Where Do New AV Pros Come From?

Where Do New AV Pros Come From?
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Where do new AV professionals come from? This is an age-old question for our growing industry. Every year (except 2020) pro AV needs a net gain of skilled workers to support its strong and consistent growth. But recruiting is easier said than done, leaving many asking where to hire from? Enter new data with a few surprising conclusions.

In our just-released META (Macroeconomic Trends Analysis) Report, we explore a massive new trove of data on what current AV professionals did before they entered AV. The information is drawn from our global salary survey, which recorded responses from more the 5,000 professionals worldwide (for highlights from that survey, see here). Having input from so many people creates a massive amount of insight and nuance. Here are the highlights: 

  • Many, many professionals start their careers in AV. A strong plurality of AV professionals entered the industry straight from school. Despite our poor correlation to traditional education, it is the top source of new talent.
  • IT is our biggest adjacency. IT is the previous industry of 21% of AV professionals worldwide, the largest industry source of new AV professionals. This is unsurprising given the well-known AV/IT convergence (see the “AV/IT Convergence” report on the META page for our research) and the size of IT (a $5 trillion dollar industry, according to Gartner). In other words, it has a LOT of workers for AV to recruit from!
  • Broadcast, Live Events, and Construction are also major adjacencies. These industries each sourced around 10% of current AV pros.
  • Large, unrelated industries source more workers than small, related industries. It’s obvious pro AV can draw from closely related industries such as residential AV and low voltage/security. But these sources are small; so small, it turns out, that they are a less impactful source than major but unconnected industries. Retail and hospitality both sourced far more current AV pros than the residential AV and low voltage industries.
  • The music and theater may bring more people to AV than our numbers suggest. Live events and broadcast (which includes TV, movies, and in-studio music recording) show strongly as sources, but we have reason to believe they are even more impactful than it first appears. As detailed in the full report, we suspect many people who entered AV from other sources — student, retail, hospitality, etc. — built AV bona fides through hobby work with music, theater, radio, school TV, etc.

For details like how this varies by country and job type, as well as how this data can help translate into recruiting tactics, check out the full report!

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I have absolutely been jumping up and down while pointing at the IT workforce as a huge recruitment source, especially as a significant number of layoffs have happened over the last couple of years. AV companies would do really well to make more forays into that talent pool!

Go to the profile of Paul Konikowski
13 days ago

IMO AV is just a mix of IT, large displays, and speakers, so utilizing the IT workforce is a no brainer. 

Go to the profile of Peter Hansen - AVIXA
13 days ago

Especially the size! I know I said it in the article, but it's a 5 TRILLION dollar industry. There's a lot of possible recruits! Not hard to find someone who's a little artsy, into music, whatever, that might make them perfect for the small shift over to AV.