Audio visual technician

Audio visual (AV) technicians set up equipment for training events and meetings. They may engineer sound, presentation images and lighting.

This page has information on the role of an audio visual technician in the NHS, including entry requirements and skills needed. 

Working life

As an audio visual (AV) technician, you'll prepare the room and the equipment according to the specifications for each event. This could include equipment for

  • video-conferencing
  • sound
  • lighting
  • projection
  • recording

You'll make sure all the equipment is in good working order and is set up as required.

During the event the you might

  • operate equipment such as sound or lighting
  • adjust equipment
  • test microphones
  • answer queries and deal with problems
  • do minor repairs to equipment such as changing bulbs for projection equipment

You might set up furniture and other equipment in the room such as tables, chairs, desks, etc. You could be involved in taking bookings for events and meeting and greeting visitors.

There are opportunities to work in technical support roles within medical/clinical simulation centres, where AV support is one part of the role.

Who will I work with?

In a large organisation, you may be part of a team of technicians, supervised by a senior AV technician. Senior technicians may be involved in planning the media for an event, advising clients on what is possible and how to achieve the effects required. They then write the technical specification for the event and allocate the work to the team of technicians.

Where will I work?

AV technicians in the NHS are usually based in an education department - which is where medical/clinical simulation centres are usually located. This may be part of a hospital or on a hospital site. Some may work in headquarters buildings. AV technicians may also work for companies providing training services to the NHS.

Technicians have contact with clinical and non-clinical staff who are attending training. They may also have contact with staff of other organisations who come to meetings and training. AV technicians are unlikely to have any contact with patients.

Entry requirements 

There are no set entry requirements. Employers expect audio visual technicians to have experience.

Many AV technicians get the experience they need through voluntary work. This could be through helping with events at school or college or through a youth group or at local community events. By spending time with experienced AV technicians you can pick up the skills and experience you need. It may be possible to gain this sort of experience through a relevant apprenticeship.

Although employers do not always ask for qualifications, a relevant qualification may help. This could be, for example

  • a degree in sound, light and live event technology or audio and visual media
  • HND in audio visual technology
  • BTEC in creative media

Studying for one of these qualifications will also give you the practical experience you need.

Skills required

AV technicians need to be

  • keen to present events to a high standard
  • physically fit for lifting, climbing ladders, etc
  • interested in keeping up to date with technology
  • able to pay attention to detail
  • flexible and adaptable
  • technical skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • customer service skills
  • organisational skills
  • communication skills

Training and development 

When you join the NHS as an audio visual technician you will get the training you need including an introduction to the department and the equipment.

AV technicians can join the Production Services Association.

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