Is A/V Installer a good "for now" job?
March 9, 2012 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I'm going back to school in the Fall for a 2-year biomedical equipment tech degree which will hopefully lead to a decent long-term career. Yay! In the meantime (until the Fall and during the 2 years) though, I need to make some money. I've thought that maybe A/V or home theater installation might fit the bill as something I have some interest in and wouldn't be completely dead-end. Is it a good job?

I don't have any direct, actual A/V installation experience, but I do have a lot of other relevant experience on my resume (mostly centered around audio engineering). That said, I imagine I'd be starting at the bottom.

I like that it's hands-on, not in the same place every day, not at a desk every day, working with audio, building something real, and lots to learn.

I'm interested in general opinions and thoughts on the job: How is it at entry level? Can I progress quickly if I pick stuff up fast? Can I make ok money? Are there other similar jobs I should look at? etc.

posted by SampleSize to Work & Money (10 answers total)
In this economy having a job that depends on people spending thousands of dollars installing expensive A/V systems doesn't sound like the most stable place to be. The Geek Squad does that stuff for Best Buy, right? I think we've heard plenty of stories here about how "great" it is to work for the Geek Squad.

If you know what you will be doing in two years you should probably be looking for a job that is related, even if just tangentially. Maybe check with the career center at school about what might be available?
posted by COD at 7:35 AM on March 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think that Terumo offers a CATS technician class that is a couple thousand dollars and is just a week long (I think). It would allow you to service auto transfusion machines across the country, and for CATS machines there is a large need. I'm saying this all off the top of my head, but I'll ask around a bit and update you with more details if you'd like.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:49 AM on March 9, 2012

PorcineWithMe - Yes! That would be great!

...In the meantime, I'll do some Googling to figure out what the heck Terumo, CATS, and auto transfusion are!
posted by SampleSize at 8:43 AM on March 9, 2012

Check fresenius C.A.T.S. It's right up your biomed tech alley.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:06 AM on March 9, 2012

Hotels have long-term contracts with A/V companies to handle all the audio/visual/lighting and projection for the various meetings, weddings, conventions, etc that are held in the hotel ballrooms and meeting rooms. The work is relatively steady, physical, different every day. If it sounds like it would be of interest to you, why not look into whether PSAV or similar is in any of the hotels in your area?
posted by thrasher at 10:00 AM on March 9, 2012

I should mention the hours in hotel A/V are all over the place - you'll work plenty of nights and weekends and potentially long shifts.
posted by thrasher at 10:03 AM on March 9, 2012

Thanks so much PorcineWithMe! This definitely seems like something to explore further. Having some trouble finding anything on the certification you mentioned though. Anywhere you can point me on that?

Feel free to memail if you prefer.
posted by SampleSize at 10:14 AM on March 9, 2012

Yep. Waiting for my other half to send me the info. Soon a I get it I will MeMail you the details.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 10:24 AM on March 9, 2012

If you need other ideas for mechanical work, you could look into repairing espresso and automatic coffee equipment (BUNN, etc).

I dont know it would pay very well, but if you are looking to get something in the mean time that would give you equipment experience that could be another option. You would likely have to hook up with someone who is already servicing equipment though and that might be a bit tough. Just a thought.
posted by gregjunior at 3:00 PM on March 9, 2012

MeMailed you.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:43 AM on March 10, 2012

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