Whether you are looking to change career tracks, or are starting at the very beginning of your professional life, the audiovisual field is a path worth considering. While a decade ago many who embarked into AV work learned on the job, now there are many educational programs in audiovisual skills. Vocational and technical schools, along with some art schools and universities are now offering certificate and degree programs to train the next wave of AV professionals. Even with a good education and training, many audiovisual workers starting out begin in apprenticeships and internships. Usually lower-paid positions, the idea is that young AV professionals must learn to work and problem-solve on their feet, and therefore in these ‘stepping-stone’ positions are being partially compensated for their work by the continued education and exposure they get on the job. In most circumstances these beginning positions are wonderful start-outs and a great foundation for a lucrative AV career to come.
What makes the audiovisual field a smart career choice? The most dominant factor is the great expansion this field has witnessed in the last fifteen years. Audiovisual work went from being a small niche in the educational and entertainment realm to being broadly applied to hospitality, event planning, art, fashion and even the corporate sector. From the highest levels of corporate conferencing to rural elementary school classrooms, audiovisual technology can be found functioning on a daily basis. This means that innovation is demanded of the AV field constantly. As more sectors wish to apply this technology, more technicians and engineers must trouble-shoot new applications and uses. As the work becomes more creatively and technically sophisticated, so to does the compensation. Pay, even at the lower and beginning levels is on the high end of reasonable for audiovisual professionals. And, unlike many industries, the economic recession was kind to technological fields like audiovisual.
One of the other benefits of choosing the audiovisual line of work is the prevalence of quality audiovisual staffing agencies. Agencies who do audiovisual staffing, as well as other sorts of technical job staffing, are a huge help to AV workers, both in landing those first jobs, and also in continuing to maintain steady employment. To climb the career ladder, audiovisual professionals often must work a variety of different jobs, for different sorts of employers. Sometimes this is project-to-project, short term work, though longer more permanent jobs are also available. Either way, career growth usually makes it essential for AV professionals to stay informed about the opportunities present in the job market. Audiovisual staffing agencies serve as a key connection to companies that regularly need audiovisual staff, and a recruiter at a staffing organization can be one of the most important relationships a young AV professional can have. Above and beyond all of the good logistical reasons to investigate a career in the audiovisual field, is that these jobs can be creatively satisfying. With more freedom than many desk jobs and a greater artistic aspect than many other technical fields, AV work starts, and stays, exciting.
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