Where do i start with a career in the AV industry

As a complete novice in the AV industry i would like to know where to start learning. Its all new to me so any advice would be amazing

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I am 51 years old with zero AV experience. Its a little daunting to know a direction to take. So ideally i would like to know the next few steps i need to take, then probably decide where i want to go from there. I would also like to know, if i take the Avixa AV essentials 3 day online course, would this get me a job in the industry?  I would guess not, but what could be the quickest route into a job in the AV industry, providing i could spend 20 hours a week learning online? Any help is much appreciated, Mark.

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Go to the profile of Lisa Matthews, CTS - AVIXA
over 1 year ago

What a great question, @Mark Brain.  First of all, welcome to the community! There are many members here who can help you begin your journey - let me start by looping in @Chris Lavelle and @Stephen Trapani.  Chris and Stephen, can you offer suggestions and resources? 

@Stephen Ahlgrim and @Gregory Rushton, are there resources available through the Rising Professionals Council?

Others, please weigh in with your advice! I'd love to be able to offer Mark various perspectives.

Go to the profile of Stephen Ahlgrim, CTS-D
over 1 year ago

Hi Mark.  Great question.  If you're at AVIXA, you're already headed the right direction.  


Here's a link to the "Explore AV Careers" tool on our AVIXA page.  You can filter by what kind industry you'd be interested, what kind of roles you might want to work in, or even look at your strongest skills and find what might suit you best.

AVIXA courses and trainings are great.  There's a ton of resources here.  My suggestion is to complement formal training with informal mentorship.  This formal training will sink in a lot faster if you have somebody to bounce ideas off of.  Whether it's someone on our Exchange platform, or a colleague, mentorship is heavily relied on in the AV industry.  It's how most of us learned.

The Rising AV Professionals Council published "The First 90 Days" document that is like a getting started for AV professionals, including some good publications to start reading.  @Gregory Rushton are you able to send him a link to download the PDF?  

Go to the profile of Lisa Matthews, CTS - AVIXA
over 1 year ago

Thanks, @Stephen Ahlgrim, CTS-D , for the sage advice and link to such a helpful resource. @William Gallego , the information above complements what Matt shared with you in the Q&A. I think you'll find it helpful as well. 

Go to the profile of William Gallego
over 1 year ago

Than you.

Go to the profile of William Gallego
over 1 year ago


Go to the profile of Chris Lavelle
over 1 year ago

Hi Mark,

Apologies for the delay, great to hear you are looking to get into AV!

Along with the great pointers already talked about. If you are looking to start within the industry in the UK as soon as possible, I would suggest taking the AVIXA Essentials of AV Technology online training to cover the basics. The most cost-efficient way would be to become an individual Premium annual member of AVIXA for £100 as this includes that training, you can take the training or refer back to it as much as you wish while a member which is helpful.

In terms of getting work as soon as possible, there is general demand in the industry but particularly for Live Event technicians, most are freelance, so there is flexibility and the agencies are quite good with their booking systems. You generally provide your availability and they book you in. I suggest speaking to them and asking what skills are most in demand and what is easy to learn. For example, if you are interested or have knowledge in audio, learning how to use the most common audio mixing desks and microphones is a great start (when looking for work for you, you generally provide what you are familiar with e.g. Yamaha XYZ desk or DigiCo XYZ desk and the agency will match what you know to a job). You may be more into the visual side, just used audio as an example. As mentioned, learning on the job/shadowing/mentoring is the quickest way to learn, it may be worth asking if you could attend some setups and events to see/learn and get a feel.

There may be some full-time positions available that they are looking for entry level technicians where again, on the job training would be given.

If you would like, we can connect you to some agencies in the UK who could help and offer some guidance from what is in demand and what you need to know. Installers are much needed too if would prefer not to get into the live events part of the industry. I am including my colleague @Sarah Carless based in the AVIXA UK office who would be happy to help with membership and local industry questions.

Finally, just to say, I know of many people that change careers and come into AV later in life, be it from hospitality, military, healthcare etc. they bring great thinking and skills thoroughly enjoying the move to AV.

Let me know if you have any further questions.