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Working as an Audio & Video Recording Technician, NOC 5225

Job Description

Audio and video recording technicians operate equipment to record, mix and edit sound, music and videotape for motion pictures, television and radio programs, videos, recordings and live events. You may perform the following duties:

  • set up, prepare, operate and adjust audio, recording, editing and reproducing equipment for sound input or feed of pre-recorded material from tapes, records, compact discs, digital audio devices, and input from live microphones, satellites or microwave trucks for films, videos, radio, television programs and recordings
  • prepare and operate videotape recording and playback equipment and edit video tape after production
  • operate electronic equipment to generate program titles, credits, subtitles, graphic backgrounds or animation for television programs
  • operate audio consoles or computers, tape machines, microphones and sound processing equipment to mix, combine and edit music and sound
  • operate dubbing machines to play back edited dialogue, music and sound effect tracks from different sources, in synchronization with motion picture film

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for Audio & Video Recording Technicians (NOC 5225)

Industry Overview

During 2014/2015 film and television production companies in BC spent approximately $2 billion on a total of 287 domestic and international productions.  With more than 60 world-class studios, BC is one of the top three international full-service production centres in North America.  Over 80% of both direct and indirect jobs associated with film & TV industry are located in Metro Vancouver.

As Canada’s third largest music centre, BC has a diverse pool of writers and musicians who can create and perform all genres of music.  BC also has world class recording studios for use in film/television or digital media. BC’s music industry is also comprised of 58 independent record labels, the third largest concentration in Canada, and 123 sound recording studios. Overall, the music industry in BC is  comprised of small companies (less than five employees).  Some of the companies include world-renowned recording studios such as The Armoury and Warehouse Studio and Nettwerk Music Group.
Source: Creative BC: BC Canada – a world class creative centre for global content productionCreative BC: Activity Report, 2014-2015

Job Outlook in BC

job outlook in bc for audio & video recording technicians

The Employment Outlook for BC provides job openings projections for Audio and Video Recording Technicians within BC regions:

Region 2015-2025 Estimated Job Openings 2015-2025 Average Annual
Employment Growth
Vancouver Island 50 1.0%
Lower Mainland / Southwest 900 3.1%

Source: WorkBC Career Profile for Audio & Video Recording Technicians (NOC 5225)

You can learn more about working as an Audio and Video Recording Technician in BC from:

Types of Employers

Audio and video recording technicians are employed by film, video and concert production companies, sound recording firms, theatre and dance companies, clubs, bands, multimedia companies, radio stations, television networks and video production and editing companies.

Salary

In BC, the average annual median salary for Audio & video recording technicians is $59,690.

Audio Visual techs who work full time often receive benefits in addition to their salary. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick days, and dental coverage. Techs who are self-employed must provide their own benefits.

Sound technicians  who work on a full-time or regular part-time basis may get benefits as well. These can include dental coverage and paid sick days. Freelance techs do not get these benefits.  Hourly wages for sound technicians working in film tends to be the highest. Television stations usually pay higher salaries than radio stations; commercial broadcasting usually pays more than educational broadcasting; and stations in large markets pay more than those in small markets.

Source: Career Cruising (Profiles for Audio Visual Techs and Sound Techs)

Job Bank Canada, provides hourly wages for Audio & Video Recording Technicians in two BC regions:

hourly wages in two bc regions

Source: Job Bank

Working Hours

Full time AV technicians normally work a 40-hour week but their hours can vary. Those who are employed by elementary, middle, and high schools work weekdays, during school hours. However, the schedules of other AV techs are often irregular, and can include evening and weekend work. Overtime may also be required for some events.

For sound technicians, hours vary greatly in this field. Technicians working in film are generally on short-term contracts, but spending long days on a set. Those working on daily programs at radio or television stations are more likely to work a standard 40-hour week.

Source: Career Cruising (Profiles for Audio Visual Techs and Sound Techs)

Skills, Education, and Experience

Skills

  • Significant use of technology
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • Creativity
  • Good spatial perception
  • Detail oriented

Audio and video recording technicians should be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects, as well as be comfortable working at heights. Workers should also have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

Education and Experience

  • Completion of a recording engineering program, audiovisual technology program, or experience as a recording studio assistant
  • usually a one- to three-year certificate, diploma or degree program in audio and video recording or a related program is required

Qualifications

Audio and video recording technician is not a regulated occupation in BC.  However, many TV and film production companies operating in BC may require membership in a union:

Finding Jobs

You’ll find job advertisements in local newspapers, electronic sources, and through professional associations.

Local Newspapers

You can look at the Vancouver Sun & The Province at Vancouver Public Library for free. Check the job postings daily and the careers section in the Vancouver Sun on Wednesdays and Saturdays or The Province on Sundays.

Job White Pages

  • Available online or in print at the Central Library
    NOTE: Access at VPL locations only

Online Job Postings

  • Indeed.com
    Find jobs posted on a multitude of company career sites and job boards
  • Playback
    Careers in film production, broadcasting and interactive media across Canada
  • BC JobConnect **must have permanent resident number**
    newcomers can post their skills, education and work experience to BC employers looking for workers

Professional Associations’ Career Resources

Identifying the Right Position

When you browse job advertisements, you’ll find a wide range of different job titles that are relevant. For audio and video recording technicians, look at these related job titles:

  • Audiovisual (AV) technician
  • Audio engineer – recording studio
  • Colour timer – video
  • Digital effects specialist
  • Multimedia sound technician
  • Postproduction technician
  • Editor – sound
  • Editor – videotape
  • Film technician
  • Radio technician
  • Recording engineer
  • Recording studio technician
  • Sound effects editor
  • Sound engineer
  • Sound mixer
  • Sound technician
  • Playback operator
  • Video and sound recorder
  • Video recording technician

Source: NOC 5225. Complete listing of job titles

Creating a List of Potential Employers

You can use directories to produce lists of film production companies, broadcasters, recording studios, new media companies and other employers in the Lower Mainland or BC. Contact them directly to find out if they’re hiring.

  • Reference Canada
    Click on “Start Search” beside Canadian Businesses, then select the “Advanced Search” button.
    Select both “Keyword/SIC/NAICS” under Business Type and “City” under Geography.
    In the top search box enter videography” (OR audio visual creative services OR movie production OR film production) and click LOOKUP.
    Select the appropriate headings.
    Lower down, select the Province, choose the cities, and click the “View Results” button.
    NOTE: You can access this database from a Library computer. If you are using a computer from outside the Library, you will need a Vancouver Public Library card to login to this database. After clicking on the database name, you will be asked to enter your library card number and PIN (usually last four digits of your telephone number).

Applying for a Job

In Canada, employers usually expect to receive a resume (curriculum vitae) and a cover letter that identifies the position you are applying for and summarizes your relevant experience.
Use the library catalogue to find books on writing resumes and cover letters specific to your industry.
To learn about applying for jobs in Canada, use the following guides:

Getting Help from Industry Sources

Industry Associations

There are associations and labour organizations for audio and video recording technicians in BC and Canada. These associations provide assistance to organizations and individuals working in this sector.

  • ACFC West Local 2020
    The Association of Canadian Film Craftspeople, Local 2020, is a technical film union represents film technicians including sound, special effects, more
  • Creative BC (formerly BC Film Commission)
    Creative BC mission is to develop the province’s creative industries.
  • Music BC Industry Association
    Music BC is a non-profit society that supports and promotes the development and growth of the BC music community.

Industry Journals

Search the Vancouver Public Library catalogue for journals related to your profession or see this online journal: