New AVIXA research, based on a large survey, suggests full-time pro AV techs make an average of $65,000 in the US, well above the pay for equivalent work in similar countries.
The research, based on feedback from almost 4,000 AV people across 77 countries, also suggests that while the pandemic has been a big kick in the nether regions for the industry as a whole, that has not forced down salaries.
My sour note – maybe not yet.
Anyway … the new 2020 Macroeconomics Trends Analysis (META): Pro AV Channel Employment Report, produced by the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association (AVIXA), looks at the global workforce in the pro AV industry, beginning with the impact of the macroeconomy and diving into job categories, salaries, education, skills, and other factors.
The Pro AV Channel Employment Report survey respondents reported substantial raises for 2019, with pay increases of nearly 5% in the United States and in other high per capita GDP countries. Raises were even higher in low per capita GDP countries, clocking in at nearly 8%. The report reveals the average income for a full-time AV technician in the U.S. is $64,959. The average income for a full-time technician in a high per capita GDP country outside of the U.S. is $52,529. These incomes — and incomes throughout different AV job categories — compare very favorably to the overall countrywide averages.
COVID-19 has created an extremely weak labor market, which you might expect to cause incomes to decline. Extensive research shows that is not the case. Even during major employment crises such as the Great Recession, wages held remarkably steady. Instead of incomes, what drops is the quantity of jobs available, giving rise to unemployment. The steady wages and rising unemployment cause businesses to become more selective in their hiring. The market for unskilled workers softens, heightening the value of traits like experience and certification.
The report reveals significant wage benefits for obtaining certifications. In the U.S., Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) accreditation increases a worker’s value by slightly more than 7%, a more advanced CTS-I (Certified Technology Specialist-Installation) certification increases one’s value by about 14%, and the most advanced CTS-D (Certified Technology Specialist-Design) increases a worker’s value by nearly 30%.
Worker compensation differs between provider and end user firms. Overall, workers are satisfied in both environments, but their pay, benefits, and work life are all different. Provider respondents reported substantially higher income, but end users had the better benefits packages. Provider respondents worked more hours on average, though neither group felt overworked.
“For this year’s report, we took a new data-gathering approach, surveying individuals rather than company leaders,” said Peter Hansen, Economic Analyst, AVIXA. “This enables us to build a much deeper understanding of compensation in the pro AV industry. We now have global data rather than U.S. only and end user data in addition to provider stats. We’re also able to measure how traits like education, experience, and certification affect income, giving a much clearer picture of what has economic value.”
For the report, AVIXA surveyed 3,830 AV industry professionals from 77 countries from January 24 to March 15, 2020.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.