Audio Visual Cabling Technician
Audio visual broadcasts, productions, and recordings demand many different types of technical expertise. No role in the AV is as important as that of the audio visual cabling technician. It might sound like it’s nothing but making sure cables go in the right place, but that’s both more demanding and more essential to smooth, quality production than most might recognize.
Job Description & Responsibilities
As the name implies, running and installing new cabling related to AV projects, whether through existing studios or new locations is a big part of the job of the cabling technician. However, in a broader sense, they are installation experts for the whole production, ensuring the effective integration of a wide range of technologies.
In some teams, an audio visual cabling technician may be solely responsible for the cabling and nothing else. In others, they may have a broader technology specialist role to fulfill. Here are some of the responsibilities that might fall at their feet depending on those factors:
- Running cables, soldering wires, applying wire ties, labeling cables, cutting conductors to length and other cable management tasks.
- Ensuring site safety and fulfillment of cabling requirements with site surveys.
- Troubleshooting and fixing cabling and system connection issues.
- Supporting the installation and integration of broadcast, audio, and video equipment.
- Setting up and operating other AV equipment, such as lighting and sound equipment.
Qualifications & Skills
Cabling technicians are not often expected to have an extensive education as other audio visual engineers. However, a high school diploma is often required, and extra-curricular involvement in AV and film production clubs inside or outside of school is always a bonus.
On the job training is a common part of entry-level AV jobs, and to become the primary cabling technician of an AV team, roughly 1-2 years of wiring and cabling experience is necessary. Clear attention to detail, sense of responsibility, and ability to organize and plan according to the cabling needs of the production are all necessary. The following skills are also widely sought after for cabling technicians:
- Up-to-date knowledge and familiarity with different broadcast and telecommunications wiring technologies.
- Ability to create and read wire lists, schematics, and instructions regarding cabling needs and layouts.
- Independent, self-sufficient working habits as well as teamwork and interpersonal skills.
- Troubleshooting and maintenance skills
Like all audio visual technicians, certifications aren’t just a way to show that you do, in fact, have all the skills and expertise that you claim to. They’re also an opportunity to grow your career and find opportunities that might not otherwise be available to you. Here are some of the recommend certifications to help grow your AV career and unlock more opportunities on Field Engineer:
- Installation Microdentials
- Bright Sign
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), audio visual technicians, including cabling technicians, are expected to see an 8% increase in numbers of jobs from 2016 to 2026. Though broadcast media has long been a part of the culture now, the transition to digital media is opening up new opportunities for technicians to find a place in teams taking advantage of new formats.
Audio visual cabling technicians work in cooperation with other AV team members. However, since the responsibility for cabling falls directly on their shoulders, they are likely to spend most time directing their own work independently of the rest of the team. From the role of a cabling technician, you can transition to the title of a designer, project manager or installation technician with further on the job training.
Freelance cable technicians also most spend their time working amongst AV teams. You may be working with teams built specifically by a client for this project or be hired for part-time work amongst existing AV companies.
According to PayScale, the annual salary of the average Cable Technician is around $40,469. However, those with more experience under their belt or working for world-class organizations can make as much as $68k.
For freelance audio visual cable technicians, that translates roughly into an hourly rate of $17.85. How much you’re able to charge as a freelancer could range from $12 to $26, depending on your expertise and certifications.
At Field Engineer, it’s as easy as uploading your resume to see what kind of money you might make as an audio visual cabling technician. By uploading your resume, complete with your experience, qualifications, and certifications, we can help you find the opportunities most relevant to your skill level and make it easy to get in touch with employers today.