What it Takes to Be an AV Tech

av technician jobsAnyone who goes into the career field of Audio Visual Technician has to love it. It is not simply a routine job, but a complex network of wires and circuits which must be perfectly balanced for the system to work. There is a certain beauty in the complexity of it all.

Most AV techs do not have a standard day. Shifts frequently overlap and change, especially if working for a company that provides 24/7 services. Where the work day begins at 7 am one day, it could start at 10 am the next.

For the majority of AV techs, the work begins 30 minutes to an hour before the transmission takes place. This is time that is used to flash-up. Every piece of equipment must be checked… even the mics and the screens. A pre transmission is done in order to check the accuracy of the signals and to limit the possibility of unforeseen hiccups.

Each day requires a lot of multi-tasking. Wires and cables have to be maintained. Connections must be tested, even on systems that do not get used as much. This has to be done in between any production and while planning out the tasks to be completed throughout the day.

There are many niches an AV technician can specialize in. All of them require a certain amount of customer service skills. The behind the scenes tech guys and girls will not have nearly as much face-time with the public as those who work more directly with a broadcast or who own their own company.

The ability to effectively communicate, in layman’s terms, what is going on with a system. This can make or break a company’s reputation. Technical jargon is fine for working with others in the field. But, using jargon to explain why a signal is not sending out to someone who can’t tell duct tape from electrical tape will only end in headaches. Learning some helpful analogies can make a situation relatable to most people.

With a lot of preparation, a great deal of teamwork, and a thorough understanding of the ins-and-outs, many problems can be avoided. Making a list, be it on the phone, tablet or paper, can help ensure that everything gets done. A commonly taught practice in colleges is the “A, B, C” method of task organization. Items on the “A” list need to be completed that day. The “B” list are things that are approaching, usually within a week or two. The final list, “C” list are things that you want to accomplish, but that are not pressing.

By organizing in this way, the most important items can get done first. If a list is really long, our minds will tell us that “we can never get it all done.” When it is broken down into 3 (or more) sections, the tasks seem not so overwhelming. Some people even make sub lists of what needs to be done. For example, unplugging a cord before checking it for a fray. That is basic knowledge, but it shows how deep the organization can go. It all depends on what system works best for the technician using it.