up and running audio-visual technology and software.

More information

Career tips

Employers value experience, so it would improve your chances of finding work if you’ve got experience of setting up and using audio, visual and computer technology.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join organisations like PLASA or the Production Services Association, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about audio-visual careers and training from ScreenSkills.

You can also find out more about working in the creative industries from Discover Creative Careers.

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What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • the ability to work on your own
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • setting up and testing equipment
  • finding and dealing with faults
  • operating equipment during rehearsals, peformances and events
  • checking and servicing equipment
  • managing equipment bookings
  • training other people in how to use equipment
  • carrying out safety checks on AV equipment for organisations or venues

Working environment

You could work at a college, at a university or at a conference centre.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

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Career path and progression

With experience, you could manage an audio-visual department, specialise in lighting or sound design, or become an events manager. You could also move into equipment and services sales.

You could work self-employed or freelance, for example installing audio-visual equipment in people’s homes.