Audio Visual Specialist

Audio-visual (AV) specialists manage an organization's collections of AV equipment, like cameras, recorders and speakers, and they may teach students how to operate this technology. Read on to learn more about how to enter this career, employment options and potential earnings. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Programs Are Available for Audio-Visual Specialists?

As of February 2011, U.S. schools did not appear to be offering programs directly aimed at training audio-visual specialists, but programs in video production provide the necessary technical education you need for this career. Programs are available at the certificate and associate's, bachelor's or master's degree level. Courses teach you the fundamentals of how cameras and audio recording devices capture moving images and sound, shot composition and framing as well as lighting and video editing techniques. You also learn film history, scriptwriting, pre-production and distribution.

Where Could I Work?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 6,800 people in the nation worked as audio-visual specialists as of 2009. Top employers included elementary or secondary schools, colleges or universities, government agencies and medical facilities. The state government supplied the highest mean annual wages to AV workers, at $54,090.

What Will I Do During the Workday?

As an AV specialist, you are primarily responsible for managing the storage and distribution of video and audio equipment owned by your employer, or renting equipment as needs arise. Equipment may include film and video cameras, projectors, tape recorders, digital recorders, speakers and portable screens. Supporting duties might include setting up, adjusting and operating equipment to record classes, meetings, events, seminars or TV shows. You may evaluate and purchase new or used equipment and acquire film, video and audio collections. You may also supply instruction on equipment use to students, subordinates or co-workers.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

February 2011 figures from Payscale.com show the middle half of audio-visual specialists earn a range of $32,190-$50,052. The same source shows some variability by employer type; specialists who worked for a state or local government agency earned $23,646-$38,000, those who worked for a company earned $32,427-$44,764 and those who worked for a college or university earned $34,108-$53,017.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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